Despite the bridge that Aquinas built between reason and faith, modern journalists who believe that religion is a non-rational retrograde activity to be avoided at any cost, are legions.
The usual rationale adduced for giving up God-oriented religion is that there is not sufficient empirical evidence for God’s existence. God is a chimera, an illusion of the human mind wrapped in a delusion. It is in short a sign of retrogression. But then the question surfaces: why do the same people not give up ideologies as well when they find out that they too may not be empirically or scientifically proven? Many ideologies have been scientifically discredited but people continue to hold on to them as a life-boat of some kind.
Could it be that ideology constitutes a substitution or sorts? Could it be that ideology functions as a value system, a substitution of sort for those who repudiate a religious belief system? Could it be that ideologies provide people with a community of like-minded people? We may look different, but the ideology unites us: we are all good Republicans, we are all good Communists, we are all good Fascists.
But the question persists: why, as a rule, do ideologies see religion as an enemy and a competitor? One thinks of Marx famous quip “religion is the opium of the people” proffered while substituting Marxism as a competing ideology. One thinks of Mao’s “religion is poison” proffered while substituting Mao’s little red book as a Bible of sorts for the adoring masses. One thinks of the positivist approach to reality declaring the scientific approach as the only enlightened modern approach and religion mere ignorance and a superseded superstition.
Emile Durkheim in his Elemental Forms of Religious Life called religion and ideology “moral communities.” Why did Durkheim make such a comparison and what, if any, is the nexus between the two? Let’s see. What has happened all too often since the Enlightenment is that religion has been all but subsumed under ideology. This is most apparent not only within modern ideological movements which present themselves as universal movements applicable anywhere at any time, but also in modern journalism.
This rather bold statement about journalism may surprise the journalists among us, but I dare say that it is not very difficult in modern journalism to detect socially constructed notions of the sacred reduced to a mere economic belief system. Marx’s ideology jumps to mind here. It works this way: the question is turned up-side-down so that rather than ask how can religion be a cultural need for a community or an entire polity and what are the benefits, the centripetal force that accrue to that need, one ends up asking: how can religious beliefs help the economy? More crassly put: how can religion help bankers and CEOs increase their profits? And of course, if it doesn’t do that it is pretty much useless.
For example, nationalism can be construed as an ideology. It has the overwhelming power to motivate men to die for one’s country via the nobility of patriotism. Nationalism seems to share with religion the same power of motivating humans to lay down their lives for what they believe. It is a socio-culturally produced power that some call the sacred which more often than not deals with sacrifice and redemption. Here the question arises: how is the sacred produced in cultures and societies constituting a nation or a confederation of nations, the EU for example? How does it function? Do human beings move between religious and secular sacralities such as nationalism or communism or fascism or progressivism?
Nowadays we see a media landscape littered with opinionated talk and ideology-driven websites galore. But of course in the world of journalism it is considered the kiss of death to reveal openly what one really believes. To do that is to be perceived as subjective, opinionated, biased, rather than rigorously objective in one’s reporting. So naturally journalists tend to hide what they really believe. Very few journalists have the courage to reveal who their heroes and villains are, never mind their core convictions.
But the stratagem fools few people; they sense the liberal or conservative bias of the journalist. As Socrates put it: “speak that I may know you.” Most intelligent people can intuit the position of a journalist on the political spectrum from the very moment he opens his mouth and asks his questions. At times the questions are not very astute or intelligent and in themselves reveal the shallowness of the journalist’s belief system. One wonders if it would not be more honest by far to admit to certain ingrained biases and then examine them carefully to determine if they are reasonable and tenable.
But one may further ask: how is one to know where a journalist is coming from? How is one to rate his/her trust-worthiness when one is confronted not with “where one is coming from” but “the view from nowhere” which seems to have become the media’s true ideology? The media wants to give the impression that it is neither on the right nor on the left since generations of mainstream journalists have come to believe that they can be trusted only if they remain or give the appearance of being neutral, having no dog in the fight, so to speak. To disclose one’s beliefs simply goes against the grain. Most journalists when confronted with this conundrum will reply that they did not get into the business to parade their opinions but to uncover the facts. Just the facts, madam!
“Where I’m coming from in news reporting is no partnership or ideology” most newspapers editors would proudly proclaim to their readers. They would also add that the reporting speaks for itself and is not coming from any point of view. They are just being impartial or to use a slogan utilized by a very partial news media, Fox news, we are being fair and balanced. That slogan in itself makes people even more suspicious.
Then there is the editor who claims that “we present all opinions with no bias.” This is to admit that any opinion is as good as another. The opinion of an ignoramus, especially he has managed to be elected president of a country, is as valid as that of a professor of political science at a prestigious university. Truth is also an opinion, and that too is an opinion.
Were one to insist on a sincere answer to this typically modern conundrum any journalist worth his/her salt will tell us that he/she is in the business of uncovering truths that are not easy to uncover, in following leads no matter where they lead. Put that way, it sounds like an admirable heroic enterprise, almost Socratic. Here the question arises. Can a journalist interpret and analyze the news for the benefit of his/her readers rather than having readers figure it out for themselves and perhaps arriving at the wrong conclusions? Is that being too condescending with readers?
And so the debate goes on. Conservatives complain about the liberal sensibility of the media in general. Liberals complain about the veiled ideology apparent in conservative media circles such as Fox News. The result seems to be that they both wish to claim “objectivity” with the view from nowhere allegedly removing all biases.
They are two sides of the same coin. All too often this ploy will lead political observers to obsessing about winners and losers rather than the harder work of finding out who is telling the truth and what are the effects of policies adopted by politicians. Enter the reality show politician. Winner takes all. That’s where we seem to be presently.
In conclusion, it would appear that “the view from nowhere” or the attempt by many journalists to substitute religion or a belief system with an ideology, kept well-hidden of course, in order to be perceived as objective and unbiased, far from removing biases and prejudices from their narratives leads directly to them. Ruminations, whatever their worth.
How Muslim Propagators Swindle the Western Civilization: Islam and Science Expropriation (D)
Muslims take high pride and boast about the critical contributions “Islamic Sciences” to civilization. It would require considerable space just to recite the many so-called crucial discoveries were allegedly ascribed to Muslims’ inventions. We are told that Muslim scientists originated in the Islamic world laid the ground to public hospitals, libraries, and universities. Muslim scientists laid the foundations of agricultural science and invented the coffee. Muslim scientists developed theories of evolution long before Darwin and proposed laws of gravitation that were proved by Newton centuries later on; Muslim scientists invented “flight control surfaces” that are “believed to have come from the medieval Islamic world.”
It is amazing, in fact confusing and perplexing to enter Islamic internet sites, for example muslimheritage.com. The impression is that Islam has invented everything on Earth from the beginning of history, and continues to discover and invent everything. Unfortunately, it seems as if according to this site Islam has caused the emergence and the existence of humanity, without Islam human beings would have been perished. Here is the list most of Muslim propagators in the West mention as the greatest and the firsts. Most of them were highly influenced by the Mu’tazila ideology.
Muḥammad Ibn Mūsa al-Khwārizmi(d. 850), was a Mathematica scholar hailed as the algebra inventor. However, he was not an Arab but Persian in origin and Zoroastrian in his religion. There is widespread misconceptions that Muslims “invented algebra”. Maybe this fallacy is due to the fact that the word “algebra” is Arabic, derived from Khwarizmi’s book, Addition and Subtraction after the Method of the Indians. Yet, the name of his book also refers to the fact that it was based on Indian or Greek sources.
Khwarizmi did not “invent” algebra. There are proven archaeological evidence that the roots of algebra date back to the ancient Babylonians, and were then developed in Egypt and Greece. The Chinese and especially the Indians also advanced algebra. The most important pre-modern scholar was Diophantus of Alexandria in the third century AD, called “the father of algebra.” He wrote series of books, Arithmetica, dealing with solving algebraic equations. Archimedes was the first mathematician to derive quantitative results from creation of mathematical models of physical problems. He was responsible for the first proof of the law of the lever and the basic principle of hydrostatics.
However, the most important mathematical text of Greek times, and probably of all time, the Elements of Euclid, written about 2300 years ago. In his book there are simply definitions, axioms, theorems, and proofs. Euclid’s work provided the field of Mathematics with a model of how ‘pure mathematics’ should be written, with precise definitions, carefully stated theorems, and logically coherent proofs. Euclid is thus first and foremost famous for creating a brilliant synthesis of the field.It is of note to mention that Diophantus and Euclid, like many other great Greeks taught and wrote at the most important institution of ancient time, the Library of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy. This institution soon became a focal point of highest developments in Greek scholarship, both in the humanities and the sciences – and it was burned by the invading Arabs, headed by ‘Umar bin al-Khattab.
