The myth of Islamic “civilization”

Cultural assassination:


In reaction to the increasing number of writings against radical Islam, Dr. Shahid Athar, physician, an Islamic writer and speaker wrote pieces for western consumption, laying out how Islam is a religion of peace. An excerpt:

Was Islam spread by the sword?

According to the Quran, “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256), thus, no one can be forced to become a Muslim. While it is true that in many places where Muslim armies went to liberate people or the land, they did carry the sword as that was the weapon used at that time. However, Islam did not spread by the sword because in many places where there are Muslims now, in the Far East like Indonesia, in China, and many parts of Africa, there are no records of any Muslim armies going there.

Does Islam promote polygamy?

No, polygamy in Islam is a permission not an injunction. Historically, all the prophets except Jesus, who was not married, had more than one wife. For Muslim men to have more than one wife is a permission which is given to them in the Quran, not to satisfy lust, but for the welfare of the widows and the orphans of the wars.

Does Islam promote violence and terrorism?

No. Islam is religion of peace and submission and stresses on the sanctity of human life. A verse in the Quran says, [Chapter 5, verse 32], that “anyone who saves one life, it is as if he has saved the whole of mankind and anyone who has killed another person (except in lieu of murder or mischief on earth) it is as if he has killed the whole of mankind.” Islam condemns all the violence which happened in the Crusades.

How should Muslims treat Jews and Christians?

The Quran calls them “People of the Book”, i.e., those who received Divine scriptures before Muhammad (P). Muslims are told to treat them with respect and justice and do not fight with them unless they initiate hostilities or ridicule their faith.

Much of the above is easily observed as falsehood by the events in the middle-east and the current invasion, largely by young men, of whom a proportion are Syrian. Also in writings by so many Muslim notables [more in subsequent posts]. It cherrypicks verses, leaving out those which do exhort violence to others which, combined with the very nature of how closely Muslims follow the original ways and how tightly restricted adherents are,very much covers up the reality.

Though the reality is a minefield to ascertain, it can be ascertained to the point one can say that if allowed a foothold in a country, that country therefore becomes actively Dar al Harb and war ensues, low level when numbers are low, openly when numbers are high, relying on taquiyya and the Islamic attitude towards treaties to a great extent as a stratagem.

In the Muslim view, treaties with Infidels are NOT to be obeyed. They are to be entered into when Muslims feel that they are at the moment too weak to do otherwise, and where they sense that they can gain, in the end, by entering temporarily into a treaty with Infidels. For Muslims, every treaty with Infidels is merely a “truce” treaty, a “hudna.” The very idea that Muslims could recognize the permanence of an Infidel nation-state goes against everything in Islam.

Dr. Athar may well fervently believe the guff he writes in good faith – this is not the issue.  The issue is that what he writes is palpably not the reality of world events.

It’s not just Muslim writers themselves who are the issue – it is the fifth column within western countries who are facilitating the lie and the worst are the revisionist leftwing historians, who are now legion. This is my field in academia, I had decades observing such like and we, the students and thereafter teachers were under the spell of names such as Piaget and Dewey, with Bloom’s Taxonomy the Bible of education.

Similar has occurred in the acceptance of Islamic radicalism, from the revisionists to the media and thus certain misconceptions are pushed at a subtle level, by an included adjective, by an a priori assumption … and so it goes. One such assumption which is false, not unlike the belief that the vast majority of Victorian women were all housewives when in fact, clearly the picture was far more complicated than that and employment figures could range from 3% to 60%, depending on what you include in the figures – one such misconception concerns a mythical “golden age of Islam”, which is gone into below.

One cannot get a true picture unless one goes first to the hostile press, to those who wish to debunk, then placing that alongside the apologists and trying to find the truth somewhere between them and so, in the case of Islam, you’re going to get your most vehement criticisms from groups like MEMRI plus the Christian journalists.

