A Greater Dar al-Islam and an Ever Shrinking Dar al-Harb / a resurgent Islam TL

Introduction
A Greater Dar al-Islam and an Ever Shrinking Dar al-Harb
This timeline is partly inspired by the Muslim World: The True Faith timeline and by an in-development mod for Hearts of Iron 4 called Bayt al-Hikmah, though with my own views and interpretations on how an Islam-dominated world would look. The point of divergence is the death of Charles Martel at the siege of Avignon in 737; from my reading, this is a perfect point to break the Carolingian empire before it began and cause a lot infighting in Francia.

The point of this timeline is not necessarily to create a Muslim Europe (though that may end up happening) but instead to prevent Western Europe from becoming the world's dominant region, and so keep dominance in the Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Feel free to comment and offer criticism on the timeline.

A note on naming: I will try to maintain a consistent approach to names of people and places but this of course can be tricky when dealing with transliteration from other scripts.
 
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Prelude
Prelude

Following the gradual collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the former provinces of Gaul hosted a variety of successor states of mixed provenance; they were mostly Germanic, Gallo-Roman, and Celtic. Among these states the Germanic Franks soon became the most dominant, conquering most of Gaul and embracing Christianity under the leadership of their Merovingian dynasty. The defeated enemies of the Franks included: the Gallo-Roman state ruled by Syagrius; the kingdom of the Burgundians; and the kingdom of the Visigoths. The latter though retained their hold on Hispania and their territory in southern Gaul, Septimania. The later Merovingian kings progressively lost their power to their mayors of the palace, an administrative role within each constituent kingdom of the growing Frankish empire. By the empire’s end the positions had become monopolised by a few influential families; Pippin of Herstal was the most powerful mayor, so much so that he was able claim the title of Duke and Prince of the Franks. Pippin was succeeded, after a brief civil war, by his son Charles, nicknamed Martellus “the hammer”, in 718 CE.

Meanwhile in the Middle East, the Eastern Roman Empire and the Sasanian Empire of Iran continually fought each other for control of Syria and Armenia. Their final war, which occurred from 602-630 CE, exacerbated the internal instabilities of both states and left them completely unprepared for the appearance of Islam in Arabia. Muhammad, a member of the Quraysh tribe in the Hejaz, was expelled from Mecca along with his followers due to their new religious beliefs which drew inspiration from Judaism, Christianity, and Arab paganism, among other religions. Through a series of military campaigns and alliances, the Arabian Peninsula was united under the Prophet’s rule by the time of his death in 632 CE. Under his successors, the Rashidun (“Rightly Guided”) Caliphs, the Sasanian Empire was annexed in its entirety while the Roman Empire lost most of its territory in the Middle East and North Africa. Islamic expansion was briefly halted due to the civil war between Ali, the fourth Caliph and cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, and Muawiyah, a distant relation within the Quraysh tribe. Muawiyah and his supporters were victorious and proceeded to establish the hereditary Umayyad Caliphate. The Caliphate’s armies continued to expand across North Africa and into Visigothic Hispania. From there they began to conquer Gaul.

By 713 CE the Visigoths had been pushed from Hispania into Septimania. The Umayyad governor of al-Andalus [Hispania], al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani, led an army into Septimania in 719 CE and successfully besieged the city of Narbonne. Forces were garrisoned at the other conquered towns of Septimania and then al-Khawlani marched to the Duchy of Aquitaine. Its ruler Odo was officially a vassal of the Frankish king, and therefore also of Charles Martel, yet the duchy had achieved de facto independence during the brief Frankish civil war. The Umayyad army besieged Toulouse but were set upon by Odo’s army three months later; the Umayyads were defeated and al-Khawlani slain. Anbasa ibn Suhaym al-Kalbi, the succeeding governor of al-Andalus, immediately led an expedition to conquer the rest of Septimania. From this secured position he advanced into Frankish-ruled Burgundy and reached as far as Autun in the north, before succumbing to natural causes upon which his army retreated to friendly territory.

