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As Bush prepares our country to go to war against Iraq the Middle East prepares itself for what they see as yet another invasion The politics of this particular area are very important and what shapes them even more There are three important factors which are closely tied to the politics of the region Islam is number one and by far because there is no separation of church and state in most Middle Eastern countries The second thing is nationalism It has played an important role in the Middle East in various ways Finally the Ottoman Empire has had lasting effects which still play a role in politics today Islam is one of the three major world religions and most inhabitants of the Middle East are Muslims The politics are strongly influenced by Islam because there is no separation of church and state In the book it clearly states Islam has had a decisive influence on state politics throughout the region since the death of Muhammad p32 One example of this are the laws used in most countries of this region In the Koran and the Hadith which are religious texts guidelines and laws are written down Every true Muslim is supposed to live according to these laws Yet the Sharia is considered the common civil law in most countries with the exception of Iran which is laic and Turkey The fact that religious laws have been turned into regular laws proves how closely related politics and religion are in the Middle East Another example which set the tone for todays politics in the region is Caliphs They were considered the governing authority in the area which they controlled and they used Islam as a tool to control their people In the book it says Arab Muslims would collect taxes from their subjects on the basis of religious affiliation p35 It is later on explained that if you were not Muslim you would not economically
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