Major Muslim Nations

Though it originated on the Arabian Peninsula, and Arabic is the language of the Quran, the Muslim holy scripture, Arabs constitute only 20 percent of Muslims around the world. More than half of all Muslims live in South Asia and Southeast Asia, distributed in four key countries-- Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country and the world's third largest democracy.


ISBN 978-1-4222-1380-3
29 volumes
12 & up
7.25 x 9.25 inches
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by Kim Whitehead

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1403-9 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Over the past four decades, Afghanistan has been torn apart by social unrest and civil war. Most recently, the harsh government of the Taliban, which ruled according to a strict interpretation of Islamic law, was overthrown by a U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2001. Since then, foreign assistance has helped Afghanistan begin rebuilding, and the country has taken important steps toward democracy. Yet difficult problems remain. In parts of the country, for example, the elected government must still contend with various factions for actual control, and poverty and disease are widespread.This book examines the economic and political issues facing Afghanistan today. It provides up-to-date information about the country's geography and climate, history, society, important cities and communities, and relations with other countries.

by James Morrow

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1392-6 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Algeria is a large country with a fascinating past and a troubled present. The nation was devastated by years of fighting between government forces and Islamic extremists. The unrest that began in 1991 left tens of thousands dead and forced many others to flee their homes. Fighting has also broken out between the country's Arab and Berber populations. In addition, although this large North African nation has great resources, including a large share of the world's oil and natural gas reserves, today its people are quite poor by Western standards.In recent years the violence has slowed, and the Algerian government has attempted to improve the lives of its people. However, it remains to be seen whether the country will have a peaceful and productive future, or whether the internal divisions within Algeria will ultimately fragment the nation beyond repair.

by Lisa McCoy

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1397-1 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Bahrain is one of the smallest countries of the Arab world, but its size does not reflect its importance. This tiny nation, made up of 33 islands in the Arabian Gulf, is a key regional ally of the United States. In addition, Bahrain is one of the few countries in the Middle East that allows its people--both men and women?to participate in government, through an elected national assembly.Bahrain is far from a democracy, and the country has struggled with a religious division that has led to violence in recent years. But if Bahrain can move successfully toward a more open government, it may inspire other Middle Eastern nations to experiment with democratic principles as well.

by Clarissa Akroyd

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1381-0 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Nearly 5,000 years ago, on the eastern edge of the Sahara Desert,one of the world's earliest and greatest civilizations began to flourish.That civilization, Egypt, has held a firm grip on the human imaginationever since, with its powerful pharaohs, its awe-inspiring pyramids,and its mysterious religious beliefs.But Egypt is much more than a land of unsurpassed archaeologicalwonders. Today, it is the most populous Arab country; it was alsothe first Arab nation to make peace with Israel. As this ancient landstruggles with the many problems of the 21st century, it remains avital member of the global community.

Facts & Figures About the Middle East
by Lisa McCoy

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1400-8 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
The history of the Middle East is long and complex. In the MAJOR MUSLIM NATIONS series, the term "Middle East" refers to the region encompassing 23 countries?Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.This book provides an overview of the history of the Middle Eastern countries, along with information about the region's geography, central religious beliefs, governments and economies of the various states, cultural groups, and important communities.

by Lynda Cassanos

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1405-3 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Indonesia is an archipelago that includes more than 17,000 islands and stretches across three time zones. It is home to the world's largest Muslim population?more than 200 million Indonesians follow the faith. In 1998 Indonesians replaced the rule of a dictator with democracy, and since then the country has held free and open elections for president as well as for members of a national assembly. However, Indonesia is not without problems, particularly poverty and corruption. There is an armed separatist movement in Aceh, and Islamist terrorist groups like al-Qaeda have targeted Westerners on Bali.This book examines the economic and political issues facing Indonesia today. It provides up-to-date information about the country's geography and climate, history, society, important cities and communities, and relations with other countries.

by W. Mark Habeeb

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1401-5 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Iran--or Persia, as it was known until the 1930s--is home to one of the world's oldest cultures. Over the years it has exerted a great influence over its neighbors in the Middle East and Central Asia.influence over its neighbors in the Middle East and Central Asia. Although Iran was once a close ally of the United States, in 1979 supporters of the Islamic fundamentalist cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini overthrew the government and instituted a new one based on strict interpretation of Islamic law. In the years since then, U.S.- Iranian relations have been hostile.Today, however, Iran is once again undergoing an internal struggle. Iranians--particularly the younger generation--are trying to reconcile the changes that followed the 1979 Islamic Revolution with the needs and requirements of life in the 21st century. The outcome of this struggle between religious conservatives and the reformers will determine Iran's future.

