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World: Middle East

World Cultures: Middle East Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Monotheism The belief in one, all-powerful God
Judaism The oldest monotheistic religion
Christianity The second oldest monotheistic religion; based on the teachings of Jesus
Islam The youngest monotheistic religion; based on the teachings of Muhammad
Abraham The founder of Judaism and one of its major prophets
Jesus The founder and central figure of Christianity; Christians believe he was the messiah
Muhammad The founder and main prophet of Islam
Torah The Jewish holy book
Bible The Christian holy book
Koran The Muslim holy book
Church Christian place of worship
Mosque Muslim place of worship
Synagogue Jewish place of worship
Five Pillars The five basic rules of Islam: declaring faith, prayer 5 times daily, giving to charity, fasting during Ramadan, hajj
Ramadan The holy month in the Muslim calendar
Hajj The journey to Mecca all Muslims must make at least once
Sunni The larger of the two branches in Islam. Sunnis believe that anyone can lead the faith and interpret it.
Sharia A form of Islamic law often distorted by extremists
Shiite/Shi'a The smaller of the two branches in Islam. Shi'a believe a descendant of Muhammad should lead the faith and only imams should interpret it
Jihad An Arabic word meaning "struggle." Extremists use it to mean holy war
Al-Qaeda An extremist group formerly led by Osama bin Laden, responsible for 9/11
Hamas An extremist Palestinian group based in Gaza
Settlements Israeli communities built illegally on Palestinian lands
Bashar al-Assad The current dictator in Syria; there is a current rebellion against him
ISIS Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; an extremist group that broke away from Al-Qaeda in Iraq
Hezbollah An anti-Israeli extremist group based in Lebanon
Houthis Majority-Shi'a rebels who recently overthrew the government of Yemen
Misanthrope Someone who dislikes people in general
Perfunctory Carried out with little effort
Fervent Characterized by intense emotion
Anomaly A deviation from what is normal or common
Disciple A follower of a particular leader or belief system
Recalcitrant Being stubbornly resistant to authority
Hijab The veil worn by many Muslim women
Zenith The highest or culminating point
Coalition A temporary alliance of people or groups
Eminent High in status or position
Created by: missmurdough