As for India, in 770, an Indian scholar brought two highly important mathematical works to Baghdad eg Brahmasiddhanta (Sindhind to Arabs) by the great 7th century Indian mathematician Brahmagupta, mathematician and astronomer, which contained early ideas of Algebra. The second manuscript contained a revolutionary system of denoting number and the concept of zero. Therefore, Khwarizmi took this work, combined it with Greek geometry (algebra developed by Hero of Alexandria). Indian numerals were used by Khwarizmi in algorithms (a Latinized version of his name) to solve certain mathematical problems. Hence Muslims certainly did not discover either zero or algebra and our so-called ‘Arabic Numerals’ are actually Indian (Hindu) Numerals.
Ibn Sīnā’ (Avicenna. d. 1037), and Abū Bakr ar-Rāzī (Rhazes. d. 925), were both great physiciansand significant thinkers. However, both were Persians and not Arabs, and both were at best highly unorthodox Muslims. ar-Razi didn’t believe a single word of the Islamic religion. Whatever contributions they made were more in spite of than because of Islam. Ibn Sina was always on the run of the fear of Islamic persecution, spent time in prison or had to write his works under the most severe circumstances. His greatest work, the Canon of Medicine, has become a standard work in Ehrope for the the next 600 years, but the Islamic rulers called hin an apostate (Murtad), and made his life intolerable as in his instruments he used to dissect pigs.
Moreover, while they should be considered to have been competent physicians, the greatest revolution in the world history of medicine was the germ theory of disease, championed by the Frenchman Louis Pasteur and the German Robert Koch in late nineteenth century Europe. They were aided in this by the microscope, which was an exclusively European invention.Islam continues with its misleading approach even concerning today’s “inventions.” In an article relating to Islamic medicine it is stated that in 2007 Malaysian scientist, Muszaphar Shukor, “became the first to perform biomedical research in outer space.” No less. Perhaps that meant he was the first Muslim to perform biomedical research in space. But this is exactly Islam.
Muslims comment on Abū Fath ‘Umar al-Khayyāmi, known as Omar Khayyam (d. 1131), who was a Persian philosopher, and creative mathematician, but he was not an Arab, and even not Muslim. Omar Khayyam was a wine lover who could at best be described as an extremely unorthodox Muslim. By and large he has been held either in ignominy, contempt, total disregard and oblivion by almost the entire Muslim world, and especially the Arab countries. He loved wine, women, and songs. He admired and praised the Zoroastrian religion. At the end, scientifically, he did not leave an impression on any science. Praising him today by Muslim propagators may hint of their desperation. How a Western-style materialist was created in an Islamic environment in early Middle-Ages and seems to openly defy the puritanical mind-set of 21st century apocalyptic Islam?
There is also Abū Mūsā Jābir Ibn Ḥayyān(d. 815), is hailed by Muslim propagators as the father of chemistry, by systematizing a “quantitative” analysis of substances. He was a Persian and not an Arab chemist and alchemist. He did good work in alchemy for his time and may have been the first person to create some acids, but he falls far short of Antoine Lavoisier and those who developed modern chemistry in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Europe. Muslim scientists have deepened their knowledge, however, their ideas are only to be found in fictional novels, rather than learning about their fundamental contributions from scientific databases.
Nasir al-Din al-Tūsī (d. 1274), was Persian and not an Arab physician and astronomer. According to Muslim Heritage, al-Tusi was a prolific writer in different fields of science. He wrote over 150 works in Arabic and Persian that dealt with mathematical sciences, philosophy, and the Islamic religious issues. By that he acquired the honorific title of Khwāja (distinguished scholar); Ustādh Bashariyah (teacher of mankind); and Mu’alimal-Thālith (third teacher, after Aristotle and al-Fārābī). He was the director of the Islamic astronomical observatory of Marāgha.However, astronomy was invented in India, based on the Ptolemaic Greek theoretical framework, and al-Tusi achievements made only some adjustments in the field.
Ḥunain Ibn Ishāq (d. 873), Johannitius in Latin, was Christian Nestorian (Assyrian) in his origin and even not Muslim. He was one of the most prominent translators of Greek books into Syro-Aramaic and Arabic. Soon he, his son and his nephew had made Galen’s medical treatises as well as Hippocratic works and texts by Aristotle, Plato and others available in Arabic. Hunayn’s own compositions include two on ophthalmology: the Ten Treatises on the Eye and the Book of the Questions on the Eye. His books had some influence but his importance came by transmitting the pure Galenic theory of vision.
Abū Naṣr Muḥammad al-Farābī (d. 950) was not an Arab, but from Khorasam, nowadays state of Kazakhstan. He was a renowned philosopher, known in Islamic circles with honorific title “the Second Master” (after Aristotle). He is credited with preserving the original Greek texts during the Middle-Ages, but not their translator. Mohamad Abdalla claimed that in the twelfth century, the West discovered, via a translated catalogue of sciences (map of knowledge) by al-Farābīthe existence of a considerable body of Antiquity’s scientific work. The West started examining these sciences, including astronomy, biology, botany, mathematics, and medicine. In addition, medieval European university became the institutional manifestation of al-Farābī’s map of knowledge. The translated work of Islamic knowledge formed the basis and the scientific foundation of the university in its living reality “the reality of its syllabus, the content of its teaching.”
Abu Yūsuf Yaʻqūb al-Kindī (d. 873), known as “the Philosopher of the Arabs”, was an Arab Muslim philosopher, and is hailed as the “father of Islamic philosophy, for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion of Greek and Hellenistic philosophy. Abbasid Caliphs appointed him to translate “the philosophy of the ancients,” as Greek philosophy was often referred to by Muslim scholars, into Arabic. This had a profound effect on his intellectual development, and he wrote many original treatises in many subjects. al-Kindī also played an important role in introducing the Indian system of numbers, traced back to 500 BC. The Indian numerals was spread to Sassanid Persia and was also used by the Assyrian and Nestroians. He was one of the first to attempt to reconcile Islam with Greek philosophy, especially with Aristotle, a project that soon failed due to religious resistance. De Lacy O’Leary reflects the significant topic that almost all Muslim thinkers and philosophers were classed as Aristotelians, tracing their intellectual descent from al-Kindī and al-Farābī.This is a romantic and tranquil picture.However reality gives different picture. al-Mutawwakil, the Abassid caliph, was convinced that Kindī had dangerous beliefs, and ordered the confiscation of his personal library, and punishment of fifty lashes before a large crowd. Other scholars, like al-Rāzī, Ibn Sinā, and Ibn Rushd were also subjected to some degree of persecution, and a part of them had to flee their countries for their own safety from the persecuting Islam.
Abū ‘AlīḤasan Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen. d. 1040) was an Arab, and of all the list of the mentioned scientists, the highest-ranking contribution by any Muslim scholar. He was invited and remained in Egypt for the rest of his life, patronized by the Fatimi Caliph, al-Hākim. Indeed, Alhazen made significant contributions to the principles of optics, due to direct access to Greek optical theory. He relied heavily on the Greek scientific tradition, but the synthesis he created was new. His most important Book of Optics(Kitāb al-Manāzir), a great original scientific work written in Arabic has been ranked as one of influential books in the history of physics. He was perhaps the only Arab who was really important to scientific contributions.
Alhazen was a prolific writer on all aspects of science and natural philosophy, including some ninety of which he acknowledged authorship. These includes commentaries on the optical works of Euclid and Ptolemy, and analyses of Aristotle’s Physics. He read Hippocrates and Galen on medicine, Plato and Aristotle on philosophy and wrote commentaries on many Greek philosophers. His treatise on optics contains a substantially correct model of vision.The best analysis of the issue is by David C. Lindberg. According to him, Alhazen’s essential achievement was to obliterate the old battle lines. He was neither Euclidean nor Galenist nor Aristotelian, or else; he was all of them. Tragically enough, his Book of Optics was not widely used in the Islamic world afterwards. The reason, his work was considered as blasphemy, and some of his disciples were put on fire as apostates.
Moreover, the French thinker Rémi Brague, claims that Muslims lacked the European instinct for self-criticism and appreciation of the other. Even though Muslims did translate scientific works from Greek and a few other languages into Arabic, they didn’t bother to preserve the originals. This made the act of going back to the sources to really understand them impossible. However, Brague was wrong. The Muslims did not preserve the originals purposely and intentionally. From the beginning they wanted the immitaton to become the original. This is one of the Arab-Islamic significant traits perceiving the world being totally Islamic.
Brague also quotes Ibn Khaldun, who has refered to this in his Muqaddimah: “Muslims desired to learn the sciences of the nations, to make them their own through translations. They pressed them into the mold of their own views. They peeled off these strange tongues into their own idiom, and surpassed the achievements of the non-Muslims in them. The manuscripts in the non-Arabic languages were forgotten, abandoned, and scattered. All the sciences came to exist in Arabic. The systematic works on them were written in Arabic. Thus, students of the sciences needed a knowledge of Arabic writing.”