by Bill and Dorcas Thompson

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1384-1 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
In the spring of 2003, the United States and its allies invaded Iraq to remove one of the world's most brutal dictators, Saddam Hussein, from power. But when the Hussein regime fell, Iraqis wondered whether their country would hold together, or if it would disintegrate under the force of long-standing ethnic and religious rivalries. The international community also watched closely. With the world's second-largest proven oil reserves, Iraq holds great economic importance for an energy-hungry globe. As one of the largest Arab states, Iraq is politically important in the Middle East region as well.Some American policymakers believed that with Saddam gone, Iraq could become an example of democracy and progress for the other Arab states. However, a period of sectarian violence prevented that from occurring. Despite the conflict, Iraqis took steps toward developing a parliamentary democracy, approving a constitution in October 2005 and holding several subsequent elections for government officials. In addition, new military strategies have significantly reduced the level of violence. While the future remains uncertain, Iraqis hope their country is on a path to peace and promise.

Islam in Asia: Facts and Figures
by Dorothy Kavanaugh

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1406-0 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Many Westerners associate Islam primarily with the Middle East. But in fact, four countries have larger Muslim populations than Egypt, the largest Arab state. Those four countries?Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh--all lie within Asia.This volume presents a wealth of statistical and background information on more than 20 Asian nations with significant Muslim populations. The book also provides a valuable overview of the Islamic faith and chronicles the history of Islam's spread into Asia.

Islamism and Terrorist Groups in Asia
by Michael Radu

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1404-6 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Many Americans associate Islam?and Islamist terrorism--exclusively with the greater Middle East. Yet the countries with the largest Muslim populations are actually located in Asia, where Islamic extremism is also a significant and growing concern.This volume provides essential background and surveys recent trends. It examines a variety of homegrown Asian terrorist groups, detailing their goals, methods, and links with international organizations such as al-Qaeda. It also outlines the options available to U.S. policymakers and to Asian governments as they attempt to stem the tide of militant Islam.

by Adam Garfinkle

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1402-2 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
In 1948 the world witnessed an extraordinary event: the birth of Israel. After two millennia as a stateless people scattered across the globe and frequently persecuted by the societies in which they lived--most tragically during the Holocaust of World War II--Jews finally had a homeland. And the New Jersey--sized country was in Palestine, the ancestral land of the Jewish people. In the years since 1948, Israel has become the Middle East's most powerful, and most democratic, country.But the foundation and defense of the Jewish state ultimately came at the expense of a state for the Palestinians, another people with ancient ties to Palestine. For decades Israeli and Palestinian blood has stained the land, a string of peace initiatives collapsing amid the seemingly endless cycle of attack and retaliation. Resolving the conflict in a manner that preserves Israel's security remains an elusive goal not just for Israel, but also for the many countries with interests in the strategic Middle East, including the United States.

by Anne Carew-Miller

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1383-4 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Though small and resource poor, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan plays a crucial role in the affairs of the volatile Middle East. A moderate Arab country, Jordan borders not only Israel and the West Bank, but also Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. This strategic location- along with the nuanced and forward-looking foreign policy crafted by its longtime monarch, King Hussein, and carried on by his son and successor, King Abdullah II?has made Jordan a key to peace and stability in the Middle East.Domestically, Jordan faces many of the same economic hurdles developing nations all over the world must confront. But it also enjoys a tremendous advantage: a highly educated, adaptable workforce.

by Hal Marcovitz

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1386-5 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Kuwait came to the world's attention in the summer of 1990, when Iraq invaded the tiny emirate. Though Kuwait was liberated within eight months, it took more than 10 years and $160 billion for the country to recover from the devastation caused by the Iraqi occupation.The citizens of Kuwait are among the most prosperous in the world, thanks to the country's oil wealth. Beneath Kuwait's sands is an estimated 10 percent of the world's oil reserves. After the 1991 Gulf War, Kuwait's rulers spoke about the possibility of bringing democracy to their country, but this has not happened?only about one-third of Kuwaitis are eligible to vote, and the ruling al-Sabah family holds great power over the nation's elected assembly. However, Kuwait remains a key U.S. ally in the turbulent Middle East.

by Jan McDaniel

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1387-2 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
In the 1980s Lebanon-and particularly its capital, Beirut?was considered one of the most dangerous places in the world, particularly for Americans. Today, as the country continues to rebuild after its devastating 15-year civil war, tourists are beginning to return to Lebanon's Mediterranean resorts.Yet Lebanon has many problems. Years of political domination by Syria made progress difficult, and various political factions have struggled for control of Lebanon's government. In addition, more than 380,000 Palestinians live in Lebanon, and terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas operate freely inside the country. As a result, Lebanon's future remains uncertain.