You are simply not going to get unbiased commentary and there’s no point attempting to portray someone as unbiased or telling us “the facts”, heavy emphasis on “the”.  With that in mind, MEMRI says:

The West does not read the Muslim press. Sunni Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi and other clerics are heralding the coming conquest of Rome, this in accordance with the prophecy of Muhammad. [MEMRI: Special Dispatch Series – No. 447] [1] The Sheikh declared on one of his television programs that, “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror.” The fatwa is posted on the website

Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi wrote about the “signs of the victory of Islam,” He stated that the Prophet Muhammad was asked; “What city will be conquerored first, Constantinople or Romiyya?” He replied, “The city of Heracles will be conquered first” – that is, Constantinople. History shows that the “city of Heracles” was conquered by the Ottoman, Muhammad bin Morad, also known as Muhammad the Conqueror, in 1453. The other city, Romiyya, (Rome) still remains to be conquered.

Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi added, “This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor….I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology..” [2] The sheikh stated that materialism will become the demize of Europe and at that point will seek for an alternative but it will find none. He said that they will look for a lifesaver but will only find it in the message of Islam, the message of the muezzin who gives it religion but does not deny it this world, brings it to Heaven, but does not uproot it from Earth. Then Europe will convert to Islam. [3]

If Islam continues on the course set by their Prophet, there is no doubt that this conquest will happen. The vast worldwide migration of Muslims throughout the world, has especially come to Europe. Europe doesn’t see the ramifications of this immigration, except maybe now in France.



 [3] Al-Jazeera Television (Qatar) November 20, 2000

This was written in 2000, before 911.  And the Catholic Church was up to its neck in appeasement [in fact it was rife in all denominations]:

Rome in its tolerance of all religions, has placed the Vatican within range of Islam as well.

Saudi Sheikh Muhammad bin Abd Al-Rahman Al-‘Arifi, the imam of the mosque of the King Fahd Defense Academy stated, “We will control the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam. [the Christians] will yet pay us the Jiziya [poll tax paid by non-Muslims under the Muslim rule], suffer humiliation or they will convert to Islam…”[4]

The Vatican, attempting to thwart a Muslim hijacking of Catholicism, has been magnanimous toward Islam.

Paul VI, Ecclesiam Suam 107, August 6, 1964:

“Then [we refer] to the adorers of God according to the conception of monotheism, the Muslim religion especially deserving of our admiration for all that is true and good in their worship of God.”[5]

 John Paul II, address to the Catholic community of Ankara, Turkey, November 29, 1979, after quoting Nostra Aetate 3, above:

“My brothers, when I think of this spiritual heritage (Islam) and the value it has for man and for society, its capacity of offering, particularly in the young, guidance for life, filing the gap left by materialism, and giving a reliable foundation to social and juridical organization, I wonder if it is not urgent, precisely today when Christians and Muslims have entered a new period of history, to recognize and develop the spiritual bonds that unite us, in order to preserve and promote together for the benefit of all men, ‘peace, liberty, social justice and moral values’ as the Council calls upon us to do (Nostra Aetate 3).”[6]

John Paul II, To Christians (and others) in Bangladesh, November 19, 1986:

“You must try to show your Muslim brethren and the followers of other religious traditions that your Christian faith, far from weakening your sense of pride in your homeland and your love for her, helps you to prize and respect the culture and heritage of Bangladesh.

It inspires you to face the challenges of the present day with love and responsibility. . …” [7]

 [5] US Council of Bishops {Vatican Council and Papal Statements on Islam)

 [6] Ibid

 [7] Ibid

This, despite such things as:

In July of 2001, 150 members of 50 Christian families (women and children included) of Nilganj Union in Kalapara Upazela district of Patuakhali were abducted by Islamics. The homes were looted, lands confiscated, and some members of the familes were systematically tortured.

How many examples – the Copts, the Christians in Iraq and so on – how many examples abound? Later article:

Seventeen people in a Protestant congregation in Pakistan were gunned down by three Islamic fanatics, on 28 October, 2001. Gospel missionary Martin Burnham was murdered in Mindanao, in the Philippines, by Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim organisation. There is a  prosecution pending, of several Pakistani Christians under anti-blasphemy laws (which carry the death sentence). The Copts of Egypt have undergone similar treatment as the Kurds in Iraq.