Analyzing scientific topics and academic faculties
Universities. Islam did not establish secular scientific universities. Islam did established religios universities, like al-Azhar. Even though al-Azhar was a center of education in the Islamic world, it was a center of religious learning and Sharī’ah alone, not secular learning and science. al-Azhar was created in the tenth century as an institute of Islamic religion studies. Contemporary Muslim propagators hail it as one of the oldest universities, but this is really a joke. It was never a university but an Islamic religious study institute.
Bassam Tibi relates to this: “Some Islamic historians wrongly translate the term Madrasa as university. This is plainly incorrect: If we understand a university as universitas litterarum, or consider, without the bias of Eurocentrism, the cast of the universitas magistrorum, we are bound to recognise that the university as a seat for free and unrestrained enquiry based on reason, is a European innovation in the history of mankind.Universities were the Assyrians and Buddhist invention. Among the best is the Great Monastery of Nalanda in India. It was not established by Muslims; in fact, it was destroyed by Muslims, as were so many cultural treasures in India, Central Asia and the Middle East. Though some texts were reintroduced to Europe via Arabic translations, but neither the inventions nor the translators were Arabs or Muslims. The Greek texts that were translated into Arabic were copied by Greek-speaking Byzantine Christians and others, and most tragically the originals disappeared or burnt.
Without the separation of church and state, the West would not have produced a deeply rooted natural philosophy that was disseminated through Europe by virtue of an extensive network of universities, which laid the foundation for the great scientific advances made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. A striking number of the leading scholars in early modern Europe, from Copernicus to Galileo and Newton, had studied at these institutions. Although the Scientific Revolution began in the seventeenth century with the systematic use of the experimental method and a more critical view of the knowledge of the ancients, exemplified by individuals such as Galileo, the initial institutional basis for these developments was laid with the natural philosophers of the medieval universities.
It is an historical fact that scientific revolution happened in Europe. The foundations for the study of modern science were laid in the European universities. The natural sciences became “the foundation and core of a medieval university education.” The earliest European universities, such as the University of Bologna in Italy and Oxford in England, were created in the eleventh century, but many more were added during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The medieval European university represented a real innovation when the Greco-Roman heritage was slowly recovered. After the Crusades, translations directly from Greek via Byzantine manuscripts acquired from Constantinople. Unfortunately they were stopped after the Ottoman occupation of Constantinople. Again, Islam has proven to disruptive and distructive when it comes to sciences.
Toby E. Huff quotes: Something like 87% of the European scientists born between 1450 and 1650 [who were] thought worthy of inclusion in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography were university educated.’ More importantly, ‘A large proportion of this group was not only university educated but held career posts at a university.’ For the period 1450-1650 this was 45 percent, and for 1450-1550, it was 51 percent. In short, sociological and historical accounts of the role of the university as an institutional locus for science and as an incubator of scientific thought and argument have been vastly understated. Indeed, Islam has nothing to do with this processes. Universities and Islam are contradictory.
The legal system that developed in 13th century Europe, which saw the absorption of Greek philosophy, Roman law, and Christian theology, was instrumental in forming a philosophically and theologically open culture that respected scientific development. European universities were legally autonomous and they could develop their own rules, scholarly norms, and curricula, depending on curiosity, skepticism, and inquisitiveness. It was only this attitude of inquiry that helped lay the foundation for modern science.
The network of universities facilitated the spread of information, knowledge and debate and served as an incubator for many later scientific advances in Europe. These developments had never occurred in the Arab lands. Moreover, all of these innovations were made centuries before European colonialism had begun. In fact, it was the time when Europe itself was a victim of Islamic colonialism and violent aggressive Jihad being waged by the Ottomans in the remaining Byzantine lands, and the Mediterranean coasts had suffered centuries of Islamic raids.
Mathematics, geometry trigonometry. Mohamad Abdalla claims that Muslims developed Greek geometry and then used it in designing wheels of all kinds, including waterwheels and other systems for drawing water, in improving farming equipment, and, inevitably, in devising engines and devices of war. In the ninth century, Thābit ibn Qurra wrote on cubatures and quadratures; advanced the study of parabolas; and translations of Appollonius’ Conics, Archimedes’ treatises, and Nicomachus’ Introduction to Arithmetic. Moreover, he continues legends, trigonometry was invented by the Arabs. They were the first to formulate explicit trigonometric functions. Khawarizmi, the Muslim mathematician and the first to establish algebra and algorithm and to compose many astronomical tables. Habbash al-Hāsib was the first to use tangents cotangent functions. Abu al-Wafā’ al-Buzanji, the first person to demonstrate the sine theorem for general spherical triangle, which is attributed to Copernicus. Bayruni was the first to write on spherical trigonometry, calculated the approximate value of a diagonal of one degree, and was the first to demonstrate that for a plane triangle.
The problem with this list is that all of them were not the first and all of them were not Arabs. Khawarizmi was a Persian mathematician and astronomer; Thabit ibn Qurrah was a Sabian mathematician and physician from Harran, Turkey; Habbash al-Hāsib Persian astronomer and mathematician; Abu al-Wafā’ al-Buzanji was a Persian mathematician; and al-Bayruni was born in todays’ Uzbekistan. There is no accurate information whether they were Muslims at all or forcibly converted to Islam. What is clear that their knowledge, whatever it worth, was not Islamic originated.
Persian scientific efforts contributed significantly to academic development of clinical pharmacology and medicine. One example is the practical production in food industry. Persian scientists improved the cooking process in such a way that long before others they could enjoy the taste of pure sugar. The list of Persian scientists that have enriched clinical chemistry, pharmacology, and thus medical therapy and medicine, is almost endless. The Persian poet, Ferdowsi composed in the 11th century his famous work Shahnameh, the ‘Book of Kings.” With this book the poet elevates the Persian language, 300 years after the destruction of Sassanid empire. While most of the conquered countries would lose their culture and language forever the Persian poet Ferdowsi prevented this tragedy for Persia. The Sumarians, one of the first Aryan peoples, integrated astronomy and medical science. The medical profession of doctor goes aback as far as 4000 years, with traces of medical instruments and recipes. Nothing Islamic.
Algebra already existed in ancient Mesopotamia. Algebraic symbolism was employed by Diophantus in Greco-Roman times. Muslims never made use of such symbols. Moreover, wheels of all kinds and farming equipment where all well-known to the Pharaonics and Assyrians long time before Islam; and geometry and trigonometry were invented in India, and some of them by Assyrians. And one more thing: please do not feel uncomfortable reading Muslim were the first of everything. History belongs to them, and everything was created for them and according to their will. They have the best example in Muhammad. He was the greatest human who ever lived and the best model for all humanity: al-Insān al-Kāmil, “the ideal perfect man” whose life is to be imitated by all Muslims and must be obeyed (3:32; 4:79; 8:20; 24:54). Muhammad is the uppermost “beautiful model of conduct” (33:21), a man of “sublime moral character” (68:4).
Medicine. Mohamed Abdalla assisted by Islamic Heritage site claims that “Muslims also excelled in and made original contributions to medicine… Muslims produced new medical knowledge, by systematizing the inconsistent Greco-Roman medical knowledge by writing encyclopedias and summaries. The influence of Islamic medicine in the West was critical, due to the mass of information it conveyed and because it helped establish medicine as a science. In this background Islamic medicine developed and advanced, and at its zenith produced such towering physicians like Ibn Sinā and al-Rāzi, considered to be among the greatest physicians ever known.”
“ar-Rāzi is the keenest original thinker and greatest clinician not only of Islam but of all the Middle Ages. He was the Islamic world’s greatest original clinical and observational physician… He applied chemistry and physics to medicine… wrote a medical encyclopedia and a treatise on smallpox and measles that was the earliest of its kind and considered a masterpiece of Arabic medical literature. He was a pioneer in pediatrics, obstetrics, and ophthalmology… the inventor of the Seton in surgery, and the first to relate hay fever to a rose’s scent, and mastered by psychological shock and of using psychosomatic medicine and psychology. Another great figure Ibn Sinā, was the most renowned physician, philosopher, astronomer and mathematician… representing the climax of medieval philosophy… His book, Canon of Medicine, influenced Europe’s medical schools for the next 600 years and was probably the most used of all medieval medical references.”
However, it is interesting that what is called Islamic medicine was in fact Assyrian and Jewish, and it was built on known traditions, mainly theoretical and practical knowledge developed in Greece and Rome, in Babylon, Persia and India. Here is what ar-Rāzi said about Islam: Muslims get angry and spill the blood of whoever confronts them with questions about their religion. They forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became thoroughly silenced and even concealed. Muslims claim that the Qur’an is miraculous and the infinite words of Allah, and ‘whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one.’ Indeed, we can produce thousands similar, which are more appropriately phrased and state the issues more succinctly. Muslims are talking about a work which recounts ancient myths, is full of contradictions and does not contain any useful information or explanation. Now, can one who utter such words be a Muslim?