During the consolidation of Umayyad control of Septimania, a Berber commander named Uthman ibn Naissa declared independence from the Umayyads in 731 CE and allied with Odo of Aquitaine. The Andalusian governor Abd al-Rahman ibn Abd Allah al-Ghafiqi led an army to defeat Uthman and then marched to face Odo. The Duke of Aquitaine was however fending off an invasion from the north by Charles Martel, leaving his subordinates to face al-Ghafiqi. The Umayyads were again victorious near Bordeaux. Odo’s defeat induced him to submit to the Duke and Prince of the Franks, and together they overwhelmed the Umayyad army near Tours and killed the Andalusian governor. Despite the setback the succeeding governor, Abd al-Malik ibn Katan al-Fihri, received fealty from Duke Maurontus of Provence. The latter feared the threat of the expansionist Franks, especially once Charles Martel allied with King Liutprand of the Lombards. The Frankish campaign into the Rhone valley began in 736 CE.
 
The Siege of Avignon (737 CE) and its aftermath
The Siege of Avignon (737 CE) and its aftermath

The city of Avignon was Charles Martel’s first target for his campaign; an Umayyad army of Arabs and Berbers had entered the city in 734 CE, bolstering the garrison of Goths and Gallo-Romans. Duke Childebrand of Burgundy, Charles’ brother, and his army was dispatched to besiege the city in 736 CE. At about the same time the armies of Liutprand of Lombardia invaded Provence from the east. The Duke and Prince of the Franks himself arrived soon after his brother’s commencement of the siege; the garrison were outnumbered. However the Umayyads controlled the seas, allowing the governor of Arbuna [Narbonne], Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri, to swiftly transport his army to Marseille where he convinced Duke Maurontus of Provence to ignore the Lombard forces in the east and instead concentrate on relieving the siege at Avignon; his reasoning being that Liutprand’s Frankish alliance would falter at the first sign of trouble. Maurontus reluctantly agreed and together their armies marched to Avignon. The Frankish besiegers were just about outnumbered by the arriving Umayyad army and failed to respond adequately to the surprise. The fast-moving Arab and Berber cavalry prevented the besieging soldiers from taking up defensive positions, giving the infantry time to close the gap. It was at that point the Avignon garrison sallied forth and joined the fray. Amidst the chaos both Charles Martel and Childebrand were killed,[1] leading to a mass rout among the Frankish survivors. With the Frankish threat removed the Umayyad army turned east to deal with the Lombards. The extent of the Lombard campaign was their ravaging of the farmland between Toulon and Marseille; when news reached them from Avignon, the army abandoned its campaign and retreated.

The death of Charles Martel caused pandemonium within the Frankish empire, worsened soon afterwards by the death of the puppet King Theodoric IV. Charles had yet to divide the empire among his young sons Pippin, Carloman, and Grifo. The former two were in their early twenties while Grifo was not yet a teenager. Such weakness was immediately exploited by the vassal states: the dukes Hunald of Aquitaine, Odilo of Bavaria, and Theodebald of Alemannia rebelled in a coordinated attack against Frankish garrisons in their territories. Meanwhile Pippin and Carloman rallied their bases of support and fought each other across northern Francia. Sensing the opportunity to establish Bavarian hegemony over the Franks, Odilo proclaimed Grifo, his great-nephew, as king of the Franks. He did not consult his Aquitanian and Alemannic allies about this however and so soured his relations with them. Grifo was extracted from danger in Francia and brought to the Bavarian capital of Regensburg where he was crowned as king of Francia and demanded the submission of his brothers. Needless to say, his demands were ignored. In the midst of the Christian infighting, al-Fihri’s army marched further north along the Rhone subjugating towns, culminating in the siege of Lyon in 738 CE. The lord of Lyon surrendered when al-Fihri assured him Burgundian law would be respected. A large number of Berbers were garrisoned in the city, while the rest of the army divided to assert dominion over the outlying Burgundian towns to the south.