Islam has an endemic problem with violence, which stems in large part from intolerance of competition. With no intrinsic message of being saved through belief alone, it is therefore necessary to add physical pressure to the conversion process.

Islam will rebut this by pointing to the “tolerance” exhibited by the Muslims during the Middle Ages. When Islamic civilisation was at its height, Islam was wonderfully tolerant and open-minded towards other religions. While it is true that during this period Islam more often than not refrained from massacring dissenters and rivals (which is more than can be said for Catholicism), nevertheless, during this era, Jews and Christians living in Muslim lands were reduced to the position of dhimmis.

Dhimmitude entailed allowing non-Muslims to remain non-Muslim, so long as certain stringent rules were adhered to. Dhimmis were not allowed to engage in any outward show of their religion, such as ringing church bells, praying or reading their Scriptures in public, or disputing about religious matters with a Muslim.

They were also not allowed to build any religious buildings nor were they allowed to repair those already existing which wore down with age. Dhimmis had to wear distinctive clothing that marked them as clearly non-Muslim.

All non-Muslims were to pay the jizyah, the religion tax, levied specifically upon non-Muslims, usually Christians and Jews, which was the only life-preserving alternative to outright conversion to Islam. The jizyah was designed to “encourage” subject populations to convert to Islam, since conversion meant being relieved of a heavy financial burden.

Remember that this is an early article when it was not generally known and therefore contributed to what people do now know. Similarly, this type of thing is happening all over the Muslim world but in early days, it wasn’t as well known:

In Nigeria, hundreds of Muslim youths go on a rampage following their Friday prayers. Armed with sticks, daggers and knives, they set fire to vehicles and attack anyone they suspect of being Christian. Over 100 people are dead.

They are upset with an article in a local paper — ThisDay — which suggests that the Prophet Mohammed would have probably chosen to marry one of the Miss World contestants if he had witnessed the beauty pageant hosted by Nigeria. The newspaper apologizes for the article, which they say was run by mistake, but the rampage continues despite the apology. We must remember that Islam is a religion of peace.

In the Philippines, Muslim rebels ambush a Canadian company’s workers, killing 12 and injuring 10. Earlier, on Christmas Eve, a bomb made from an 81-mm mortar shell filled with nail fragments explodes outside the home of a town’s mayor, killing 17 people. But remember, Islam is a religion of peace.

As has been mentioned above, obviously there were periods of relative peace, obviously there were large numbers not indulging in the Muslim takeovers, obviously, within large tracts of land and populations, great scholars, writers, thinkers and mathematicians will arise but there still remains, in the texts themselves [subsequent posts on this], something quite inimical to peace.  The sheer number of youths moved to murderous behaviour on neighbours cannot be put down to individual idiosyncrasies.  the sheer numbers of raiders on the Mediterranean, the kidnap and torture even going on today – Islam certainly facilitates it.

Front Page magazine:

To be fair, the myth of the golden age of Islam does have a partially valid starting point: there were times in the past when Moslem societies attained higher levels of civilization and culture than they did at other times. There have been times, that is, when some Moslem lands were fit for a cultivated man to live in.

Baghdad under Harun ar-Rashid (his well-documented Christian-slaying and Jew-hating proclivities notwithstanding), or Cordova very briefly under Abd ar-Rahman in the tenth century, come to mind. These isolated episodes, neither long nor typical, are endlessly invoked by Islam’s Western apologists and admirers.

The New Atlantis, a left-leaning tome, takes the line that there was a Muslim Golden Age following basic savagery, and mention:

One of the most famous thinkers in the history of Arabic science, and considered among the greatest of all medieval physicians, was Rhazes (also known as al-Razi). Born in present-day Tehran, Rhazes (died 925) was trained in Baghdad and became the director of two hospitals. He identified smallpox and measles, writing a treatise on them that became influential beyond the Middle East and into nineteenth-century Europe.