As said before, both ar-Rāzi and Ibn Sinā’ were great physiciansand thinkers. However, both were Persians and not Arabs, both were highly unorthodox if they were Muslims at all, and both made their contributions in spite of Islam and not because of Islam. The fact is that as in almost every science, the observatory as a scientific and cultural institution failed to take root in the Arabic-Islamic world. European anatomists were practicing dissections on the pigs and also human body. Consequently, they had a considerable stock of empirical knowledge about human anatomy that was not available in the Arab-Muslim world. Engaged in a variety of practices that would have been forbidden in Islam, Middle Eastern medical education of the time was still based mainly on the memorization of authoritative texts. Moreover, Clear glass was used by Europeans to create eyeglasses for the correction of eyesight, and later for the creation of microscopes and telescopes and thus the birth of modern medicine and astronomy. The final breakthrough was made by the great physician, Vesalius, in his book On the Fabric of the Human Body from 1543.
Astronomy. In his website, George Saliba writes: “I study the development of scientific ideas from late antiquity to modern times, with a special focus on the various planetary theories that were developed within the Islamic civilization and the impact of such theories on European astronomy.” Moreover, Islamic heritage site explains that the medieval Islamic astronomers were not mere translators but also have played a key role in the Copernican revolution, which ultimately influenced Renaissance. The contribution of Islamic science was fundamental to the birth and subsequent development of astronomy in the West, for before this contribution the West had no advanced astronomy. The knowledge developed by Muslim astronomers produced changes in the West as regards the development of trigonometry, instruments, and the local star catalogues, and affected the growth and development of astronomical theory.
It continues: Islamic astronomers surpassed the Greek mathematical methods, and developed trigonometry, which eventually provided the essential tools necessary for the astronomy that developed during the Renaissance. Scholars as Thabit ibn Qurra and Hunayn ibn Ishaq translated Ptolemy’s major work. By the end of the ninth century, the Arabs had thoroughly studied and were acquainted with the work of Antiquity. Saliba himself concludes that at some level the Renaissance “which was at least partly inspired by the Copernican revolution was not a purely European creation.”
Though the best Muslim scholars could be capable of observational astronomers, above all Ulugh Beg (Mīrzā Muhammad Tāraghay), who was a Timurid from Samakand, and Persian in origin, and not an Arab. Few of them made some adjustments to Ptolemaic astronomical theory, but none of them ever made a huge conceptual breakthrough comparable to that provided by Copernicus in 1543 when he put the Sun, not the Earth, at the center of our Solar System. Ptolemaic astronomy was in reality outdated in Europe even before Galileo and others introduced telescopic astronomy in 1609.
The achievements of the Maragha Observatory in Persia, founded in 1259 and known for its precise observations of the stars and the planets, were Persian mind and invention, not Islamic. The fact is that by 1304-05 the observatory was closed because it contradicted Islamic teachings. Islam was and still is against sciences and innovations considered as Bid’ah. The breakthrough in astronomy was the shift to a heliocentric or sun-centered model of the solar system, was done by Nicolaus Copernicus in the sixteenth century. It was based on ancient Greece and in India thinking.
Another aspect was astrology, however, it was directly counter to the teachings of Islam: only Allah knows the past and the future, and only Allah regulates the entire world. Therefore, those astrologists who claim such knowledge are blasphemers. This was exactly the reason that several observatories in Persia and India were destroyed because of their alleged association with astrology. Astrology was blasphemy and an insult to Allah and Astronomy was thus distrusted and mainly denied by Muslims.
Archaeology is one of the proofs that the Islamic world was against at adopting scientific cultural inventions. Historically and religiously Muslims tend to be indifferent and uncurious toward non-Muslim cultures and sciences, past or present, but most of the time actively hostile to them. Muslims, despite the fact that they controlled the cradles of the most ancient civilizations on the planet, were indifferent or actively hostile to their remains. The Egyptian Grand Mufti, Ali Gom’ā, is quoted a saying by Muhammad that sculptors will be among those receiving the harshest punishment on Judgment Day. According to the influential Egyptian scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, “Islam prohibits statues and three-dimensional figures of the living creatures… Therefore, the statues of ancient Egyptians are prohibited.”
When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798, he sent scientist to exlore the wonders of the Pyramids and the Sphinx. This took the Muslims completely by astonishment, as they could not understand why anybody would be interested in worthless infidel stones. The local Egyptians were confused and did not understand the issue: what was important with this monuments they only robed its treasures. This was the case of other ancient monuments in Iraq, Syria, and North-Africa.
Archaeology was invented by Europeans in the post-Enlightenment period. Muslim exegetes perceived it as infidelity. The French expedition to Egypt in 1798-1801 brought many scholars to catalogue the ancient monuments, thus founding modern Egyptology. The trilingual Rosetta Stone discovered in 1799 was employed to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs in 1822, by using the Coptic language. Arab and Turkish Muslims controlled Egypt for more than a thousand years, yet they never bother to decipher the hieroglyphs. The Copts, the native Egyptian Christians (the name “Egypt” comes from Coptic=Cuptan=Egypt) were the direct link to ancient Egypt that fortunately the Arab Muslims invaders hadn’t managed to completely eradicate.
Fine arts in Islam is another sad story of nothing. For 1400 years, Muslims have been prevented by their own faith from enjoying the freedom of artistic expression that non-Muslims take for granted. A highly reliable authentic Hadīth from Sahīh Bukhārī and Sahīh Muslim quotes Muhammad says that “angels have declared that they will not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture.” The Reliance of the Traveler quotes a number of Ahādīth, that “There will be no peoples of my community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful.” Another quote says: “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to songstress.” The scholarly conclusion is that “All of this is explicit and compelling textual evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful.” Another legal ruling says that “It is unlawful to use musical instruments – such as those which drinkers are known for, like the mandolin, lute, cymbals, and flute – or to listen to them. It is permissible to play the tambourine at weddings, circumcisions, and other times, even if it has bells on its sides. Beating the kuba, a long drum with a narrow middle, is unlawful.”
There appears to be a close correlation between the sciences and the arts. Music was closely connected to astronomy in Pythagorean thought, and the great astronomer Claudius Ptolemy wrote on music. Mathematical laws and proportions were considered the underpinnings of musical intervals. Plato and Aristotle both claimed that education should stress gymnastics to discipline the body and music to discipline the mind. The Christian church was the dominant institution in post-Roman Europe that deeply affected the future development of European music. The Gregorian chant in the monasteries and cathedrals established the musical tradition in the works of Mozart and Beethoven. From the Jews came the practices of singing psalms and chanting Scripture. Greek theory evolved from Pythagoras. The Church of post-Roman Europe and drew music from Greek philosophy, musical theory, and Jewish tradition (Donald J. Grout, A History of Western Music). Psychological and behavioral tests clearly prove that music, any music, has been an important ingredient in thinking, developing and the advancement of man.
One must also relate to the Islamic intolerance of the other’s arts. It is clear, the greatest destruction of art in the history of the world is that wrought by Muslims over 1400 years of its existence (architecture, artifacts of ancient civilizations). Muslims devoted the greatest destruction of art in world history, vandalizing many different works of art and architecture, frescoes, mosaics, paintings, statues, synagogues, churches, Hindu and Buddhist temples, wherever Islam was present. Some of that arts has been religious in nature: thousands of Buddhist and Hindu temples complexes in India razed by Muslims; thousands of churches vandalized, razed, or turned into mosques in North Africa and the Middle East.
The destruction of a world heritage ancient sites also prove Islamic intolerance. The Buddhas of Bamiyan, from the 4th-5th century, monumental statues of standing Buddha carved into a cliff in Afghanistan, were demolished by the Taliban in March 2001. In 2012, Muslims of Ansar Dine group, which claimed allegiance to al-Qaeda, unleashed a campaign of destruction against the cultural and religious monuments of Timbuktu, bashing in the doors of a 15th century mosque, and tearing down centuries-old tombs of Muslim holy men.Palmyra, a World Heritage Site, one of Syria’s biggest tourist destinations, is on ruins. The 1,900-year-old Temple of Baal (Bell), described as the premier archeological site in Syria is demolished. Mar Elian Monastery, an important Christian pilgrimage site is demolished. Apamea, a rich Roman-era trading city, has been badly looted. Dura Europos, a Greek place on the Euphrates, housed the world’s oldest known Christian church, a beautifully decorated synagogue, and many other temples and Roman-era buildings, were widespread destructed. Mari, from the Bronze Age, a center of palaces, temples, and extensive archives was looted systematically.
