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South Asia, Islam in

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    South Asia, Islam in

    Nearly 390 million people of the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka either define themselves as Muslims or are so defined by others. They belong to myriad groups whose members speak different languages and confront disparate socioeconomic circumstances. Islam arrived in India through two different routes: military campaigns by Turko-Afghans in the north, and southern Arabian traders in the south. The dominant political power from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries was the Mughal Empire, which left a rich tradition of Islamic scholarship in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and English. British colonial control ended Mughal power in 1857 . The subcontinent was partitioned into Hindu-dominated India and Muslim Pakistan in 1947 , reflecting sectarian hostilities engendered during Muslim dominance. East Pakistan became independent Bangladesh in 1971 following a bloody civil war. Religious-based conflicts continue on the subcontinent, and 120 million Indian Muslims feel threatened by the rise of militant Hinduism and a weakening of the secular foundations of the state.

    See also Afghanistan, Islam in; Bangladesh, Islam in; India, Islam in; Kashmir; Khilafat Movement; Mughal Empire; Pakistan, Islam in

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