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Islam is the religion articulated by the Qur'an, a religious book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of the single incomparable God and by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad's demonstrations and real-life examples (called the Sunnah, collected through narration of his companions in collections of Hadith). Islam literally means submission to God. Islam is the predominant religion in the Middle East, North Africa, and large part of Asia. Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of the Balkans and the Caribbean. Islam followed by more than a billion people today, is the world's fastest growing religion and will soon be the world's largest. The 1.2 billion Muslims make up approximately one quarter of the world's population, and the Muslim population of the United States now outnumbers that of Episcopalians, Beginning in the 1970s and 1980s Islam remerged as potent political force, associated with both reform and revolution. Given the large number of adherents, it is no surprise that Muslims incorporate a broad and diverse spectrum of positions in regard to liberalism and democracy. Printed Pages: 272.