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How Muslim Propagators Swindle the Western Civilization: Islam and Science Expropriation (A)

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A well-known phrase of Adolf Hitler says: “By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people to believe the heaven is hell and hell is heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.” Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda added to this: “A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth… If you tell the same lie enough times, people will believe it; and the bigger the lie, the better.” But it was Winston Churchill to declare: “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

Islamic propaganda, past and present prove these crystal clear. The Arab-Islamic propagation is absolutely shameless and impudent in expropriating other’s values, achievements and even history from them. This ‘totalism’ means that everything existed, developed, organized, and shaped on the universe,according to the Islamic propagation, was originated, created and invented by Islam. Muslims were/are the most technological and the most sophisticated in the universe on the one hand, and the most compassionate, democratic, peace-loving religion, with utmost human morals’ ideals, on the other. Indeed, Karl Marx declared: “The first battlefield is the re-writing of history.” The Muslims have proven to be the uppermost students of Marx’s proverb.

In his Cairo speech on June 7, 2009, President Mubarak Hussein Obama made assertions that at best showed ignorance concerning Islam’s contribution to history and science. These were words of flattering and ignorance, perhaps out of submission and cowardice, without any corroborating facts. He claimed: “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam at places like al-Azhar University that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; mastery of pens and printing.”

To this ignorant faked words, Frank Tipler, a world-class mathematician, physicist, and cosmologist, reacted: Obama is not much of a “student of history” if he believes these. Almost every advance he attributes to the Muslims was due to someone else. The non-Muslim Chinese invented the magnetic compass and printing. The non-Muslim Hindu Indians invented algebra and the decimal numbering system, the zero. The non-Muslim European Christians invented the university.

The history of astronomy and physics shows clearly: the Muslims contributed nothing. All modern physics descends from Galileo (1564-1642); all modern astronomy from Copernicus (1473-1543). Any study of Galileo’s works carefully reveals that he started with achievements of the Greek mathematical physicist Archimedes of Syracuse (287 BC-212 BC). Any careful study of Copernicus’ works reveals that Copernicus’ Great Book on Revolutions is essentially a heliocentric re-working of the geocentric astronomy textbook by the Greek Ptolemy (168 AD). Copernicus mostly used even Ptolemy’s data for the positions of the planets. Note the dates for Archimedes-Galileo and Ptolemy- Copernicus. It is as if the Muslim world never existed.

Certainly, the Muslims were a conduit for the discoveries of others. The word “algebra” is indeed derived from an Arabic word. But what was the Islamic contribution to that field? The books of Archimedes and Ptolemy used by Galileo and Copernicus were indeed translations into Latin from the Arabic. But let us never forget that those who translated them were not Arabs but local Christians, Jews, Persians and Assyrians; and let us not forget that Archimedes and Ptolemy wrote their books in Greek, not Arabic. They were Greeks, not Muslims.

Though most of the names for the brightest stars are of Arabic origin, because the names of these stars given in Ptolemy’s textbook were never translated from the Arabic. But do you think that the Arabs were the first humans to observe the first and second brightest stars in Orion? The reason Muslims never developed fundamental physics is because the leading Muslim theologians declared the idea of fixed physical laws to be heretical. There cannot be unchanging physical laws because Allah may change the laws at will (Sûrat al-An’ām, 6:64). Everything in universe works only according to the will of Allah, who controls the skies and everything beneath them. Science cannot start from this viewpoint, let alone flourish. It is totally a blasphemy.The fact is that the only one ‘Muslim’ truly physicist, is the Pakistani Nobel Prize Laurite, Mohammed Abdus Salam. However, “Muslim” should be put in quotes, as he belonged to the Ahmadi sect of Islam, a sect that is heretical according to Islam, as it accepts the modern science. Had he remained in Pakistan, quite possibly would have been executed as being heretical.

William J. Federer has also related to Obama’s ignorance: Indeed, Islamic invasion of the Byzantine Empire was the main cause of the Renaissance revival, but on the reverse way. To escape the Islamic barbaric invasion, Byzantine Greek scholars fled west to Italy, bringing with them their architecture, art, sculpture and philosophy, fueling Europe’s fascination with Greek culture. Why? Muslim Seljuk Turks turned Byzantine Churches into mosques, melted church bells into cannons, leveled cities, dug up remains of Christian Saints and gave them to dogs. Civilization is indebted Islam for Santa Claus, for in 1087, to prevent desecration, Christians moved the bones of Saint Nicholas, the generous 4th century Bishop of Myra, to Bari, Italy.

