Art: The Many Patterns of Allah

The word Islam means submission−to the will, it is implied, of Allah. No religion was more appropriately named. At the height of its conquests in the 8th century A.D., the empire of Islam stretched from the Atlantic beaches of Portugal to the western fringe of China. It encompassed half the known world. This Moslem superstate was the largest religious and political bloc mankind had seen since the Augustan empire, and it had all been consolidated in a little more than 100 years after the death of the prophet Mohammed, in 632.

Fear of the...

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