Rhazes was the first to discover that fever is a defense mechanism. And he was the author of an encyclopedia of medicine that spanned twenty-three volumes. What is most striking about his career, as Ehsan Masood points out in Science and Islam, is that Rhazes was the first to seriously challenge the seeming infallibility of the classical physician Galen.

For example, he disputed Galen’s theory of humors, and he conducted a controlled experiment to see if bloodletting, which was the most common medical procedure up until the nineteenth century, actually worked as a medical treatment. (He found that it did.) Rhazes provides a clear instance of a thinker explicitly questioning, and empirically testing, the widely-accepted theories of an ancient giant, while making original contributions to a field.

Breakthroughs in medicine continued with the physician and philosopher Avicenna (also known as Ibn-Sina; died 1037), whom some consider the most important physician since Hippocrates. He authored the Canon of Medicine, a multi-volume medical survey that became the authoritative reference book for doctors in the region, and — once translated into Latin — a staple in the West for six centuries.

However, these dozen or so minds need to be seen in the context of the other things that that religious society was doing. Douglas Adams put it well with his Krikkit analogy:

They believe in peace, justice, morality, culture, sport, family life, and the obliteration of all other life forms.

Front Page again:

This “golden” period in question largely coincides with the second dynasty of the Caliphate or Islamic Empire, that of the Abbasids, named after Muhammad’s uncle Abbas, who succeeded the Umayyads and ascended to the Caliphate in 750 AD.

They moved the capital city to Baghdad, absorbed much of the Syrian and Persian culture as well as Persian methods of government, and ushered in the “golden age.”

This age was marked by, among other things, intellectual achievement. A number of medieval thinkers and scientists living under Islamic rule, by no means all of them “Moslems” either nominally or substantially, played a useful role of transmitting Greek, Hindu, and other pre-Islamic fruits of knowledge to Westerners.

They contributed to making Aristotle known in Christian Europe. But in doing this, they were but transmitting what they themselves had received from non-Moslem sources.

Three speculative thinkers, notably the three Persians al-Kindi, al-Farabi, and Avicenna, combined Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism with other ideas introduced through Islam.

Greatly influenced by Baghdad’s Greek heritage in philosophy that survived the Arab invasion, and especially the writings of Aristotle, Farabi adopted the view — utterly heretical from a Moslem viewpoint — that reason is superior to revelation. He saw religion as a symbolic rendering of truth, and, like Plato, saw it as the duty of the philosopher to provide guidance to the state.

He engaged in rationalistic questioning of the authority of the Koran and rejected predestination. He wrote more than 100 works, notably The Ideas of the Citizens of the Virtuous City.

But these unorthodox works no more belong to Islam than Voltaire belongs to Christianity. He was in Moslem culture but not of it, indeed opposed to its orthodox core. He examples the pattern we see again and again: the best Moslems, whether judged by intellectual or political achievement, are usually the least Moslem.

This is a vital point to remember.  The leftwing revisionist “scholars” who write schoolbooks about a Muslim golden age are claiming something for a society and even because of it which is largely a myth.  The society for most people was primitive and savage.  We see this today, as it never changed.

The Moslem mainstream of this time, on the other hand, emphasized rigid Koranic orthodoxy and deployed Greek philosophy and science solely to buttress its authority. “They were rationalists in so far as they fell back on Greek philosophy for their metaphysical and physical explanations of phenomena; still, it was their aim to keep within the limits of orthodox belief.”

But when the thinkers went too far in their free inquiry into the secrets of nature, paying little attention to the authority of the Koran, they aroused suspicion of the rulers both in North Africa and Spain, as well as in the East. Persecution, exile, and death were frequent punishments suffered by the philosophers of Islam whose writings did not conform to the canon.

On the other side of the Empire, in Spain, Averroës exercised much influence on both Jewish and Christian thinkers with his interpretations of Aristotle. While mostly faithful to Aristotle’s method, he found the Aristotelian “prime mover” in Allah, the universal First Cause.

His writings brought him into political disfavor and he was banished until shortly before his death, while many of his works in logic and metaphysics had been consigned to the flames. He left no school.

