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Islam: The Religion and the People by Buntzie Ellis Churchill, Bernard Lewis

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Chapter 8: Government and Opposition

The religion of Islam, in contrast to both Judaism and Christianity, was involved in the conduct of government and the enactment and enforcement of law from the very beginning. Moses led his people out of slavery and through the wilderness but did not enter the Promised Land. He was a leader but never a ruler. Jesus was crucified, and his followers were a powerless, sometimes persecuted sect until, with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine circa 312 CE, they captured the Roman State and—some would add—were captured by it. Muhammad, in contrast, overcame his enemies and achieved power during his lifetime. According to the traditional narrative, he began his mission in Mecca, where he was born, and achieved ...

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