by Dan Harmon

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1388-9 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
For more than three decades, most countries of the world have viewed Libya as a radical, unstable nation. Under the leadership of Muammar al-Qaddafi, Libya has sponsored international terrorism and supported efforts to overthrow the governments of its African neighbors. This has led to confrontations with the West, particularly with the United States during the 1980s.Beneath the sands of Libya lies a valuable resource--vast amounts of oil. Despite this, the people of Libya have remained poor during Qaddafi's rule. Although in recent years Libyan society appears to have become more open, and Qaddafi seems to have moderated some of his extremist views, the future of the country remains uncertain.

by Shelia Noonan

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1409-1 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
By almost any standard, Malaysia has become one of the most prosperous and successful nations in the Islamic world. The Malaysian economy has grown steadily, thanks to a focus on new technology and manufacturing. Although Malaysia's government is not fully democratic, it permits an increasing degree of public participation.This book examines the economic and political issues facing Malaysia today. It provides up-to-date information about the country's geography and climate, history, society, important cities and communities, and relations with other countries.

by Linda Cassanos

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1391-9 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Early Arab geographers referred to Morocco as Al-Maghreb al-Aqsa-- "the farthest land of the setting sun." Today this country in the northwest corner of Africa--long a crossroads for trade from Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and the East--retains a distinctly exotic feel, with its colorful mix of Middle Eastern, African, and Western cultures.But Morocco is also a nation struggling to emerge from a difficult colonial past and a recent history of human-rights violations. If the country succeeds in its quest to develop stable and democratic political institutions as well as a vibrant economy--and to accomplish these goals without violence?Morocco may serve as a powerful example to the Arab world.

by Clarissa Aykroyd

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1408-4 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
When the British Empire partitioned its Indian colony in 1947, it created two independent states: India, where most people were Hindus, and Pakistan, where most were Muslims. Violence immediately broke out, during which approximately 250,000 people were killed and a million became refugees. Since then Pakistan and India have fought several wars, and tensions between the two countries during the late 1990s nearly led to another conflict--one that might have been devastating, as both countries now possess nuclear weapons.This book examines the economic and political issues facing Pakistan today. It provides up-to-date information about the country's geography and climate, history, society, important cities and communities, and relations with other countries.

by Anne Carew-Miller

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1389-6 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
At the center of one of the world's most intractable conflicts are a people who number fewer than 10 million worldwide: the Palestinians. For centuries these people of Arab ancestry lived in the eastern Mediterranean region known as Palestine or, because of its significance to the Christian faith, as the Holy Land. In 1948 a United Nations plan to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states led to what Palestinians call al-Nakba ("the disaster")--an Arab-Israeli war that produced hundreds of thousands of refugees and left Palestinians without a homeland.Another war, in 1967, brought hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas under Israeli military rule. Since that time, Palestinians and Israelis have been locked in bloody conflict. This continued violence has prevented the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

by Lisa McCoy

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1398-8 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Throughout history tiny Qatar (pronounced "cutter" or "gutter") has at times been overlooked or forgotten. Today, however, this small country, located on a peninsula that juts into the Arabian Gulf, has become an important strategic partner of the United States.In recent years Qatar has gained international stature in part because of its vast reserves of oil and natural gas. Since coming to power in 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has made Qatar one of the more liberal Gulf states. Though the country is by no means a democracy in the Western sense, Qatar appears to be moving slowly in that direction. One day Qatar may provide a successful example of democracy for the Arab world.

Saudi Arabia
by Susan Keating

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1385-8 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Saudi Arabia is a young kingdom with an ancient legacy. King Abd al-Aziz brought the divided land into one entity in 1932. His family, the Al-Saud, named the country and still rules it today.Every year millions of Muslims travel across the Saudi Arabian border to Mecca, the sacred city of Islam and the birthplace of its holy prophet, Muhammad. As custodian of key Islamic traditions, Saudi Arabia enjoys a leading status among its Muslim neighbors.But as the world's largest single exporter of oil, it also has forged relationships with the United States and other powerful countries of the West. Saudi Arabia's divided loyalties have created an unsteady international balance that is a continual source of concern and speculation.

by Joseph Ferry

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1395-7 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Wrapped along the edge of northeastern Africa lies the dry, dusty land of Somalia. Only two permanent rivers run through its arid plateaus, which for centuries belonged to clans of pastoral nomads traveling in search of food and water for their herds. Somalis are a resilient people, renowned for their nomad culture of vibrant oral poetry traditions and their reliance on camels.Like its climate, Somalia's history is harsh--a short-lived democracy in the early 1960s was replaced first by a brutal, 21-year dictatorship, and then by anarchy, as clan groups refused to accept the national government. For more than a decade, severe droughts and factional warfare have forced many Somalis from their homes, and even from their country. Despite Somalia's uncertain future, its people continue to strive to revitalize businesses and return tranquility to a land that has lived too long without peace.