In Asia, Tamerlane (1336-1405) killed an estimated 17 million, conquering from the Black Sea to India. He captured Moscow and the destroyed many Afghan cities on its inhabitants; massacred 70,000 in Ishfahan and destroyed Sarai Berke, one of Eastern Europe’s largest cities with a population of 600,000. Most important he destroyed all the cultural and scientific sites of India and Afghanistan.

In his memoir “Malfuzat-i-Timuri,” Tamerlane wrote: “There arose in my heart the desire to lead an expedition against the infidels and to become a ghazi… whether I should direct my expedition against the infidels of China or against the polytheists of India. I sought an omen from the Qur’an, and the verse I opened upon was: ‘O Prophet, make war upon the infidels and treat them with severity.’ (Qur’an, 66:9)…  My great officers told me that the inhabitants of Hindustan were infidels. In obedience to Allah I ordered an expedition against them… slaughtered 100,000 in Delhi, leaving pyramids of skulls.” Tamarlane bombarded the Christian city of Smyrna with decapitated heads of its defending knights, and buried alive 4,000 Georgian. Indeed, Tamarlanekilled from Qur’anic piety. He represents a synthesis, probably unprecedented in history, of Mongol barbarity and Muslim fanaticism.

The Scandinavian researcher, Fjordman, also reacts to Obama’s uttering regarding Islam and science: Is there even a single truthful word in his statement? Perhaps Muslims had some decent calligraphy, and a few of their scholars made very small contributions with few sciences, but apart from that everything is total nonsense. The fact is that Arabs and Muslims had the greatest opportunity and huge advantage to be in a favorable geographical position, since the Middle East was the seat of oldest known civilizations on the planet and the source of the most important inventions in human history. The challenge is not to explain why there was a brief burst of creativity in the earliest centuries of Islamic rule; the challenge is to explain why this didn’t last. Islam’s “Golden Age” was in reality the twilight of the conquered pre-Islamic cultures.

It is surely no coincidence that the first civilization in the Indian subcontinent arose in the Indus Valley in northwest, close to Sumerian Mesopotamia, just as it is no coincidence that European civilizations took root in lands that were geographically close to Egypt and Greece. Under Islamic rule the opposite has happened: the Middle East went from being a global center of civilization to being the global center of anti-civilization, of wretchedness and misery of life. This was caused by Islam, which remains the main source of the backwardness and primitivism of this region. Fjordman has another reaction to Obama despised Cairo speech: Is there even a single truthful statement in this entire paragraph? It’s almost total nonsense. The magnetic compass was invented by the Chinese, and possibly by Europeans independently. Printing of books, too, was invented by Chinese, and had been imported to Europe from China. It was stubbornly and persistently rejected by Muslims for a thousand years or more due to Islamic religious edicts. It was well-known that Muslims were familiar with East Asian printing but aggressively rejected it.

The scholar Thomas Allsen has described how the authorities in Iran under Mongolian rule in 1294 attempted to introduce Chinese-style printed banknotes but failed due to popular resistance: “Certainly the Muslim world exhibited an active and sustained opposition to movable type technologies emanating from Europe in the fifteenth century and later. This opposition, based on social, religious and political considerations, lasted well into the eighteenth century. Only then were presses of European origin introduced into the Ottoman Empire and only in the next century did printing become widespread in the Arab world and Iran.”

It is likely that due to trade, Middle Easterners were familiar with printing centuries before this incident, yet because of Islamic religious resistance they did not adopt this great invention until a thousand years or more after it had been invented. Minorities such as Jews or Greek and Armenian Christians were the first to use printing presses in the Ottoman realms. The first book printed in the Persian language was probably a Judaeo-Persian Pentateuch.

As for music, Greek theory on the subject evolved from Pythagoras before 500 BC. The Church was the dominant institution in post-Roman Europe to draw on Greek philosophy and musical theory. Some elements of Christian observances may derive from Jewish tradition, chiefly the chanting of Scripture and the signing of psalms, poems of praise from the Book of Psalms. Christians integrated music into their liturgy. This gave rise to a musical tradition which led to Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Nothing similar happened in the Islamic world, despite the fact that Muslims had access to much of the same material.

Commenting on Obama’s claim that “throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality,” the reaction must be clear-cut: every word here should be put on the opposite side. It is totally reversal, and reversals again the cunning ignorant lying personality of Obama. In reality, it is rather difficult to find such examples from any region in the world where Islam occupied. Islamic doctrines specifically state that Muslims are not supposed to consider infidels to be their equals or to be tolerated. They are supposed to wage war against them until they convert or submit. The Ignorance of Obama status of Dhimmitude, the humiliating apartheid system imposed upon non-Muslims under Islamic rule; huge slavery and ethnic cleansing are really being absurd. The conversion of the entire population to Islam and the extinction of every form of dissent is the ideal of the Muslim State. Infidels cannot be citizens but members of a depressed class, living under a contract of security (Dhimma) with the Islamic State, while their continued existence is conditional and depends upon the good will of the Muslim rulers.

