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Woman and Islam

by Elihu Grant

published in Life and Light for Woman, 42:1, page 13
Boston: Woman's Board of Missions, 1912-01

1. Text — excerpt from article

This leads to another point about Islam. There are very many sects or denominations among them and much historic dispute lies behind them. It is imperative to know about the particular kind of Moslem with which one deals, as almost any statement made about a given Moslem might be contradicted from acquaintance with some other sect or development of Islam. For example the Moslems of Turkey and those of Persia are bitterly hostile to each other in a number of points which may lead to fatal results in the very city of Mecca where pilgrims of both countries meet. Or further how different would be a member of the ancient party of Assassins or of the modern Babists, or a brother of Es Senussi and a member of the Young Turkish party. Yet these would all be reckoned as Moslems.

The nearest Moslem effect upon Americans is the Babist or Bahaist movement which claims the devotion of a number of American women. The leader of this new movement is a Persian who has lived at times in Haifa or Acre, in Syria, and who is called the Bab or the door, presumably to God or truth. His very humane code is beautiful and a number of women of our country are his devotees. It is for the women of America to decide whether the religious and social spirit of our land shall be genuinely Christian or whether it shall follow some non-Christian ideal.

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