In Iraq, Hatra, UNESCO World Heritage site from the Roman era with marvelous Greek architecture, was demolished. Mosul Museum and universities are in a process of destruction. Mosul University’s library was burned. The Mosul Museum, Iraq’s second largest, after the Museum in Baghdad, was demolished. Nimrud, the first Assyrian capital, founded 3,200 years ago is ruined and looted. Ninveh, an ancient Assyrian capital between 900 and 600 B.C. is under Jihadi control. Mosul’s Mosque of the Prophet Yunus was dedicated to the biblical figure Jonah was demolished with explosives. Imam Dar Mausoleum, near the city of Samarra, was a medieval Islamic architecture and decoration was blown up.
Back to the past. The case of the Library of Alexandria, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, which was burnt in 644. The Library was the ancient world’s greatest and most significant archive of knowledge. It has been estimated that it held over 700,000 scrolls and documents from Assyria, Greece, Persia, Egypt, India and other places. The great thinkers of the age, scientists, mathematicians, poets from all civilizations came to study and exchange ideas. al-Qiftī (1172-1248) relates to the issue in his The History of Learned Men (Ta’rīkh al-Hukamā’). Umar ibn-al-Khattāb replied to ‘Amr ibn al-‘Asas follows: ‘As for the books you have mentioned I can say that those which agree with the Book of Allah [The Qur’an] are to be disposed of because Qur’an is sufficient. And if they have things which contradict the Qur’an, they must be deposed of.’ Another version claims that Umar wrote: “they will either contradict the Qur’an, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.” So, allegedly, all the texts of the Library were set on fire.
In his Prolegomena (al-Muqadimah), Ibn Khaldun supports the story of the burning of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in light of the Arabs’ behavior towards books in that era. He recalls that the Sassanid Persia’s library books were thrown in water and set on fire after the Battle of Nahavand, in 642. This battle is known as the “Victory of Victories” following the order of the Caliph Umar Ibn al-Khattāb who told Ibn Abi Waqqās: ‘If these books included guidance, know that Allah has given us a better guidance; and if they contained deviation then may Allah protect us.’
Arabs/Muslims are engaged in an explicit campaign of destruction and expropriation of cultures and communities, identities and ideas. Wherever Arab/Muslim civilization encounters a non-Arab/Muslim one, it attempts, and unfortunately most of the times even succeeded to destroy it. If the “foreign” culture cannot be destroyed, then it is expropriated, and revisionist historians claim that it is and was Muslim, as is the case of most of the Muslim scientific “accomplishments.” This is a pattern that has been recurring since the advent of Islam, 1400 years ago, and is amply substantiated by the historical record, and clearly corroborated by contemporary situation.
The tragedy of the Free World that this Islamic onslaught is on the winning route. So many publications on the internet sites, books, pamphlets and documents, and so much money pour out to change the human mind. For example, MuslimHeritage.com perpetuate historical fabrications and virtually rob the heritage of other civilizations such as ancient China, Greece, Rome, India, and pre-Islamic Middle East – Persia, Babylon, Assyria, Phoenicia, Jews, and Pharaonic Egypt. Or the official site of Paul Vallely,paulvallely.com where the articles written by him are proven to be fundamentally misleading and full of sheer lies and fabrications. They omit, distort, twist, and make blunders concerning the most basic of historical well-known facts. They leave the reader wondering what could have motivated him into writing such deceptive pieces?It is money alone? Is it ignorance? Or it is evil?
Science is universal. Its problems and modalities are international. Islamic Science is the total opposite of any science. Science does not believe in creation theory and religion does not believe in evolution theory. They are both contradictory. The Islamic gates of innovation (Ijtihād) were closed. The Islamic religion is the main, almost the only cause to the Islamic empty-science.Enough is enough. More and more Muslims and their idiot-fools supporters in the West publish ‘researches’ and ‘investigations’ that claim everything was Islamic, and everything belongs to Islam, and hence Islam deserves to be the only legitimate religion and political system.
If contemporary generation still has the ability to make the difference and is somehow immune of this fabricated propagation, the next generation will be totally exposed to one way falsified propaganda that twists distorts and perverts the basics of truth. Science, pure science, will be vanished and instead a “science” depend on religion will emerge. From here the road of the Free World to the Islamic 7th century desert is close, and Judeo-Christian civilization is lost.
*part of a larger book titled, Why Islam is a Danger to the World: A Scholarly Rebuttal of Muslim Propaganda, be published by Mellen Press.
How Muslim Propagators Swindle the Western Civilization: Islam and Science Expropriation (C)
Yet another perspective to reflect: what are the archaeological treasures and the glorious historical events Egypt is proud of? Are they Pharaonic or Islamic? What about the Assyrians and Chaldean sites in Iraq? Are they Babylonian or Islamic? What about the Ugarit and Sumerian sites in Syria? Are they belong to the great history of ancient Syria or the Islamic era? In Lebanon it is the Phoenician culture and in North Africa it is the Berber. What about Persia that takes high proud of its scientific cultural achievements and cherishes its Arian glorious past? Does Islam has anything to do there? What about the great achievements of Buddhist Afghanistan and Hindu India? Islam has only left ruins there and took care to perform ethnic cleansing genocide.
John O’neill’s research (Holy Warriors: Islam and the demise of Classical Civilization) prove that Islam’s cultural and scientific contribution to the world is not only poorly negligent but negative. Not only Islam did not contribute to the civilization’s advancement, but in fact Islam was the main cause to the stagnation, decay, and the obstruction of Europe in the Middle-Ages. The so-called “Islamic Golden Age” is a total myth and a fabrication. The research of Dario Fernandes-Morera (The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians and Jews under Islamic rule in Medieval Spain, proves that Spain was the uppermost victim of the Islamic imperialist-colonialist occupation, and perhaps the most violent and harsh of the Islamic rule. The Christian Crusades were in fact defensive wars that saved Europe from the Islamic aggression. They were the last frontier before the transformation of Europe to Islamic territory.
Moreover, Islam was negatively the main cause for the discovery of America. The history of Western Civilization begins in a conflict with the Orient, a conflict of which it may be the end is not yet. When the Ottoman Empire took control of the Bosporus and Egypt, new routes had to be found.When Muslim Turks cut off the land routes to India and China, Europeans began to look for sea routes. In 1492,Christopher Columbus took four voyages to the New World (1492-93; 1493-1496; 1498-1500; and 1502-1504). The incentive was the Islamic imperialist occupation.
In his book, Libro de Las Profecias, he revealed his motivation for setting sail on his first voyage in August 1492, with the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria. He sought to find a sea route to India and China as the Ottoman Empire had closed off the land routes. The Mozarabic Chronicle in 754, recorded that thousands of churches were burned and: “God alone knows the number of the slain.” Columbus referenced how 40 years earlier in 1453, the Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople, effectively cutting off the land trade routes to travel from Europe east to India and China.This gave rise to Columbus and other explorers searching for a sea route.Present-day critical of Columbus for discovering the New World should blame the ruthlessness of Islamic imperialism, for it was only after the Ottoman Empire cut off of the land routes to India and China that Columbus sought a sea route.
Those Arab and Muslim propagators who take so deep self-pride on the greatness of Ibn Khaldun, as the first historian, for example, should read what he said about Arab character: the natural talent of Arabs is the plundering and exploitation of others. Belongings of others inspire them to theft and robbery. They feed through their swords, robb and plunder without moral boundaries. During their conquests, they occupy a country and pay no attention to the heritage of the people. The only thing the Arabs cared for was to obtain other people’s property through extortion and blackmail. They knew no mercy for other peoples and their well being. It was never their intention to improve a community but to find new ways to satisfy their greed and increase their wealth. Because of their nature it is hard for Arabs to accept any authority. On the basis of their characteristics they show brutality, greed and rivalry. It seldom happens that they agree on anything, except on religious matters. Raiding and plundering rule the Arabs lives, the way they behave, their relationships, their views of the other, and their decisions. Any Arab conquest automatically entailed the destruction of the civilization in question as most cities were deserted by their inhabitants. Cultivated fields turned into a wasteland. The areas between Mediterranean and Sudan, which has previously built and inhabited, are now just a desert, where ruins are left to to remind us that it once was a civilization.
“Islamic science” and /or “Arab Science.” George Saliba, the University of Columbia’s Arabic and Islamic Studies, claims that “Islamic science” virtually created the modern world. To this, Toby Huff refers to “Arab Science,” and claims that from the eighth century to the end of the fourteenth, Arabic science was probably the most advanced science in the world, greatly surpassing the West and China. Arab scientists were in the forefront of scientific advance.
