In Arabic, Islam means "submission" and is described as a Din, meaning "way of life" and/or "religion." Etymologically, it is derived from the same root as, for example, Salam meaning "peace". A more precise translation of the word Islam would be the serenity that is created by submission. The word Muslim is also related to the word Islam and means "one who surrenders" or "submits" to God.
The religion and philosophy of Islam, is based upon the belief that God (Allah) transmitted knowledge to Muhammad (c. 570–632) and other prophets (Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus). The followers of Islamic religion, muslims, believe that this revelation to humanity was written down in the Quran, which is the flawless word of God.
The theology of the Islamic scriptures informs most aspects of muslim life and culture. The Five Pillars of Islam is expressed in the Quran (Koran), which is a practical doctrine that encourages Muslims to pray 5 times a day, fast during Ramadan, pilgrimage to Mecca, declare 'There is no god but God, and Muhammad is his prophet' and pay money to the poor.
"Do not turn away a poor man...even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you...God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection" (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376)
Arabic culture and the Islamic faith are deeply intertwined.
Islam is the most dominating, single influence in the Arab world.
The Arab World
Twenty countries encompass the "Arab world."
Governments include: Monarchies, military governments and socialist republics.
All embrace Islam
Arabs are more similar in their outlook on life than Westerners.
Most things in life are controlled by God.
Children are the "jewels" of the family.
Wisdom increases with age.
Inherent roles and responsibilities of men and women are vastly different.
They share basic beliefs and values that cross national or social boundaries.
Personal beliefs are influenced by Islam and are shared by non-Muslims.
A strong family structure.
Different roles for male and female children.
A person’s dignity, honor and reputation are of paramount importance.
It is important to behave at all times in a way which will create a good impression.
Loyalty to one’s family takes precedence over personal needs
Social class and family background are the major determining factors of personal status, followed by individual character and achievement.
Everyone should believe in God and have a religious affiliation.
Humans cannot control all events.
Dependent upon God (fate).
There should be no separation between church and state.
Religion should be taught in schools and promoted by governments.
Piety is one of the most admirable characteristics in a person.
Religious tenets should not be subjected to liberal interpretations.
Threatens established beliefs.
Moslems belong to several different sects.
Islamic law (Sharia) takes precedent over all other law.
Arabic Self Perceptions
They are generous, humanitarian, polite and loyal.
They have a rich cultural heritage.
They have a history of literature, medicine, art, mathematics and sciences.
They are a cultural group and members of the "Arab Nation".
Arabic Self Perceptions
The Arab people have been victimized and exploited by the West.
Western culture weakens traditional family ties and religious values
Will have a corrupting influence on Arab society.
Arabs are misunderstood and wrongly characterized by most Westerners.
Friendship is based on a relationship in which it is the duty of the friend to help to the best of his ability.
Good manners require that one never openly refuses a request from a friend.
Requests need not be done.
It is discourteous to say "No".
Western culture: Actions speak louder than