From Spain the Arabic philosophic literature was translated into Hebrew and Latin, which contributed to the development of modern European philosophy.

In Egypt around the same time, Moses Maimonides (a Jew) and Ibn Khaldun made their contribution.

A Christian, Constantine “the African,” a native of Carthage, translated medical works from Arabic into Latin, thus introducing Greek medicine to the West. His translations of Hippocrates and Galen first gave the West a view of Greek medicine as a whole.

If you stop and think of the whole prescriptive nature of Islam, that Islam asphyxiates Thought, except in tolerant periods where they are the dominant culture and therefore Dar es Salaam exists, then of course culture will be tolerated for a time.

There were certainly advances, no question:

In the exact sciences the contribution of Al-Khwarzimi, mathematician and astronomer, was considerable. Like Euclid, he wrote mathematical books that collected and arranged the discoveries of earlier mathematicians. His “Book of Integration and Equation” is a compilation of rules for solving linear and quadratic equations, as well as problems of geometry and proportion.

Its translation into Latin in the 12th century provided the link between the great Hindu mathematicians and European scholars. A corruption of the book’s title resulted in the word algebra; a corruption of the author’s own name resulted in the term algorithm.

Credit where it’s due.  But:

The problem with turning this list of intellectual achievements into a convincing “Islamic” golden age is that whatever flourished, did so not by reason of Islam but in spite of Islam.

Moslems overran societies (Persian, Greek, Egyptian, Byzantine, Syrian, Jewish) that possessed intellectual sophistication in their own right and failed to completely destroy their cultures. To give it the credit for what the remnants of these cultures achieved is like crediting the Red Army for the survival of Chopin in Warsaw in 1970!

Islam per se never encouraged science, in the sense of disinterested enquiry, because the only knowledge it accepts is religious knowledge.

As Bernard Lewis explains in his book What Went Wrong? the Moslem Empire inherited “the knowledge and skills of the ancient Middle east, of Greece and of Persia, it added to them new and important innovations from outside, such as the manufacture of paper from China and decimal positional numbering from India.

” The decimal numbers were thus transmitted to the West, where they are still mistakenly known as “Arabic” numbers, honoring not their inventors but their transmitters.

Furthermore, the intellectual achievements of Islam’s “golden age” were of limited value. There was a lot of speculation and very little application, be it in technology or politics. At the present day, for almost a thousand years even speculation has stopped, and the bounds of what is considered orthodox Islam have frozen, except when they have even contracted, as in the case of Wahabism.

Those who try to push the fundamentals of Moslem thought any further into the light of modernity frequently pay for it with their lives. The fundamentalists who ruled Afghanistan until recently and still rule in Iran hold up their supposed golden age as a model for their people and as a justification for their tyranny. Westerners should know better.

An Iranian commenter at Front Page wrote:

Actually it was the Persians who made the breakthroughs Muslims try to credit to Islam. Persians were forced to convert to Islam, none of their achievements had anything to do with Islam. They did all that in spite of Islam, not because of it.

All of the so called “muslim scientists” were in fact Persian. Razi, Biruni, Avicenna, Khayam, Khawarazmi, Rumi, Kibri and so many many more, all Persians. Their work was the fruit of thousands of years of Persian heritage, nothing to do with Islam.

They were all persecuted, tortured, ridiculed, and some even executed by the Arab Muslim rulers of Persia at the time.

The Imams are laughing in their beards because they know all this, they have exactly the same attitude towards left-liberal “scholarship” which tells these porkies, writes these school and university texts for ideological reasons, much as KGB officer Bezmenov pointed out that the KGB saw these people who think they’re reaching out for cross-cultural exchange, the Hanoi Janes, the Teddy Kennedys and so on, as – and I quote – “useful fools” who would be first against the wall when the takeover comes.

One can’t get through to people in general what these leftists are messing with.  It’s like an animal lover wading out to offer a nice fish to a nice shark.  “Here, sharky, sharky, take a bite from my hand.”  Bunny Roche. Calais.