When Pope Benedict XVI delivered his Regensburg Address on 12 September 2006, quoted a passage about Islam, given by Manuel IIPalaiologos, the Byzantine Emperor: “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached. To this absolutely correct words Tariq Ramadan, Europe’s favorite Muslim and perhaps one of the most influential figure in the West today, condemned the Pope and Europe for ignoring the positive contributions of Islam to the development of rational thought in the West: Benedict’s narrow definition of European identity is deeply troubling and almost dangerous, the tendency of Westerners to ignore the critical role that Muslims played in the development of Western thought. In his article he gives a long list of Muslims who developed European sciences.
However, first, “Islamic Science” is not an “Arab Science.” This differentiation is important to start with. “Arabs science” was and still is until today, non-existent. One can count Arab scientists in his finger-hands. In Huff’s analysis it appears clearly: his mistake is that when he uses the term “Arab science” he actually means all Muslims, anybody who happened to live under Arab-Islamic rule, and not necessarily Arabs.Muslims, whenever they talk about Islam’s contributions to civilization, are quickly to mention Muslim philosophers and scientists, and the Islamic Golden Age, spanning from 9th to the 12th century. To understand this issue, one must address: more than inventing and developing, as they claim, Muslims transferred Greek, Indian and Persian knowledge and sciences through the Arabic language. Muslims have not created any new sciences but passed on the formers’ (‘Ulûm al-Awā’il, ancient sciences). Moreover, this project of translation to Arabic was done by the local indigenous scholars, Assyrians, Persians, Jews, Christians, and not by Arabs. In fact, only those sciences that were considered fitting to Arab-Muslim interests, like linguistics, mainly grammar (‘Ulûm al-Lughah), vocabulary (‘Ulûm an-Nahû), and historiography, were investigated. Other scientific research, mainly natural sciences, were entirely investigated by the natives of the Islamic conquests, except of very few and still without considerable progress.
The Greek-Arabic translation movement in Abbasid Baghdad, like other scholarly efforts was not centered in educational institutions, Madāris, which remained religious-oriented, but in the households of patrons seeking social prestige. The translation movement supported by the entire elite of Abbasid society, however, when these patrons changed their priorities, or when they died, the institutions often died with them.
Madāris were established under the law of Waqf, pious endowments, which meant they were legally obligated to follow the religious commitments. Autonomous institutions were utterly absent in the Islamic world until the late nineteenth century. Again, “Islamic sciences” had only one meaning: the study of the Qur’an, the principles of the Shari’ah, and Arabic grammar. Nothing more. “Islamic Sciences” is a fake myth propagated to the ignorant contemporary world without any corroboration and substantiation. Averroës’ works were forbidden and neglected, even burnt, until Europeans rediscovered them. Now Muslims pretend to speak on behalf of him.
The more sordid the Islamic present seems, the more we are told of the glories of the Islamic past; and the most glorious among the glories of Islam are the “Islamic science,” the Islamic contribution to all Western sciences. However, according to Reliance of the Traveller, the following list are denied being a blasphemy: sorcery, philosophy, magic, astrology, the sciences of the materialists, and anything that creates doubts. These are unlawful, serious affronts to Islam, and a form of apostasy. Ghazali in his The Incoherence of the Philosophers rejects the connection exist between causes and effects, which are basic to any science. According Ghazali, causes and effects are inadmissible, because they limit the absolute freedom of Allah and his will. The Reliance of the Traveller asserts “that things in themselves or by their own nature have any causal influence independent of the will of Allah” is apostasy.
Yet, without the notion of cause and effect, any science is impossible. Therefore, the condemnation of the Reliance of the Traveller of “the sciences of the materialists” and philosophy leads to condemnation of all secular sciences. If one cannot discuss the nature of any object, whether material or spiritual, because it conditions how it affects and is affected by other objects that means condemnation of any effort to understand anything.
For Bassam Tibi, the reformist Muslim, all along the Islamic history, what is called science was viewed as literally Islamic science, meaning the study of the Qur’an, Sunnah, and the glorious Arab history. Rational sciences were – in medieval Islam – considered to be foreign sciences and at times heretical. It was termed ‘Ulûmal-Qudamā'(the sciences of the Ancients), that it, the Greeks.”Islamic science” was totally dependent upon translations that ultimately made by non-Muslims of the achievements of pre-Islamic cultures, Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Jews, Christians, Assyrians. The Arabs of the desert, warriors of raids and booty, knew no languages and had no intellectual curiosity. A striking number of Muslim thinkers and scientists were Persians and Assyrians, who totally owed to their pre-Islamic heritage than if anything to Islam.
This issue should also be viewed and examined by the test of history: If Islam has scientifically contributed so much to humanity in almost every aspect of human life, how come there was nothing, almost zero, of these before the 9th century, and nothing after the 13th century? If the Arab-Muslims are so talented, can anyone explain this perplexing fact? Science does not stop. Science does not disappear abruptly. Science is an ever going processes of learning and developing, pile on pile, error and trial, erring and correcting, from the past to the present, and from the present to the future. Science does not appear out of the blue and does not disappear out of the blue. Science is created and it develops. It takes efforts and investments to cultivate and ameliorate it, but it is part of of the progress of humanity.
Today, the Muslim world produces a disproportionately very small amount of scientific output and much of it is of low quality, if any. In numerical terms, Muslim countries having almost 25% of world’s population, generate less than 5% of its science, with innovations almost to zero. How does one explain the huge gap in scientific output between the Muslim world and the West or East Asia? The past achievements of scientists clearly show that Islamic religion is the key problem facing scientific achievements.
Again, where are the Islamic scientific achievements from the 13th century on? What are their achievements until today? As for contemporary situation, how about investigating all 56 Islamic countries’ situation today? What are their economic, social, cultural, scientific situation let alone their achievements? All we see around is misery, wretchedness of life, and authoritarian patrimonial oppressive rule. No freedoms and no civil rights. Islam forbids. Islam demands submission and devotion to Allah alone. Pretentiousness is notorious. Pretentiousness without any proven basis is not only a shame to those who hold it, but total impossible inhuman trait to accept. However, it is much worse to those who accept it without investigation and understanding, and still carry it on to shape the ignorant minds and to influence world public opinion with fabrications.
Regrettably, it looks like that Muslim propagators have taken control on Wikipedia’s user-created and many other internet devices, to propagate on many subjects concerning Islam and the Middle East. It is highly salient in articles on the history of sciences and Islamic involvement. This is what is so dangerous when depending on the internet, and Wikipedia in particular. The articles have been thoroughly overrun by Islamic supremacist propagators and their Western supporters. Reading them, one is overwhelmed by uncorroborated and unsubstantiated material, which absolutely support the Islamic propagation. This process influences the learned people that wish to understand, and therefore wirld public opinion, the media, and by all means the politicians. The result is twisted, fabricated and false information.
The “Islamic Golden Age.”In our contemporary twisted world and upside down language, the allegedly ‘anti-imperialist’ Marxists in Western world love brutal, aggressive, oppressive imperialism, as long as it comes in an Islamic shape. They deeply hate and totally fight Western imperialism and colonialism, but put a blind eye to the fact that the worst Imperialists and colonialists ever in the entire history, the worst genocide and ethnic cleansing acts were perpetrated by Muslims under the banner of the worst and cruelest religion, Islam. European medieval peoples are invariable portrayed as barbarians with no culture of their own, while Islamic barbarian and primitive culture is praised as being the best and advanced. Therefore, as Islamic and Bolshevik propaganda dispersed around, the naïve Westerner is confused, perplexed, and wonders about his own religion, history and culture and what is wrong and what is right.
The issue of Islam vs. Europe in the Middle-Ages is repeatedly flooded with fabrications promoted by Muslims propagators and Western Bolsheviks, and accepted by ignorant who know nothing of the issue, and do not ask questions. This is one of many cases in which experienced and well-rooted sciences is being rebuffed in favor of myths disseminated by Muslim propagation. People who know very little about the issues have taken control on knowledge and dictate their distorting extreme lies on world public opinion, the media, and even the politicians. The Islamic Golden Age is one of the biggest myths that are still with us.
Taking this line, Germany’s Der Spiegel, Europe’s largest weekly magazine, hailed the Muslim al-Andalus as a Multicultural Model for Europe: “For nearly 800 years, inhabitants of al-Andalus, as the Arab dynasties called their empire on the Iberian Peninsula, allowed Jews, Christians and Muslims to coexist in a spirit of mutual respect, a situation that benefited all.” Even the U.S. State Department has proclaimed that “during the Islamic period in Spain, Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived together in peace and mutual respect, creating a diverse society in which vibrant exchanges of ideas took place.”
