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Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

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Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby PainDog » Fri May 18, 2018 8:33 am

There is a tendency, especially in the US and Canada, to confuse the terms Muslim, Middle Eastern, and Arab, and to use them somewhat synonymously.

Muslim represents people who follow the religion Islam. There are over a billion Muslims on the planet and they can be found in nearly every nation. The fact that there are so many Muslims with such a broad geographical distribution makes terms used in the western media like the “Muslim world” to generalize Muslim people, as if they were a single group, useless. For example, despite being predominantly Muslim countries Albania, Senegal, and Indonesia would have little in common with each other. People tend to have more in common with people of similar ethnic groups than they do to different ethnic groups in the same religion. A Bosniak and a Serb would have more in common with each other than a Bosniak and a Senegalese or Indonesian.

Middle East as a term itself is somewhat vague. Sometimes it’s defined as Southwest Asia, or Southwest Eurasia, which would include the Arab Levant, the Arabian Peninsula, and Iran, sometimes it includes Turkey. I prefer the definition proposed by anthropologist Carleton Coon which included the North of Africa from Morocco across to Egypt, the Levant, Arabian Peninsula, Turkey, Iran, and he even included the Caucuses which includes countries like Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and parts of Russia like Chechnya, and Dagestan.
Terms are generally coined to make communication easier. In the case of Middle East, it is used to group together people in a similar geographic region that have certain cultural similarities. Of course, there are no clear boundaries, but in order to make a definition practical you must draw certain limitations. Due to the influence of the Soviet Union and Russia in the Caucuses I would not include them as part of the Middle East. I would include the North of Africa all the way across the Arab world and include Iran and Turkey as the Middle East.
The various indigenous ethnic groups of this geographic region such as Kurds, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Berbers etc. would collectively be referred to as Middle Eastern.

Arabs represent the largest ethnic group in the Middle East. The Arabic language also has influenced other Middle Eastern ethnic groups, and Muslims in general where ever they might live. For example, it is common for Muslims regardless of their ethnicity to use Arabic names like Mohammed or Ahmed.

Islam as a religion had an important role with establishing the Arab ethnicity. Prior to the expansion of Islam from the Hejaz in what is now Saudi Arabia, between the years 600 and 700 the people we would come to think of as the “Arabs” were divided into several different ethnic groups.
Language plays a large role in ethnicity. People with similar languages are more likely to intermix with each other and come together to form a single larger ethnicity. The modern Italian ethnicity is the combination of several different ethnic groups that had related languages and were living in the Italian Peninsula, over time the different Italian people, became the Italian ethnic group.
At the time Islam began to spread out from the Arabian peninsula between the years 600 and 700 AD the Middle East had two major language groups the Afro-Asiatic language group which included the Semitic languages spoken in the Levant and Arabian Peninsula, Coptic spoken in Egypt, and Berber spoken in the North of Africa or the Maghreb as it is known in Arabic; the other major language group was the Indo-European language group which included Persian and other related languages such as Kurdish, Balouch, etc.
The majority of the Afro-Asiatic people in the Middle East would be united together through different dialects of the Arabic language and form the Arab ethnic group. At present the Arabic nations are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, U.A.E. Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the Afro-Arab nations Mauritania and Sudan.




The Afro-Asiatic people of the Middle East not only shared similar languages but they had also been united together at different points in history either through regional powers such as the Semitic Phoenicians, or from outside groups such as the Romans. Additionally, despite the distance between the western and eastern range of the Afro-Asiatic people going from what is today Morocco to Iraq, there was a geographic continuum with Mediterranean coasts being bordered by great deserts with large mountain ranges in between.

The cultural and geographic similarities led to similar life styles across the region prior to the region being united under a common ethnicity. There were people living in the Sahara of Algeria with very similar lifestyles to the people of the Najd in Saudi Arabia, and people living on the Tunisian coast with similarities to those living on the Lebanese coast.

Before we go further we must understand what an ethnicity actually is. It’s not just based on geography but on a shared culture, and culture includes all the components of society everything from political ideologies, to music and cuisine. The different people across the different regions of the Arab world influenced each other’s culture, and over time created all the elements we think of as Arab culture from Arabic music, to poetry, cuisine, and politics.


Music


literature


politics all elements of culture


Now Islam was important in uniting the Arabs into a single ethnic group, but not all people who assimilated into the Arab ethnic group were Muslims. There are to this day millions of Christian Arabs, they make up 10 percent of the population of Egypt, over 40 percent of the population of Lebanon, and are sizeable minorities in Syria, Iraq, and are present in smaller numbers even in Kuwait and Algeria. An interesting example was Emir Bashir Shihab of Lebanon who was a Christian descendant of the Prophet Mohammed.