Later depiction of Charles Martel and his sons Pippin and Carloman

In response to the Bavarian declaration of Grifo as King of the Franks, Hunald felt betrayed by his ally and declared himself King of Aquitaine. To ensure his independence he sent an embassy to Andalusian governor Uqba ibn al-Hajjaj al-Sululi offering a treaty of non-aggression and non-interference in each other’s realms. While the status of Iruna [Pamplona] was left undecided, the governor accepted as there was growing unrest among his Berber troops. The Frankish civil war meanwhile had reached something of a stalemate: Carloman had solidified his power in the Frankish homeland of Austrasia, while Pippin ruled from Neustria in the west. Even though both of them had been enraged by their half-brother Grifo’s pretensions to all of Francia, their youthful arrogance prevented them setting aside their differences and working together.[2] In 739 CE Pippin was convinced by his allies to declare himself King of Neustria. Further enraged, Carloman proclaimed himself King of the Franks; though he certainly had a more tangible claim to the title than Grifo, he did not even control all of Austrasia as the region around Reims was still in contention with Pippin. The centuries-long Frankish empire had finally come to its end.

[1] This, as you can probably tell, is the point of divergence.
[2] OTL Carloman and Pippin did cooperate after Charles Martel’s death in 741 to dispossess Grifo.
 
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Well the Fun Begins, with a longer victory things will be interesting in andalus and Aquitane working as a new border make life easier for Andalusi pyrenees side, specially Barshiluna
 
The Berber Revolt
The Berber Revolt

Before describing the events of the Berber Revolt it is worth explaining the intentions and nature of early Islamic rule. Islam was originally envisioned as an exclusively Arab religion, though there were exceptions of small groups of converts, such as captured Persian soldiers, who could easily fit into Islamic Arab society. The early Islamic state was supposed to be a two-tier system of a tribal military Islamic Arab elite ruling over a subject but protected non-Muslim population. This however was clearly unfeasible. The Arabs required the expertise of native power structures to govern a large, rapidly expanding and multicultural empire. Many administrators converted to enhance their career prospects while native nobility sought to maintain their status by escaping the burdens of the jizya and kharaj taxes on non-Muslims. The common folk, the rural peasantry and the urban poor, also wished to escape yet more taxes. On the other hand genuine religious conversion must not be discounted. The rapid victory of Islamic armies suggested that perhaps the divine was on their side, and the suspension of traditional state support for religious elites and hierarchies produced a vacuum of authority. To Jews and Christians, the Muslims claimed to be the latest (and correct) interpretation of God’s revelation. The Islamic Caliphate’s response to non-Arab conversion was inconsistent and confused; some governors were lenient in accepting converts, while others required strict overt displays of conversion. The problem however was that a large proportion of revenue was derived from dhimmi-related taxes. Solutions to this potential loss of income included the creation of new taxes, the assignment of mawla (client) status to new converts, or just the outright refusal to accept converts. Consequently, non-Arab Muslims were to a varying extent discriminated against.

The Berber tribes and states of North Africa initially proved to be a strong obstacle to Islamic expansion and were only really subjugated just prior to the beginning of the invasion of Hispania in 711 CE. Many tribes converted to Islam, for the reasons already enumerated, though notable Christian and Jewish communities remained. The recent Berber converts played a major role in the conquest of Hispania: Musa ibn Nusayr, the Arab governor of Ifriqiya [Africa], appointed his Berber mawla Tariq ibn Ziyad as governor of the nascent al-Andalus and ordered him to conquer the Visigothic kingdom. Most, if not all, of Tariq’s army were Berbers; the second army, commanded by Musa, was a considerably more mixed composition of Berbers and Arabs. Berber armies, usually organised on a traditional tribal basis, were garrisoned throughout al-Andalus and Gaul. Echoing the problems across the Caliphate, the Muslim Berbers in the Maghreb, al-Andalus, and Ifriqiya were subject to conditions akin to the dhimmi. In response to the government’s mistreatment of non-Arab Muslims a number of religious movements appeared or grew in popularity. The most important in the west were the Kharijites; they were established after the khalifah Ali’s apparent betrayal when he agreed to negotiate the caliphal succession with Muawiyah. The founding belief of the Kharijites was that only God could judge one’s rule, and this was demonstrated through victory in battle. This belief led them to the conclusion that any pious Muslim could be the leader of the Islamic community, the Imam, and therefore all Muslims were equal. Such a belief system was, for obvious reasons, attractive to the downtrodden Berbers of the west.