Please read these few lines of total ignorance and stupidity: “800 Years” (!); “coexist in a spirit of mutual respect”(!); “in peace and mutual respect, creating a diverse society” (!). Now the question: did they ever try to learn the issue, or just followed like monkeys the Islamic propagation? Yet still, this is the voice of ignorance. One can also find the voice of evil: Islamic propagator, Karen Armstrong, enunciates this when she says that “until 1492, Jews and Christians lived peaceably and productively together in Muslim Spain – a coexistence that was impossible elsewhere in Europe.”
The vast volume of the myths, in fact sheer lies, were related to the so-called “Golden Age” of Islamic rule in Andalusia. Here are the facts: Spain was conquered in 710-716 by Arab tribes. Followed the conquest, there was a massive colonization of the Iberian Peninsula; huge Berber and Arab immigration; and an intensive acts of slaughter of Christians, conversion of churches into mosques, and massive pillages, enslavement, and deportations. The only toleration was when Christians and Jews acted in submission, like the Muslims expected to as Dhimmis. Segregated in special quarters, they had to wear discriminatory clothing. Subjected to heavy taxes, misery and poverty were the common.
Society in Andalusia, occupied Spain, was sharply divided along ethnic and religious lines, with the Arab tribes at the top of the hierarchy; followed by the Berbers who were never recognized as equals, despite their Islamization; lower in the scale came the Mullawadun, converts; and at the very bottom, the Dhimmi Christians and Jews. The slogan that went prime during the Islamic reign in Spain was the quotation of the Qur’an (58:19): ‘Satan has gained possession of them, and caused them to forget Allah’s warning. They are Satan’s party; they will surely be the losers!’
The fact is that the humiliating status imposed on the Dhimmis and confiscation of their land did provoke many revolts, punished by horrifying massacres. The socio-political history of Andalusia was characterized by a particularly oppressive Dhimmitude that is completely incompatible with notions of equality and liberalism. As Bat Yeor and Paul Fregosi prove, al-Andalus represented the land of Jihad par excellence. Indeed, the Islamic “policy of tolerance and egalitarianism,” as Muslim propagators claim, was shown by the raiding expeditions every year, sometimes twice a year, against the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, plundering them and bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts and the Aegean Islands, looting and burning the peoples.
In 846, 11,000 Muslims on 73 ships invaded Rome and sacked the Basilica. They looted old St. Peter’s basilica and desecrated his grave. The Muslims then trashed the remains of St. Paul, which were in the historic church, San Paolo Fuori le Mura. As a result of this invasion, Pope Leo IVbegan building a massive wall to protect the Vatican from Muslims raiders.A miracle saved Rome at the Battle of Ostia in 849, when Muslim ship were decimated by a violent storm and captured. When Pope, John VIII (872-882) failed in rallying a defense, he was forced to pay an annual extortion tribute taxes. Muslims plundered the coasts of Italy, and in 883 they destroyed the renowned monastery of Monte Cassino, and killed its abbot, St. Bercharius in the altar. They destroyed the abbey of San Vincezo in 884, and the abbies of Farfa and Subiaco in 890. At the Battle of Garigliano River in 916, Muslims captured Reggio and Calabria, selling inhabitants into North African slavery.
Huge number of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the Muslims kept a militia of tens of thousands of Christian slaves (Saqaliba), and a harems filled with captured Christian concubines. In Granada, the Jewish viziers Samuel Ibn Naghrela and his son Joseph, who protected the Jewish community, were both assassinated between 1056 and 1066, followed by the annihilation of the Jewish population. It is estimated that up to five thousand Jews perished in the pogrom by Muslims that accompanied the 1066 assassination. The Muslim Berber Almohads in Spain and North Africa (1130-1232) wreaked destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations. This devastation, massacre, captivity, forced conversion and slaughter was described by the Jewish poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, the Muslims removed the children from their families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators. Maimonides, experiencing the Almohad persecutions, had to flee Cordoba with his entire family in 1148, temporarily residing in Fez, before finding asylum in Fatimid Egypt.
Richard Fletcher offers a sobering observations and a valid summary assessment of the real interfaith relationships in Muslim Spain, and refutes contemporary propagation of obfuscating Islamic history. The simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was of tranquility…Tolerance? Ask the Jews of Granada who were massacred in 1066, or the Christians who were deported by the Almoravids to Morocco in 1126 (Moorish Spain).
It is imperative to start understanding the issue by analyzing the cultural-scientific aspects: Muslim scholars did not seriously and could not religiously study other cultures and accept them with fairness, and therefore cannot express sympathy, egalitarianism and good will to the other. It also means that Islam lacks the basic important ingredients of scientific research:
a) Curiosity, the urge to know, to understand and to investigate, as the world of Muslims is always arranged and Islam regulates the believer’s life on each and every aspect, 24 hours a day. The Islamic educational system is to learn by heart. This is the most praised, cherished, and recommended demand of the believer and in the Islamic Madāris. The Shātir (skillful) in Islam is he who quotes by heart as many Qur’an verse as he can; he who knows the stories of Muhammad by heart and tell them proudly, and he who strive for the Islamic law to be the only law of the land. These are the most appreciated, welcomed and adored in the Islamic society.
b) Unlike the cultural and scientific approach in the West, which advocate skepticism, self-criticism and even self-blame; these attitudes simply do not exist in the Islamic religious system. Criticism, open-mindedness, and objective appreciation are totally missing in Islam, as the imperative to ask questions and to criticize has become in Islam a blasphemy.The believers should not, in fact must not ask questions: everything depends on Allah’s will and everything operates according to Allah’s demands. When the Muslims came to the idea from the 11th century on that Islam has the total human wisdom from the beginning of history to the end of the world, that there is nothing in the completeness of Islam, they accordingly also denied, neglected, and even prohibited the adoption of Western ideas, being Bid’ah (forbidden as heresy).
c) This approach leads to another component: in Islam the Golden Way is absent. By virtue of being absolute axioms, all Islamic notions are beyond proof. Islamic epistemology is clear and decisive: good and evil do not exist in and of themselves; they are as Allah proclaimed them. Allah does not decree or prohibit certain behaviors or actions because they are good or evil; but the actions are good or evil because Allah defined them as such.The faithful always avoid evil and always pursue absolute good (Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:110, 114, 132; Sûrat at-Taubah, 9:71, 112). Consequently, there is no room for moral or conscientious considerations in reference to infidels and there is no reason to feel empathy towards them (Sûrat al-Baqarah, 2:62; Sûrat Hā Min as-Sajdah, 41:30; Sûrat al-Fath, 48:29). By its innate essence, Islam is globally superior. It therefore does not engage in self-criticism over the actions or behavior of a faithful Muslim, as it is the epitome of perfection.
d) Islam’s view of the “self” versus the “other” is absolutely ethnocentric. Everything is perceived in unqualified terms of black and white. Islam divides the world in two: Dār al-Islām against Dār al-Harb, the good and just society versus the evil and impure society; absolute righteousness as compared to ultimate evil; Heaven againt Hell. The operative expression of this juxtaposition becomes evident in the al-Wallā’ wal-Barā’ approach: the supreme and unqualified loyalty and love for Islam versus the absolute rejection, enmity and hatred for the infidels. This is the most important manifestation of the Islamic faith, second only to the belief in the unity of Allah (Tawhīd): (Sûrat al-Baqarah, 2:257; Sûrat al-‘Imrān, 3:28, 31-2; Sûrat an-Nisā’, 4:76, 89; Sûrat al-Mā’idah, 5:51, 54; Sûrat at-Taubah, 9:71; Sûrat an-Nûr, 24:2; Sûrat al-Mumtahanah, 60:4).
e) Many commandment in the Qur’an can make this religiously legitimate: the verses that declare Muslims are the best of all human beings on the universe; the verses that declare the Muslims are always doing only good and always forbidding the bad and evil. These have a clear direction that lead the Muslims to freely expropriate everything that belong to the other, from the material to the spiritual, without any guilt remorse and with clean conscience. Indeed, there have been various attempts at historical revisionism concerning Islamic contributions to the world. These attempts are yet political propaganda than academic scholarship. After all, it is religiously acceptable in Islam to deceive and to act falsely if it promotes the interests of Islam. Allah deceives the infidels by Taqīyah and Kitmān, lying and deceiving the infidels to advance Allah’s cause, is permitted, and even prescribed, to Muslims.
f) There cannot be a Golden Age as Islam does not believe in “conquering” foreign territories; instead, there is only Futûhāt – introducing the world to the light of Islam and delivering the infidels from the darkness in which they live to the light of Islam. This is why the Muslim regimes have never expressed any remorse, or apologized for their past conquests or their present violence. The outcome was Arabization and Islamization of the indigenous natives. This is how the Middle East was mainly Pharaonic; Phoenician; Babylonian; Ugarit; Chaldean; Jewish, and Berber in North-Africa. Iran was Sassanid; East Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan were Buddhist. All these lands were Islamized and/or Arabized. Most of these peoples have perished, or come to extinction.
