Elliott both are classified as monotheistic.Another similarity

Elliott CommersMs. ArnesonWorld HistoryJanuary 1 2018The Diffusion of Hinduism and Islam into Modern SocietyIntroduction    Throughout history, the world has seen the birth of many visionaries, who created many different religions. Of all these visionaries and all these religions, only a few remain today. In this essay I will be focusing on comparing the spread, belief systems, and diffusion in modern society of Islam and Hinduism.

While these two religions have some similarities, Hinduism has diffused more broadly into modern culture, perhaps due to its more passive nature.Similarities    Though Hinduism and Islam seem like completely different religions from completely different regions of the world, there are still some similarities between them. Both of these religions are monotheistic, though you could argue Hinduism is polytheistic, all of their deities are actually forms of one god, or Brahman. Unlike hinduism, Islam is well known for being monotheistic. Though sometimes argued, both are classified as monotheistic.Another similarity is the way these religions have spread. Both Hinduism and Islam spread along trade routes. Islam spread through the sahara desert to Northwest Africa, where native people discovered a brotherhood and community in Islam and through the middle east to Southwest Asia where Islam has historically clashed with asian religions.

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Hinduism spread throughout india, and then bubbled over into the rest of southeast asia, accompanying traders seeking religion and hope.The last commonly known similarity is both have fought in conflicts for their religion, in some cases against each other. Starting almost 75 years ago, Muslim Pakistanis and Hindu Indians have fought skirmish after skirmish over who owns pakistan (History.state.gov, The India Pakistani War of 1965). The last true violent conflict was in 1999, but to this day the border is heavily patrolled, and tensions remain high.Differences    The number of differences between these religions greatly outweigh the similarities. They are almost polar opposites from the core beliefs to the places they are worshipped.

Hinduism offers a more passive, natural feel to your life, while islam is more rigid, with less focus on getting to know yourself and more focus on doing what you think God (or Allah) wishes you to do. In islam, as with other Abrahamic faiths, conversion of other people has always been a goal. This is not so in Hinduism, and this is one of the reasons there is such a smaller Hindu population in a smaller area. Hinduism can be practiced in the home, using a small shrine dedicated to a specific form of Brahman, unlike Islam which can only for the most part be practiced in a Mosque. Of course you can pray anywhere, but I mean like a temple or church. The differences between these religions paint a stark contrast.

And it is plausible this is why they diffused so differently.DiffusionIn the United States, we often do not open our minds to other cultures. But, as you will soon find out, many cultures find their way into our lives while avoiding suspicion from cynical racists who do not appreciate the things foreign ideas can do for us. One example of this is yoga. Traditionally practiced in Hindu and Buddhist meditation, yoga diffused into American culture to become a mainstream activity. Another example of Hinduism diffusing into modern society and culture is the rising popularity of meditation. This sometimes goes hand in hand with yoga, helping people relax and soothe their minds. Hinduism has had an easy time diffusing into American culture, and I wish I could same the same thing about Islam.

It was very difficult to think of examples of Islamic diffusion, but I came up with two. The first of these is architecture. Mosques have been built all around the United States, as a place for American Muslims to worship, and for the second one, Middle Eastern food has become popular in the United States. Though that is not part of the religion, I would say it counts because religion is tied to culture, and food is part of culture. By 2050, the global Muslim population is expected to rise.by 73%, and the Hindu population is expected to rise by 35%.

(Pew Research Center) Hopefully this means Islamic and Hindu religions will become even more diffused into the Melting Pot of the United States.Conclusion    While Islam and Hinduism are very different religions, they have many similarities. As time goes on I hope that these religions will diffuse even more into our society, and become key pieces of our culture, more than they already are. With the populations of both religions predicted to rise in the next 30 years, I’d say were on track.Works CitedMeredith, Susan, et al. The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World Religions. EDC Publishing, 2002.

Inglehart, Ronald, and Pippa Norris. 2009. Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations. HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP09-007, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.Pew Research Center “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050” April 2, 2015Sterns, Peter.

“Islam from the Beginning to 1300.” Islam Arabia Before The Prophet 1992, history-world.org/islam.htm.US Department of State, Office of the Historian. “The India-Pakistan War of 1965″https://history.state.gov/milestones/1961-1968/india-pakistan-war


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