The Berber Revolt began in the Maghreb in 739 CE when its governor Umar ibn al-Muradi declared the Berbers in his province to be a “conquered people”. The tribes had had enough; they waited until Habib ibn Abu Ubayda al-Fihri[1] departed on his expedition to Roman Sicily before gathering their strength under the leadership of Maysara al-Matghari. Maysara, as leader of the prominent Matghari/Imteghren tribe, had previously conducted delegations to Dimashq [Damascus] to present the caliph with complaints about discrimination against the Berbers, though to no avail. Governor al-Muradi was killed and Maysara proclaimed as the amir al-mu’minin (commander of the faithful), a title that was exclusively held by the caliphs. The Berbers were therefore issuing a direct challenge to Umayyad authority. After seizing control of Tanja [Tangier], the Berber rebels marched east towards al-Qayrawan [Kairouan] collecting more soldiers along the way. Ifriqiyan governor Ubayd Allah ibn al-Habhab al-Mawsili, surprised though he was, recalled the Sicilian expedition and dispatched a small army of noble Arab cavalry to intercept the Berbers before they reached Tilimsan [Tlemcen]. The Arabs succeeded in intercepting the Berbers and attacked them near Tanja in 740 CE; Maysara momentarily hesitated but held firm and rallied his troops to respond in kind.[2] Even though the skilled Arab cavalry inflicted a serious number of casualties, the superior numbers and local knowledge of the Berbers gave them the advantage and resulted in a massacre of almost the entire Arab army. The returning Sicilian expedition arrived too late after the battle and so retreated to Tilimsan. There they found the city’s Berber population in open revolt after the governor began to round up Kharijite agitators. With the city’s Arab garrison in tow, al-Fihri’s army retreated to Tahert and sent a request for reinforcements.

The situation in al-Andalus took a different direction. Upon hearing the news of the Arab defeat near Tanja the Berbers, who comprised most of the Muslim Andalusian soldiers, began leaving their posts and converging near Tulaytula [Toledo]. Fearing the confrontation with the Berbers, the Andalusian Arab nobility deposed governor Uqba ibn al-Hajjaj al-Sululi and raised in his place his predecessor Abd al-Malik ibn Katan al-Fihri, who had a more even-handed reputation. In the confusion a number of north-western forts and cities abandoned by the Berbers were conquered by King Alfonso I of Asturias, third in a line of Visigothic noblemen who had so far proven to be nothing more than a nuisance. At the far edge of Umayyad control in Burgundy, the Berber garrisons were also growing mutinous. Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri, effectively governor of all of Islamic-ruled Gaul, recognised that the Berber Revolt had the potential to threaten all of the gains he had made over the previous years. Yet he recognised that he also had an opportunity; he was popular among his men, both Arab and Berber, and he had cultivated connections among the Christian vassal lords. With this in mind, he forwarded messages to his Berber garrison commanders promising the end of discrimination if they supported his accession to governor of al-Andalus. After a tense period of waiting, replies arrived from his subordinates; they agreed to his plan. Leaving a garrison in Lyon, Yusuf marched south at the head of a Berber army.


A depiction of Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri's Berber cavalry, along with their attendants

Meanwhile, Habib ibn Abu Ubayda al-Fihri’s plea to Dimashq for reinforcements had been heeded. Caliph Hisham raised a large army of Arabs from al-Sham [Syria] and Misr [Egypt], commanded by Kulthum ibn Iyadh al-Qushayri who was to take governorship of Ifriqiya, the Maghreb, and al-Andalus when he arrived. The advance party of the Umayyad army reached al-Qayrawan in 741 CE. Its commander Balj ibn Bishr al-Qushayri clashed with the city’s garrison commanders and billeted his troops without the city’s permission. The tension was partly caused by the old conflict between the “northern” Qays Aylan tribal confederation, to which the arriving reinforcements belonged to, and the “southern” Qahtan tribal confederation, to which the original Islamic Arab conquerors of the west belonged. Kulthum ibn Iyadh arrived before the conflict turned serious, and collected his vanguard and marched to meet Habib ibn Abu Ubayda al-Fihri near Tahert. Habib ibn Abu Ubayda however had heard of Balj ibn Bishr’s provocations in al-Qayrawan and the two, along with their troops, would have started a new civil war if not for the mediation of the new governor. The larger, but fractious, army marched west to force the Berbers into battle; the two armies met at Baqdura, near the modern city of Fes. The eastern reinforcements ignored the advice of those they had allegedly come to save, leading to their cavalry being isolated and massacred by the Berbers, while the Arab infantry were overwhelmed by the substantially larger enemy army. Kulthum ibn Iyadh and Habib ibn Abu Ubayda were among the dead. Balj ibn Bishr gathered the paltry remains of the army and marched north to Sabtah [Ceuta], where they fortified themselves and begged the Andalusians for safe passage.

