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The Making of the Medieval Middle East$
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Jack Tannous

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179094

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179094.001.0001

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Finding Their Way

Finding Their Way

The Mosque in the Shadow of the Church

(p.400) Chapter 13 Finding Their Way
The Making of the Medieval Middle East

Jack Tannous

Princeton University Press

This chapter details how Muslims dealt with being a religious minority. Political power over a variety of religious groups may have influenced how some people viewed the truth of the Prophet's message, but they did not free his followers from the very real task of figuring out how their religious traditions related to those of the people they now ruled over, especially Jews and Christians. These were two groups who had, long before the rise of Islam, developed answers to a whole host of religious questions that Muslims now had also to confront. Moreover, the answers, traditions, antiquity, and confidence of these communities meant that though the followers of the Prophet enjoyed political power, in the realm of religion, the communities they ruled over had a certain deep historical experience and authority that Muslims did not. One notable result of these circumstances was a need to assert Muslim precedence over non-Muslim alternatives and competitors.

Keywords:   Muslims, religious minority, political power, religious traditions, Jews, Christians, Islam, religious questions, religious competition

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