We are dealing, not just with fools here but with people deliberately falsifying or at minimum, misinterpreting history for an agenda.  Muslim society has never changed, it was the same through the supposed golden age, it is the same today, the slavery, rape and murder goes on as it always has.

The media, as we well know, turns a blind eye.

The Muslim Issue blog:

During the 9th Century AD, the Arabs took advantage of the weak state of the Christian world by building large navies and taking their armies to the seas. The Mediterranean Sea became a virtual Muslim lake, where “Saracen” raiders, as they became known, were able to strike anywhere they pleased, pillaging the land and raiding for slaves, with little fear of Christian reprisals. In fact, huge areas of the coasts of the Mediterranean were abandoned by Christian communities in wake of these raids.

American and European historians have studied all aspects of the enslavement of Africans by whites, but have deliberately ignored the slavery of whites by North Africans, during approximately the same period as the transatlantic traffic, and which devastated hundreds of coastal communities.

In the thought of today’s nations, slavery is only of blacks, while the Mediterranean slave history is, in fact, more horrible than American slavery. UNESCO behaves with hypocrisy obscuring trafficking in Arabia and Africa, while forgetting the history of abuse of Europeans.

Muslim invasions, theft, mass murders, rape waves, booty raids, slave raids, wars continuing from 620 AD until as late as 1920 AD without interruption, destroyed the entire European Classical and Medieval civilization leaving nothing but a shell.

When the Arabs began to arrive in Vieste (South of the Italy) in 1554, they kidnapped 6,000 whites. The Algerians took 7,000 slaves in the same year in the Bay of Naples. Spain also suffered large-scale attacks.

After a raid on Grenada in 1556, which reported 4,000 men, women and children captured into slavery, they were told that it was “raining Christians on Algiers”, and that these raids dropped the price of slaves so much that slave masters could “barter a Christian for an onion”.

The appearance of a large fleet could scare an entire population inland, emptying the entire coastal regions. The Muslims did not object to desecrate churches and often ignored the bells, to reduce to silence the distinctive voice of Christianity.

Between 1530 and 1780, there were almost a million and a half of white European Christians enslaved by Muslims of the Barbary Coast. This surpasses the generally accepted figure of 800,000 Africans transported to the colonies in North America and later in the United States.

There have been estimates of 3 – 6 million Europeans being taken into slavery. But considering that the slave raids and attacks were relentless for over 1,000 years and not the 250 years from 1530 to 1780, we can presume these numbers are highly understated.

Not only were the white slaves goods, but they were above all infidels, and deserved all the suffering a master imposed on them. Christian slaves were often so abundant and so cheap that he had no interest in their well-being or prolonged health, if at least from an economic perspective, and many owners worked them until premature death and quickly bought replacements.

There is nothing new in this. The more you read of Muslim history and methods, the more these things come out but you’d never see the MSM or any leftist writers ever mentioning it.

And here’s the modern version, with CIA collusion:

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool.

Truth and Grace, a Christian site:

A comparison of the Muslim slave trade to the American slave trade reveals some interesting contrasts. While two out of every three slaves shipped across the Atlantic were men, the proportions were reversed in the Muslim slave trade. Two women for every man were enslaved by the Muslims.

While the mortality rate for slaves being transported across the Atlantic was as high as 10%, the percentage of slaves dying in transit in the Transsahara and East African slave trade was between 80 and 90%!

While almost all the slaves shipped across the Atlantic were for agricultural work, most of the slaves destined for the Muslim Middle East were for sexual exploitation as concubines, in harems, and for military service.

While many children were born to slaves in the Americas, and millions of their descendants are citizens in Brazil and the USA to this day, very few descendants of the slaves that ended up in the Middle East survive.

While most slaves who went to the Americas could marry and have families, most of the male slaves destined for the Middle East were castrated, and most of the children born to the women were killed at birth.

It is estimated that possibly as many as 11 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic (95% of which went to South and Central America, mainly to Portuguese, Spanish and French possessions. Only 5% of the slaves went to the United States).

However, at least 28 million Africans were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East. As at least 80% of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave markets, it is believed that the death toll from the 14 centuries of Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been over 112 million.