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Bashir Shihab


In the same sense not all Arabs became Muslim, not all of the different ethnic groups adopted the Arab identity. To this day there are minority groups such as the Berbers in the Maghreb, who didn’t adopt the identity, as well as non-Afroasiatic groups living in the Arab world such as Armenians, Kurds, Persians, Turkmen, etc. After European colonialism many Arab Christians have tried to distance themselves from the Arab identity and have started to identify with pre-Arab ethnic groups such as Phoenician in Lebanon, Coptic in Egypt, and Assyrians in Iraq.


famous Algerian Berber singer Idir

Historically there were large Jewish populations across the Arab world. Since ethnicity is just a part of human culture, a common agreement amongst people, and not a fundamental truth, some Jews from the Arab world identify as being Jewish by ethnicity, others identify as being ethnic Arabs of the Jewish faith.

Eventually the Arabs would fall under the control of a non-Arab regional power during the dominance of the Turkish Ottoman empire. As the Ottoman empire fell apart in the early 20th century, and European colonizers began to control Arab nations, many Arabs migrated Europe and the Americas. The current number of descendants of Arab immigrants to the Americas and Europe number in the millions, with Brazil having a larger Lebanese population than Lebanon itself.

Many western celebrities are of Arab descent or descend from another ethnic group from the Arab world, often being mistaken for European descent since they do not fit the stereotypical look of someone from the Arab world or Middle East.
Jerry Seinfeld for example is of Syrian Jewish ancestry, the kid that plays Bruce Wayne on the TV show Gotham is of Tunisian Jewish descent.
There are significant numbers of people in Martial Arts of Arab descent or who descend from minority groups in the Arab world, like the significant number of Maghrebi kickboxers like Badr Hair or Yousri Belgaroui, MMA fighters like Rani Yahya, Tiki Ghosan, and other people involved in martial arts like Firas Zahabi, Wallid Ismail, Ali Abdelaziz, etc.




As far as the stereotypical look of people from the Middle East, whether it is Arabs or another ethnic group there are certain generalizations we can make.

The majority of the Arab population lives a few hundred kilometers from the Mediterranean coast and look more or less the same as Mediterranean Europeans. People living in mountainous areas have a tendency to be thicker built with an even lighter average complexion than the people living near the coast. The people living in the deserts tend to have the more stereotypical Middle Eastern look with brown skin.

Mediterranean look

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Tunisian Actor Dhafer L'Abdine

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Egyptian Actor Amir Youssef


look more associated with mountain populations

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Lebanese musician Ali Jaber


Desert looks

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Saudi comedian Nasser Kasabi

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Algerian musician Cheb Khaled

There are also sizeable Afro-Arab populations or people who are of Arab and Sub-Saharan African descent such as the majority of the populations in Sudan and Mauritania. While the people of the horn of Africa are not Arabs, they are Semitic and have a considerable amount of Arab admixture. Afro-Arabs are also a minority population in most Arab countries such as Tunisian MMA fighter Mansour Barnaoui.

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Re: Arab vs. Muslim vs. Middle Eastern

Postby bruins2012 » Fri May 18, 2018 9:29 am

:lol:
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Re: Arab vs. Muslim vs. Middle Eastern

Postby PainDog » Sat May 19, 2018 12:49 am

bruins2012 wrote::lol:


I hope you had fun on your birthday :tup:
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby Mr Meow » Mon May 21, 2018 2:27 pm

Very interesting read mr sir. As always from you it was very detailed oriented and informative.

Couple of questions


Can you give me the names of the regions of the Islamic world again? I remember in chat you said them but I totally forgot. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Kingdom of Bahrain were all a region under a certain umbrella term for example that you listed that I just can not remember.


How many of the Arab Christians actually have a claim to the pre-Arab ethnic groups such as Phoenicians and Assyrians and how many just want to distance themselves for whatever reason? I am ignorant on this topic but I can not imagine their are really very many direct descendants of Phoenicians and Assyrians still around.
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby EvilGorilla69+1 » Mon May 21, 2018 3:46 pm

I appreciate your effort to elaborate on some topic, but I don't currently have the mental capacity to comprehend what you are trying to discuss.

Cheers.
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby PainDog » Mon May 21, 2018 10:58 pm

Mr Meow wrote:Very interesting read mr sir. As always from you it was very detailed oriented and informative.

