Spread Of Islam In South Asia Essay
When Islam receives widespread attention in Western media, it’s most often in the wake of domestic terror or in reference to atrocities abroad. Mourning and enraged, afraid and uninformed, Westerners too quickly condemn Islam as a religion of violence and repression, assuming that acts of extremism are representative of the entire religious tradition and all its practicants. Moreover, historical narratives pit Muslim conquest and imperialism depict Islamic tradition in an antagonistic light. Influenced by these ideological canons, may believe Islam “spread by the sword,” or that people converted out of fear and under pressure. It is especially important today, with the current political climate and the brooding hostility toward Muslims, to deconstruct and critically analyze our tellings and retellings of history. Despite Islam’s roots in the Arabian Peninsula, 62% of today’s Muslim population lives in South Asia-- namely in Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Religious identity in South Asia is namely pluralistic, as native populations, for the most part, practiced polytheistic Hindu religions and over time, accepted aspects of Islam, blending the traditions during the process of conversion.
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Longstanding, culturally ingrained beliefs do not evolve quickly, and few will cast aside religious beliefs for tax cuts. In “Who are the Bengal Muslims?,” Eaton asserts that “ashraf Muslims in Bengal adopted a strictly hands-off policy toward the non Muslims,” (225). Islam Khan punished one of his officers for allowing a conversion to happen because of a commitment not to allow religion to interfere with state administration. According to