For Bernard Lewis the issue is clear. The golden age of equal rights to minorities and egalitarianism was a myth, and belief in it was a result, more than a cause, of Jewish sympathy for Islam. The myth was invented by Jews in nineteenth-century Europe as a reproach to the Christian religious Antisemitism. He continues by referring to the myth of Islamic Golden Age in broad perspective: we live in a time when great efforts have been made, and continue to be made to falsify the record of the past and to make history a tool of propaganda; when governments, religious movements, political parties, and sectional groups of every kind are busy rewriting history as they would wish it to have been, as they would like their followers to believe that it was. All this is very dangerous indeed, to ourselves and to others, however we may define otherness – dangerous to our common humanity. Because, make no mistake, those who are unwilling to confront the past will be unable to understand the present and unfit to face the future.
From the lifetime of its founder, Islam was the state, and the identity of religion and government is indelibly stamped on the memories and awareness of the faithful from their own sacred writings, history, and experience. It is the duty of those who have accepted Allah’s word and message to strive unceasingly to convert or at least to subjugate the infidels. This obligation is without limit of time or space. It must continue until the whole world has either accepted the Islamic faith or submitted to the power of the Islamic state.
His conclusion: Islamic Golden Age has never reached the gates of Islam, it was a big myth. Muslims and their Western collaborators have no shame added with of impudence stating that the real face of Islam was exhibited in Spain. Their statements are so deep on the fabricating side of the lie that the ignorant and the stupid go side by side with the evil to accept this falsification. Toby Huff warns out that if Islam had taken over Europe, the later Western scientific achievements would have been impossible: If Spain had persisted as an Islamic land into the later centuries, it would have retained all the ideological, legal, and institutional defects of Islamic civilization. A Spain dominated by Islamic law would have been unable to found new universities based on European model of legally autonomous corporate governance, as corporations do not exist in Islamic law. The Islamic model of education rested on the absolute primacy of Fiqh, of legal studies, and learning by heart is a total failure that leads to illiteracy.
It is recommended to read the online essay in Jihad Watch by Bat Ye’or and Andrew G. Bostom: “There were rarely periods of peace. al-Andalus represented the land of jihad par excellence. Every year, sometimes twice a year, raiding expeditions were sent to ravage the Christian Spanish kingdoms to the north, the Basque regions, or France and the Rhone valley, bringing back booty and slaves. Andalusian corsairs attacked and invaded along the Sicilian and Italian coasts, even as far as the Aegean Islands, looting and burning as they went. Thousands of people were deported to slavery in Andalusia, where the caliph kept a militia of tens of thousands of Christian slaves brought from all parts of Christian Europe (the Saqaliba), and a harem filled with captured Christian women.”
Muslims were for the most part uninterested in other cultures and rarely bothered to learn their languages. The creation of a scientific discipline was done by other, never by Muslims. They showed little interest in the history of their pre-Islamic ancestors, let alone that of other nations, and aggressively destroyed historical remains unearthed in their own countries. They were concentrated in their own religion, and in conquering and plundering the infidels’ lands. This is the only perhaps the best science they have excelled.
There was much more, and the best to testify what the face of Islam is the greatest ever top Jewish philosopher, physician and scientist, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known as Maimonides, whom Muslim propaganda shamelessly and impudently claim he was a Muslim convert. He was a proud Jew, one of the greatest human mind who despised Islam. For Maimonides Islam is barbarian and violent, the worst nation that hates Israel and acts to eliminate the Jewish people. Muhammad was a deceiver, fanatical and Islam is savage religion.
The fact is clear: Muslims have spent 1400 years trying to eradicate Greek studies and the ancient peoples’ scientific achievements. Islam acted also to demolish the Greek and the ancient Middle East heritage and societies whenever and wherever they came and occupied, from India to Andalusia. Now Muslim propagators shamelessly want to take the credit for “preserving the Greek cultural and scientific heritage” and claiming to be in the forefront of sciences. Yet, no cultural sphere with one and a half billion people contributes so little to the development of science or the arts in our time.
After the 13th century, the Arab world saw very few innovations in any of the scientific fields. The Renaissance, the Reformation, the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment, passed totally unnoticed in the Muslim world. It is related to Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, in late 19th century asking why the Muslim torch became extinguished and it remains buried in profound darkness.
*part of a larger book titled, Why Islam is a Danger to the World: A Scholarly Rebuttal of Muslim Propaganda, be published by Mellen Press.
Sri Lanka can Boost its Development by Investing in Early Childhood Education
Today, Lalani Damayanthi Perera is pretending to be a crow. A teacher at the Singithi Kekulu Pre-school and Day Care Centre, Lalani and her assistant (who is wearing a fox mask) are acting out the classic Aesop fable for a group of 40 Sri Lankan children, all of whom are under the age of five. In the story, the fox uses flattery to trick the crow into dropping a piece of cheese; as Lalani gives out a loud ‘caw’, the children giggle.
Lalani learned how to use drama effectively in the classroom at a training on early childhood development. “Before I used to use only picture cards and books to narrate stories,” she says, explaining that acting is both more fun and more effective. The children can re-tell the story at home, and their recall is improved. “Even if we ask after a month’s period, they remember how the teacher acted.”
Lalani received her training through the first stand-alone Early Childhood Development (ECD) project supported by the World Bank in South Asia. As part of the project, a National Census of ECD centers has helped identify key challenges, including the urgent need to -upgrade facilities and to provide training for teachers, child development officers, and parents of young children.
Promoting early childhood development is promoting equity
Lalani knows that the socio-economic status of families around her plays a big role in whether children are sent to pre-school or not. Some families struggle to scrape together the fees. “The families around our preschool in our village are poor,” says Lalani, adding that many are daily wage laborers employed as masons, carpenters or gardeners.
Lalani’s experience confirms why Sri Lanka must pay special attention to improving access to ECD for children from all kinds of socio-economic backgrounds, in all parts of Sri Lanka.
The latest net enrolment rates for ECD across wealth quintiles reveal how approximately 54 percent of children from Sri Lankan households in the highest quintile are enrolled in preschool, compared to only 44 percent from the lowest quintile. It is clear, even at the highest quintiles, that there is significant room for improvement. Disparities also exist between urban and estate sectors, with 54 percent enrolment in cities, compared to 42 percent in the plantations, according to the latest Sri Lanka Household Income and Expenditure (HIES) data
This is a concern with studies establishing that children from economically disadvantaged families are at a greater risk of poor cognitive development than children from richer households. Early developmental delays can have long-term and potentially irreversible consequences. In this context, access to early childhood education can help equalize learning opportunities, and promote equitable development.
Training programmes should target parents
While the importance of teacher training is widely recognized, more can be done to educate parents about the benefits of early childhood education. Targeted programs not only encourage families to take advantage of the services offered by preschools and other ECD centers, but also to help them to understand their role at home, including how play, early learning and stimulation, and nutrition impact their children.
Beginning in January and going into May every year, Suranjee Udayanganee an Early Childhood Development Officer, gathers groups of parents to conduct awareness programs. One of her big challenges is getting parents to understand that early childhood education is not about academic learning but rather about how play-centered activities and socialization can provide invaluable benefits to their children.
She helps parents identify activities they can do at home, such as helping children recognize shapes, learn songs or identify vegetables. “Parents have to make the environment at home child-friendly,” she says. “This cannot be done by anyone else, cannot be bought for money, or by sending them to tuition classes.”
Suranjee explains that young children learn best from experiences. “They grab fast to what they see and learn from that, so what the child sees in the family and the earliest environment should be positive.”
Sri Lanka needs to invest more in early childhood education
Investing in early childhood development makes economic sense for Sri Lanka, as such interventions have proven to have high benefit-cost ratios as well as the best rate of return on any human capital investment. Children who are exposed to such programmes typically report improved performance on standardized tests, reduced school drop-out rates, and increased grade retention rates.
While recognition of its importance has been growing in Sri Lanka, this recognition has not been matched by increased investment in the sector. Among middle-income countries, the average public expenditure on early childhood education (as a percentage of GDP) is .03 percent. In contrast, Sri Lanka spends just 0.0001 percent of its GDP on early childhood education – one of the lowest ratios of public spending on ECD in the world. In addition, a large percentage of ECE centers lack sufficient basic inputs such as protected drinking water, first-aid boxes, blackboards, toys, scrap materials. When these necessities are provided, children thrive.
As part of the Early Childhood Development project, the World Bank supported the expansion of Lalani’s school. On a visit, Suranjanee points out that the school can now cater to more students, and has also been provided with much-needed teaching materials. “It’s very clear the difference between the condition of this place before and now,” says the Early Childhood Development officer. “There’s the space, more objects for children to use. The surrounding is built to suit the children.”
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