When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the Transsaharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 million people.

We want this in the UK?

Islam monitor:

The Muslim conquest of India was probably the bloodiest in history:

The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with utmost glee and pride of the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave-markets, and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800AD to 1700 AD. 

Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by the sword in this period”  (historian Durant cited in Khan p 201)

That’s before we get onto their cultural destruction [the obliteration of all other cultures, building their own on top of antiquity]:

We want this in the UK?

4 comments for “The myth of Islamic “civilization”

  1. Voice of Reason
    November 11, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    From 800-1100 AD, Baghdad was an open city, and the center of the intellectual world. Then, along came a Muslim scholar by the name of Hamid al-Ghazali. Among other things, he declared that Mathematics was the work of the Devil, a sentiment shared by many in the modern world.

    At that point, the Muslim world began to turn its back on openness and innovation.

    • November 11, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      There were two positions put in the post – one that there was actually a golden age of Muslim science and the other that there never really was, that as they took over countries, they also took over the learning in those countries – the Iranian commenter mentioned that.

      It’s as if Copernicus, Kepler etc. were here and they took over here. Would history say that this was the height of Muslim science? Over time, of course the brightest Muslims would build on this.

      And then, as you say, plus the source I quoted, whatever learning there was, whom it was down to – something happened which removed all pretence at Muslim science.

      That was the most curious point of all until you realize that there was certainly science but not Muslim science. The Arabs, in Dar es Salaam, were allowing science to flourish, despite their culture’s attitude towards it.

      Meanwhile, the bloody raids and wars continued on all sides, even in Leon, even Navarra.

      What I’m saying here is that Islam has never changed – the House of Peace and the House of War have been the only swing changes. Thus, when the Reconquista began in Spain, it changed one house back to the other and there were more important things on their mind now. The uneasy peace was no more.

      Ditto in the ME with the Crusades. DeS went back to DaH. The whole strategy changed. This more than anything supports the notion that culture and learning were “tolerated” only under DeS. Were they intrinsic to the culture – and let’s not confuse Persian and Islamic culture – then the Crusades would hardly have seen the end of learning in this golden place.

      I read a Sicilian book about the coming of the Norman and how brutal and uncultured he was – many quotes from Arab personalities of the time. Perhaps that revulsion had a lot to do with it, it became clear that the Muslim regarded the Norman as barbarian.

      OK, I’ve just looked at that clip and it is more of the same old, same old, the very revisionist thing which was debunked in the post. He mentions “the list just goes on and on”, meaning the names of stars etc. Yes, a society in hegemony will of course have its own names on it, whoever came up with the science. Hint – think Persia.

      Think of the Haga Sophia. This is the Muslim way – to take something over, or run with it for awhile and then to lose interest or for strategic reasons to go onto a war footing Look at the Library of Alexandria – no use to the Muslims [Caliph Omar or freelance] – result? That’s the Muslim attitude to learning.

      So we have here a deep divide. The left are desperate to attribute all sorts of qualities to the Muslims but it is not valid. To the Persians, yes, to individual Arabic scholars and scientists, quite a few of them, yes but a system of tolerance and love of learning?

      Tolerance for a time, yes. Love of learning? No. hence, when the end came, it is no surprise to me or the people quoted in the post.

      Just to say it in different words. There are many academic, i.e. leftwing, tomes saying, and let me quote one: “Sadly, present-day Muslims seem to be detached from that very rational and scientific learning that once was a hallmark of the Islamic world.”

      Hallmark in the sense that it took place under their control but not hallmark in the sense it had anything to do with Islam or the Arabs.

      • Voice of Reason
        November 12, 2015 at 2:05 pm

        My take is that it’s always easier to get the poor and ignorant angry, and easier to have people break things than build them. The Old Testament is full of the same, but most Christians and Jews appear to have grown out of it.

        However, which are more common in England, well-educated engineers, or chavs?

        • November 12, 2015 at 4:45 pm

          My next post after the Armistice one answers that – though it’s America, it could also be Britain.

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