Now that we have covered almost seven centuries of political history, let us view the civilization as a whole. But what should we call it? Scholars disagree. Some say the civilization was Islamic because the religion of Islam brought together the various peoples—mainly Arabs, Persians, and Turks—who took part in it. Islam also affected politics, commerce, lifestyle, ideas, and many forms of artistic expression. But up to about 1000 ce, Muslims were a minority within the lands of Islam. Inasmuch as they were relatively unlettered at first, many scholars and scientists active within the civilization were understandably Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, or recent Muslim converts whose ideas still bore the stamp of their former religions. The evolving Middle Eastern civilization drew on many religious and philosophical traditions.