Couple of questions


Can you give me the names of the regions of the Islamic world again? I remember in chat you said them but I totally forgot. Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Kingdom of Bahrain were all a region under a certain umbrella term for example that you listed that I just can not remember.


How many of the Arab Christians actually have a claim to the pre-Arab ethnic groups such as Phoenicians and Assyrians and how many just want to distance themselves for whatever reason? I am ignorant on this topic but I can not imagine their are really very many direct descendants of Phoenicians and Assyrians still around.



Thank you Mr. Meow I really appreciate the feedback.

The Arabic nations are divided into different regions:

The Meghreb: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya all of these countries share Berber heritage.
Mauritania is also regarded as part of the Meghreb but it's history is a bit different.


Egypt: Egypt is a unique region unto itself. It's culture is uniquely Egyptian though it does influence neighbouring parts of Libya and parts of Palestine.
Sudan is quite different from Egypt, but due to the Nile it is politically very influenced by it. Sudan's culture is an interesting mix of Sub-Saharan African, with Arabian Peninsula, and Egyptian influences.

Sham or the Levant: Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and parts of Iraq. Prior to the adoption of Arabic all of these nations were speaking Assyrian. Their culture are quite similar. On average the people from this region are the palest in the Arab world and people with very pale skin, blonde hair, and blue is not uncommon.

Al Khaleej or the Arabian Gulf: This region should be divided into two different regions, usually though the entire Arabian Peninsula is included which would be Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, U.A.E., Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Yemen.
Oman and Yemen should be separated as their history is quite different. Yemen was historically a nation that had water and and agricultural and supported civilization. The northern parts of the Arabian peninsula were almost entirely Bedouin and their region extended into parts of Syria, Iraq, and Egypt.


The Islamic world just means wherever Muslims are...if we go by Muslim majority countries it would be connected to many different regions around the world from the Balkans in Eastern Europe, countries in West Africa, the horn of Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, etc.

Most of the people living in the different regions still have direct heritage to the ancient people of the region. This is the case wherever you are in the world. People in Macedonia are descendants of the ancient Macedonians even if they now speak a language closer to Russian tha to Greek.

Cultural changes happen much more often and quicker than biological changes. Each civilization which developed did so as different groups began to adopt a common identity. For example people who were ethnic Ghauls in the northern parts of France and Roman and Greek people from.the South of France over time merged into the modern French identity. That doesn't mean the genetics or heritage of the Ghauls disappeared, it just means how they identify themselves changed.


So the people in the Levant have direct heritage from the Assyrian (which had already had replaced the Phoenician identity hundreds of years before Islam) people it would be their base population, albeit with a strong influence of Bedouins coming from the Arabian peninsula.

The people of Egypt are the direct descendants of the ancient and Coptic Egyptian, again it is their base population but they also have influence from Bedouins coming from the Arabian peninsula.

The people of the Meghreb are the direct descendants of the Berber people, again it's their base but like then other regions they also have influence from the Arabian peninsula

Christian Arab populations which reject the Arab identity are primarily Lebanese and Egyptian, though the sentiment might be larger among immigrants from any Arab nation trying to assimilate into Europe or America.

Maybe 10 percent of Palestinians and around 25 percent of Syrians are Christian and I have never heard of any that rejected the Arab identity.

On the contrary two of the most important Arab political and social theorists were Edward Said a Christian Palestinian and Michel Aflac. Michel founded the bathist political party which Bashir Al Assad in Syria is a member of and so was Saddam Hussein.






What is interesting is most of the political turmoil in the region has involved secular regimes, such as Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, and Assad in Syria...but people in the West particularly America view them all as Islamicist.

Unfortunately the way in which these regimes were removed, or in the cae of Syria heavily diminished, allowed the Islamicists an opportunity to take over and that is what has happened in large parts of Libya, Syria, and Iraq.
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby PainDog » Mon May 21, 2018 11:07 pm

EvilGorilla69+1 wrote:I appreciate your effort to elaborate on some topic, but I don't currently have the mental capacity to comprehend what you are trying to discuss.

Cheers.


Greece has many similarities with the Arab world in particular the Levant.

This is due to the influence of the Ottoman empire but also just due to geography since they are geographically quite close.
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby EvilGorilla69+1 » Tue May 22, 2018 6:17 am

Where were u....?When Alexander the Great raped all Asia and Africa..? Did it make u feel like crying..? Or did u think it was kind of gay?

I still believe in the similarities of our people, I just want to add one more reason..

Alexander, son of Philip the second.. ;)
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby PainDog » Tue May 22, 2018 11:17 am

EvilGorilla69+1 wrote:Where were u....?When Alexander the Great raped all Asia and Africa..? Did it make u feel like crying..? Or did u think it was kind of gay?