The army of Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al Fihri took ship from Provence to Balansiyya [Valencia] and from there marched to Tulaytula, which the Berber rebels were besieging. The ambitious commander presented the rebels with the same proposal as the one to his own troops. Though they were more sceptical, the Berber rebels eventually agreed. With the city’s Berber population near revolt, the garrison accepted Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman’s offer to surrender. After reinstating Tulaytula’s Berber garrison, the rebels marched south to the provincial capital of Qurtuba [Cordoba]. Before beginning the siege, Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman implored his relative, the governor Abd al-Malik ibn Katan, to resign voluntarily and join him in establishing responsible government. The governor considered the situation; the Umayyad reinforcements were too far away and also were mostly comprised of the hated Qays,[3] while he himself could only rely on a small and still dispersed Arab army. Abd al-Malik reluctantly agreed to his kinsman’s terms and surrendered the city to his command. Yusuf had little time to rest on his laurels however, as news reached them of the Umayyad defeat at Baqdura and Balj ibn Bishr’s flight to Sabtah. The new governor faced a dilemma: giving refuge to the rival Qays would seriously aggrieve his Berber soldiers and thus threaten his newfound power; on the other hand, this early in his tenure Yusuf was keen to receive caliphal recognition of his governorship. On a more personal note his father Abd al-Rahman ibn Habib was serving with the trapped army. The solution was a risky one: he would transport the Umayyad army from Sabtah to Tunis in Ifriqiya. Though this would weaken the Berber Revolt in Ifriqiya and displease some of Yusuf’s own Berber troops, it would at least appear to the central government that he was fighting the rebels.

After the Battle of Baqdura, the revolt began to spread further east. A Kharijite preacher named Uqasha ibn Ayub al-Fezari assembled a Berber army and conquered Gabis and Gafsa in southern Ifriqiya. At the end of 741 CE Caliph Hisham ordered Misri governor Handhala ibn Safwan al-Kalbi to take his army west and restore order. Even though al-Fezari’s army was defeated by the Ifriqiyan garrison, the latter were too small to pursue and decisively end the threat the rebels posed. The Misri reinforcements arrived at al-Qayrawan in 742 CE at approximately the same time as Balj ibn Bishr’s army. This was just as well, as a large army commanded by the Berber chief Abd al-Wahid ibn Yazid al-Hawwari marched east toward al-Qayrawan. Al-Fezari met the incoming rebels and the two commanders agreed to come at the provincial capital from two directions. Al-Kalbi dispatched his cavalry to harass the larger army under al-Hawwari while he led most of his forces against al-Fezari; the latter’s army was defeated and the Kharijite preacher was captured. The Umayyad army retreated to al-Qayrawan and conscripted most of the city’s able-bodied population. The enlarged army marched out to meet the rebels and a battle of epic proportions followed. Even with the reinforcements the Umayyad army only just defeated the rebels, both sides suffering grievous losses. Al-Hawwari was killed in battle and the survivors of his army retreated west. Ifriqiya had been saved and the Berber Revolt ended, but the Maghreb was forever lost to the Umayyad Caliphate.

[1] Grandfather of Yusuf ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri.
[2] OTL, Maysara retreated from the battle which led to him being overthrown and killed by the other Berbers.
[3] The Battle of Baqdura had not yet happened.
 
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It was longer than I had originally planned, but the Berber Revolt was such an important event for the western Islamic world that it needs a proper account when the west is going off on such a divergence.

The next update will be about the immediate aftermath for these new polities.
 