by Gail Snyder

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1394-0 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Desperate poverty, famine, and civil war--these are the images that most people have of Sudan. In fact, for nearly all of its modern history as an independent nation the people of Sudan have been at war with themselves.Sudan's Arab-dominated government in Khartoum has attempted to impose Islamic law on the entire population--including black Africans in the south who practice Christianity and native religions. This has led to a civil war in which 2 million people have been killed and 4 million forced to leave their homes. In recent years both sides have agreed to stop fighting and attempt to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the long-running conflict. However, a new crisis has developed in the western region known as Darfur. Only time will tell whether efforts to bring the people of Sudan together will succeed.

by Anne Marie Sullivan

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1382-7 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Established in 1946, the Syrian Arab Republic is at the heart of the Middle East. The ancient region encompassing this young country was once the heart of the civilized world.Dotting Syria's landscape are ancient ruins dating back to the major periods of Middle Eastern history. These relics bear witness to Syria's troubled past under the rule of competing empires and colonial powers. Over the centuries, the Syrians lived under the Greeks, the Ottoman Turks, and the French, from whom they eventually gained independence following the Second World War.As a modern nation, Syria has consistently pushed for a unified Arab front against its longtime rival, Israel, which since 1967 has occupied the Golan Heights, located in the southwestern corner of Syria. Decades of failed alliances and costly wars have taken their toll on Syria, and a lasting peace remains a must for its leaders.

The Kurds
by Leeanne Gelletly

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1407-7 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
The Kurds are considered the largest ethnic group without a state of their own. Most live in the mountainous region historically known as Kurdistan; however, this region, which includes parts of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria, never existed as a political entity. Under the rule of others, the Kurds were discriminated against and sometimes persecuted-- most infamously by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. As a result the dream of autonomy or a national home holds a powerful grip on the Kurdish imagination.This book examines the economic and political issues facing the Kurdish people today. It provides up-to-date information about the geography and climate of the areas in which the Kurds live, the history of this ethnic group and its society, important Kurdish cities and communities, and the Kurds' relations with the governments of the countries in which they live.

by Anne Carew-Miller

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1393-3 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Tunisia is a small nation on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. An Arab country in which the people are predominantly Muslim, Tunisia nonetheless maintains strong ties to Europe and good relations with its African neighbors. Among the countries of the Arab world Tunisia is considered a moderate state; its policies, unlike those of neighboring Libya, are generally favorable to the United States and the West.The country is not without its problems, however. Religious fundamentalists, who want Tunisia to impose strict Islamic laws on the country, have caused unrest since the 1980s. In addition, political power is concentrated in the hands of a few people. Many hope that one day Tunisia will create a truly democratic society, in which all of the people can participate in improving their country.

by Dan Harmon

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1399-5 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
A strategically located land that links southwestern Asia with southeastern Europe and commands the waters connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Turkey has for millennia been a prize for conquerors and a seat of empires. The Hittites, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Ottoman Turks all left their mark on this fascinating land.The modern Republic of Turkey, which emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, is unusual among the nations of the Middle East. A democracy in a region rife with autocrats, a Muslim country that enforces strict separation between religion and public life and that has always maintained cordial relations with Israel, Turkey is also a member of NATO and an important ally of the United States. Yet the nation is not without problems, including recurrent ethnic conflict and a military with a history of intervening in government affairs.

United Arab Emirates
by Lisa McCoy

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1390-2 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
The United Arab Emirates is a federation made up of seven small kingdoms--Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain, al- Fujairah, and Ras al-Khaimah--located on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The UAE is considered one of the more liberal countries in the Gulf, and it has become a key ally of the United States and other Western nations.Though the UAE is small compared with its Arab neighbors, it has become important for several reasons, among them the oil controlled by the UAE and the strategic location it occupies along the Arabian Gulf, one of the world's major shipping lanes.

by Hal Marcovitz

Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4222-1396-4 $25.95 (USD) Add To Cart
Like its neighbors on the Arabian Peninsula, the Republic of Yemen has a long and rich history. The southern Arabian region, which present-day Yemen shares, was once the home of the Sabaean kingdom. Led by the queen of Sheba, the kingdom formed an alliance with King Solomon, as recorded in the Old Testament.In the era of the burgeoning spice trade, the people of the Yemen region, which was advantageously located along the sea routes to Asia, had opportunities to attain great wealth. However, the British and other powers to the north eventually made their own claims on trade in the region.In the years after losing control of their great ports, the Yemenis have endured long periods of poverty and armed conflict, much of which has been waged between their rival northern and southern states. A much-needed unification between the north and south finally occurred in 1990, but Yemen still struggles to resolve its regional differences and compete with the oil-rich states of the Persian Gulf.

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