I still believe in the similarities of our people, I just want to add one more reason..

Alexander, son of Philip the second.. ;)


Of course I am aware of the Macedonian Alexander....they even have an impressive statue of him in Skopje.

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:wink:
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby DeceptaCon » Wed May 23, 2018 12:14 pm

PainDog wrote:
EvilGorilla69+1 wrote:Where were u....?When Alexander the Great raped all Asia and Africa..? Did it make u feel like crying..? Or did u think it was kind of gay?

I still believe in the similarities of our people, I just want to add one more reason..

Alexander, son of Philip the second.. ;)


Of course I am aware of the Macedonian Alexander....they even have an impressive statue of him in Skopje.

Image

:wink:

Don't forget the ancient Phoenicians that predate all of the above mentioned cultures.

The oldest of these theories was conveyed to us by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who suggested the Phoenicians had come from the Red (Erythraean) Sea.[iii] By this the Greeks meant the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean, with the term later being applied to what we know today as the Red Sea beside Egypt.[iv] This legend was repeated from time to time in antiquity, though modern research has cast serious doubt upon that possibility, as we will see. Herodotus documented this legend on the opening page of his Histories:

Originally, these people came to our sea from the Red Sea, as it is known. No sooner had they settled in the land they still inhabit than they turned to overseas travel.

Herodotus 1:1

The second theory to emerge suggested the Phoenicians had arisen out of the wider group of people known as Canaanites, who many years earlier had populated the wide swath of land between Anatolia (modern Turkey) and Egypt. Maurice Dunand, who performed some of the highly revealing archaeological excavations at Byblos, was among the people whose data supported this conclusion.[v]

Another theory asserted that the existing cities at Byblos, Sidon, Tyre, and the towns around them were conquered by the Sea Peoples about 1200 B.C.—and that the merging of Sea Peoples with these local inhabitants created the Phoenicians. Gerhard Herm and others have espoused this view.[vi] The major drawback to this theory is that it was formulated prior to the archaeological excavations at several Phoenician cities. Those excavations have shown there was no destruction or societal change in these cities at that time. Nevertheless, some individuals continue to adhere to variations of this “conquest” view.

The remaining theory, which has become popular in some academic circles, is that Phoenician cities existed prior to 1200 B.C., but did not become differentiated from their neighbors until after the appearance of the Sea Peoples. This theory does not claim the Sea Peoples attacked the Phoenician cities. In fact it notes exactly the opposite. It states the Sea Peoples conquered only the surrounding peoples in the Levant,[vii] causing those people to become different than the Phoenicians. Because of this, the Phoenicians are then said to have emerged as a separate people only after 1200 B.C., and their “origin” is attributed to that date. This view has been proposed by Sabatino Moscati,[viii] Sandro Filippo Bondi[ix] and others.

A history that can rightly be called Phoenician started in the 12th century B.C. Barely touched by the great upheavals caused by the invasion of the “Peoples of the Sea,” Phoenicia…from this period onwards shows a marked differentiation from the neighboring areas....

The Course of History

Sandro Filippo Bondi

In other words. . .
Spoiler:
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They set up the original grid system that all other cultures still use to this day. The 33rd parallel where most wars, death camps/death penalty prisons and the world's blood-letting occurs. The illussion is maintained thru the energy released and harnessed on the 33rd parallel. The names of the city are the same when they went west and expanded. Egypt, Memphis, Lebanon, Phoenix all the way to California. There is nothing new under the son. Most false flags are conducted on the 33rd parallel. The Phoenicians created this ancient Babylonian system that the elites still maintain thru blood sacrifices and constant sufferring. Its not randomn.
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby blackmetalcarson » Sat May 26, 2018 4:01 pm

Bacon or GTFO
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby EvilGorilla69+1 » Thu May 31, 2018 3:07 pm

blackmetalcarson wrote:Kevin Bacon or GTFO
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby Naber » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:32 am

Well done :tup: :tup: !! i have been using this as a reference for my students.

I tutor Arabic at a local community college :biggrin:
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby KingOfPancrase » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:28 am

Judaism, Christianity, Islam....don't care. All Abrahamic bullshit. Switching seats on the Titanic.
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Re: Difference in terms Arab, Muslim, and Middle Eastern

Postby PainDog » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:51 am

Naber wrote:Well done :tup: :tup: !! i have been using this as a reference for my students.

I tutor Arabic at a local community college :biggrin:


Thank you very much, I could not have asked for a bigger compliment.
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