What? Where did you get that from?
I've been studying early Islam for a few years now, and that is the growing consensus in recent historiography. A good starting point is Hugh Kennedy's The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates, 600–1050. As I hoped to demonstrate in my post, the early Islamic government didn't want mass conversion, and when it did happen they tried to maintain Arab dominance within the Islamic community.
That's not kharijite thought. That's what the Sunnis believe.
That is indeed what the Kharijites believed. What we consider to be orthodox Sunnism took centuries to develop, mostly in reaction to ideologies such as the Kharijites, Murji'ites, early Shi'ism and so on. As an aside, in Sunnism the concept of the Imamah is very different to other denominations (especially Shia). To Sunnis, an imam is just any religious leader of an Islamic community. Contrast that to other denominations whereby the Imam is the leader of the entire Islamic community (the umma). If you meant the caliph/khalifah then yes eventually orthodox Sunnism did come to hold that belief, but it took a while to get there (by which point the concept of the universal Islamic caliphate had severely declined).
 
I've been studying early Islam for a few years now, and that is the growing consensus in recent historiography. A good starting point is Hugh Kennedy's The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates, 600–1050. As I hoped to demonstrate in my post, the early Islamic government didn't want mass conversion, and when it did happen they tried to maintain Arab dominance within the Islamic community.
That book is heavily critized among muslim as orientalist bias..when we will not deny the arabs and syriac jundist were heavily ethno-nationalist, the main division was the lack of trust over other people as 'tribes'(family is still massive among ME Muslim, vs more individualist converts) but yeah that is a mistake, changed it for the disturt over new converts.

To Sunnis, an imam is just any religious leader of an Islamic community. Contrast that to other denominations whereby the Imam is the leader of the entire Islamic community (the umma).
Not Even That, an Imam is anyone lead a pray, could be from a professional jurist to a mere common citizens at the time, Iman as the shias adopted were professional clerics(like roman and orthodox priests)
 
As I hoped to demonstrate in my post, the early Islamic government didn't want mass conversion,
The government (maybe) but not the religion.

If you meant the caliph/khalifah then yes eventually orthodox Sunnism did come to hold that belief, but it took a while to get there
Sorry, but did you forget the Rashidun Caliphs? Those where elected, like it should have been. The most pious and suitable person is elected to be the Caliph. The Ummayads made it hereditary.
 
Huh. I'd think Italy would be pivotal- wealthy, well worth looting but also a source of new wealth. Take Ravenna first, hold it while working your way down the boot. Europe was conquered from Italy once already.
 
orry, but did you forget the Rashidun Caliphs? Those where elected, like it should have been. The most pious and suitable person is elected to be the Caliph. The Ummayads made it hereditary.
Yeah Taking advantage the Chaos of Ali Death/Dissapareance(the original Jimmy Hoffa..he is death? we will never trully know) that caused the Sunni-Shia Split, of course the Ummayads are the dominant force now but seems that might be changing soon
 
The government (maybe) but not the religion.
The two can't be separated though, especially during the formative period of Islam. Religions don't appear fully-formed, they're shaped over centuries (even millennia) by people's actions.
Sorry, but did you forget the Rashidun Caliphs? Those where elected, like it should have been. The most pious and suitable person is elected to be the Caliph. The Ummayads made it hereditary.
Two things to keep in mind on the Rashidun:
1) They were less than thirty years of the centuries of effective caliphate rule.
2) There were only few non-Arab Muslims during that period, so the electorate consisted of a small Arab elite who elected candidates from within that small Arab elite. If the Umayyads hadn't have seized power, then maybe we would have seen the election process opened up further.
Huh. I'd think Italy would be pivotal- wealthy, well worth looting but also a source of new wealth. Take Ravenna first, hold it while working your way down the boot. Europe was conquered from Italy once already.
Italy will be a target for Muslim expansion later. An expedition to Sicily was recalled because of the Berber Revolt.
 
The two can't be separated though, especially during the formative period of Islam. Religions don't appear fully-formed, they're shaped over centuries (even millennia) by people's actions.
No, they can. The message of Islam is that Mohammed (pbuh) was the last prophet and that Islam is for all mankind. The formative years of Islam as a religion ended with the prophets death. What the governments chose as their policies were maybe policies based on Islam but they weren't part of the religion.
 
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