DTN.ORG Home DTN.ORG User's Guide Search DTN.ORG Complete Database Contact DTN.ORG Officials Moonbat Central

ISSUES-Middle East
SUMMARY
RESOURCES

Middle East

The term “Middle East” refers generally to the lands around the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from Morocco to the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Since maps of the region were redrawn following World War II, a widely accepted definition of the term has included the following states and territories: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Sometimes the three North African countries of Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, which share important cultural and ideological commonalities with the Arab states, are included. Moreover, given their centrality to major political events of recent times, Afghanistan and Pakistan are often identified as Middle Eastern states as well.

According to annual reports compiled by the U.S. State Department, most Mideast nations are ruled by dictatorial regimes that deny their citizens basic freedoms of political expression, speech, the press, and due process. The Arab Human Development Report, published by a group of Arab researchers from the United Nations Development Program, concludes that of the world's seven major geographic regions, the Middle East ranks lowest in terms of freedom, civil liberties, political rights, and independence of the media.

In numerous Mideast nations the Shari'a, or Islamic law, defines the rules of traditional social relations. This legal system derives its authority and its principles directly from the Koran and from the example of Islam's founder, the Prophet Mohammed. Sharia has come under particular fire in the world community because it consigns women to the status of second-class citizens. As the Koran states, “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other” (4:34). The Shari'a court system considers the testimony of a woman to be worth only half that of a man. In cases of rape, no conviction can occur in an Islamic court unless four male eyewitnesses testify to having seen the act occur. Rape victims themselves are commonly accused of having engaged in illicit sexual relations, an offense that carries punishments ranging from imprisonment, to flogging, to death by stoning. Gender segregation, veiling, child marriages (where young girls marry much older men), and female genital mutilation are also commonplace in parts of the Islamic Middle East.

Muslim persecution of Christians is widespread throughout the Middle East. Particularly despised are former Muslims who have converted to Christianity, for they stand in violation of traditional Islamic Law's injunction against apostasy.

The Middle East today is home to the world's only remaining pockets of organized slave systems. This, too, is traceable to Islam's influence, for the Koran takes for granted slavery's legitimacy as a permanent human institution; regulates its practice in considerable detail; and endows it with divine approval.

Historically, and continuing to this very day, Jews, for the most part, have been viewed with disgust and contempt by their Muslim neighbors in the Middle East; peaceful coexistence between the two groups has generally been possible only where Jews have consented to live under the rules of dhimmitude, a condition typified by wholesale subordination and degradation. At various times and in various places in the Middle East, Jews have been the victims of mass slaughters perpetrated by Muslims of the region.

In recent times, the Middle East has given birth to extreme terrorist organizations dedicated to the establishment of a worldwide Islamic caliphate, and to the destruction of infidel civilizations elsewhere in the world. Among the most notorious of these groups are al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Mideast was also the birthplace of the  Muslim Brotherhood, an influential Islamist entity founded in Egypt in 1928.

In recent decades the Middle East has emerged as a major force on the world's geopolitical stage. This is due partly to the fact that it is the seat of Islam, the fastest-growing religion on earth. Another crucial factor has been the discovery of vast oil reserves beneath the region's sandy landscape -- reserves that have brought immense wealth to the governments of places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Algeria.

The RESOURCES column located on the right side of this page contains links to articles, essays, books, and videos that explore such topics as:

  • the history and the continuing practice of Islamic slavery in the Middle East;
  • the flight (and forced expulsion) of some 900,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim nations during the aftermath of the World War II era;
  • a survey of the human-rights situation in various Arab countries;
  • the major themes and messages -- most notably anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, and Islamic supremacism -- that are promulgated by the major media throughout the Middle East; and
  • the threat that Iran poses -- vis a vis terrorism and nuclear weaponry -- to Israel, the United States, and the rest of the world.

IN DEPTH

BOOKS

* For recommended books on this topic, click here.


                                  SEE ALSO 

* Israel





Click here to view a sample Profile.

     

Since Feb 14, 2005 --Hits: 61,630,061 --Visitors: 7,024,052

Copyright 2003-2012 : DiscoverTheNetworks.org