Stephen King - Film Elements

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The African Jihads Jihad, the Muslim word meaning holy war. During the 18th and 19th centuries, this word brought fear to anyone who did not fully believe in the Islamic state and resided in West Africa. The Jihads of this era not only changed the faith of many people, but also the landscape of West African democracy. Although Islamic Jihads had occurred in the past, they never surmounted to the magnitude of those of the 18th century. What factors and leaders caused the West African Jihads, of the 18th and 19th centuries, to be so effective? The people of West Africa were tired of governments who constantly over taxed its constituents, and simply did not care for the well being of common individuals. The Islamic religion, which was brought to Africa by Muslim traders, provided individuals a new opportunity of promise, equality, and the possibility of becoming a spiritual being. Islam embraced the majority of West African people and became known as the dominant religion of the region. During the end of the 18th century followers of the religion came to the conclusion that it was simply not sufficient to have Islam be the dominant religion of the area. They felt that Islam needed to be part of the government, instead of having the separation of church and state. In the 18th and 19th centuries the Islamic population of West Africa united with the common belief that under Sharia(Islamic law) the government would not oppress individuals, and the law of the Koran would become the law of the land. "The Sharia provided an alternative model of government with which to compare and confront rulers." This movement, which focused on expelling the non-Orthodox Muslim leaders of West Africa, is due to the leadership of Usman Dan Fodio and Al-Hajj-Umar. These men paved the way for the expansion of Islam through the creation of the Orthodox Sokoto and Tukolor Empires. The rise of the Islamic Jihad and the expansion of both Empires, are at the outset due to the oppression of the Fulbe people in the early 1700''s. The Fulbe were pastoralist nomads who at the time had settled in the region of Futa Jalon, which is present day state of Guinea. In this region the Fulbe were oppressed by the ruling pagan farmers, who considered them intruders to the land. These pagan authoritarians subjugated the Fulbe people to extraneous taxes and enforced several laws to keep them from trading. Due to these extreme factors, the Fulbe looked to answer their miseries by turning to the religion of Islam, which promised a better future.
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