Another link on the internet site, directly refers to “Obama’s numerous lies regarding supposed Islamic inventions/contributions.”The claim: “It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra.” No, it wasn’t. The origins of algebra trace back to the ancient Babylonians. Algebra was temporarily developed by the ancient Greeks and later the English. The claim: Muslims invented “Our magnetic compass, tools of navigation,” No. Research suggests it was discovered in China centuries before the advent of Islam.The claim: Islam gave us “Our mastery of pens and printing…” No. Gutenberg did.The claim: “Islamic has given us some majestic arches and soaring spires…” Now it just getting absurd. Arches were developed in Rome and invented in Mesopotamia.

The claim: Muslims gave us “Our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed…”? Rubbish! The Dutchman, Leeuwenhoek, and the Englishman, Lister, developed the microscope, which permitted men like Cohn (a German) and Redi (an Italian) to study bacteria and other microorganisms. Needham, Spallanzani and Pasteur discovered the “Pasteurization” process for killing bacteria and ensuring sterility. In the 1770’s, the English doctor Edward Jenner discovered the process of vaccination. His cowpox vaccine has since eliminated smallpox from the world, although is still exist in some Muslim countries. Pasteur continued his work, developing a vaccine for anthrax, and Koch, a German, found the bacteriums that cause “black death”, TB and cholera. Indeed, Muslim contribution to medicine is essentially nothing, unless, you consider beheading human beings while yelling “Allahu Akbar” a medical procedure.

Still, the apologists in West continue their idiocy and/or ignorance. Two weeks after September 11, Carly Fiorina, the Hewlett Packard president, presented in her speech in Minneapolis, the following: “Under Islamic military protection there was a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. This civilization was driven more than anything by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration. When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization kept them alive, and passed them to others. The technology industry would not exist without contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman the Magnificent contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership. It was an enlightened leadership that led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.”

This ridiculous piece is annoying, irritating and upsetting. The idea that Islamic culture was a beacon of learning and enlightenment is a big lie, a total myth without any substantiation and corroboration from Islamic history and contemporary, let alone its Scriptures. How can we understand these? Is it ignorance or stupidity? Or is it intimidation or running away from the Islamic fanatic madness? Or is it petro-dollar money? The answer comes from Peter Bet Basoo, the co-founder and director of the Assyrian International News Agency, who responded to Fiorina claims:

As an Assyrian, a non-Arab, Christian native of Iraq, whose ancestors reach back to 5000 years, I wish to alert to the dangers of unwittingly being drawn into Arab/Islamist ideology, which seeks to assimilate and submit all other cultures and religions. Arabs and Muslims appeared on the world scene only after year 630. When the armies of Muhammad began their conquest of the Middle East, they encountered 600 years of Assyrian Christian civilization, with a rich heritage and a highly developed culture, and exactly this civilization became the foundation of the Arab civilization.

As for architecture, if one refers to domes and arches, the fundamental architectural breakthrough of using a parabolic shape for structures was made by Assyrians more than 1300 years earlier, as evidenced by their archaeological record. As for mathematics, the fundamental basis of modern mathematics had been laid down thousands of years before by Assyrians and Babylonians, who already knew of the concept of zero, of the Pythagorean Theorem, and many other developments expropriated by Arabs. Another approach states that the zero and what we know as “Arabic numerals” originated in pre-Islamic India (Otto Neugebauer, History of Babylonian Mathematics).

As for medicine, the overwhelming majority of the doctors (99%) were Assyrians and later Jews. In the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries Assyrians began a systematic translation of the Greek body of knowledge. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and many others were translated into Assyrian, and from Assyrian into Arabic. It is these translations which the Moors brought with them into Spain, and which the Spaniards translated into Latin and spread throughout Europe. In the field of medicine, the Bakhteesho Assyrian family produced nine generations of physicians, and founded the great medical school at Gundeshapur (Iran). Also in the area of medicine, the Assyrian, Hunayn ibn-Ishaq(809-873) textbook on ophthalmology, written in 950, remained the authoritative source on the subject. The first Arabic-language medical treatise was written by a Christian priest and translated into Arabic by a Jewish doctor in 683. The first hospital was founded in Baghdad, not by a Muslims, but a Nestorian Christian.

As for philosophy, the Assyrian philosopher Job of Edessa developed a physical theory of the universe, in the Assyrian language, that rivaled Aristotle’s theory, and that sought to replace matter with forces (a theory of quantum mechanics and vacuum). Aristotle’s work was preserved in Arabic not by Muslims at all, but by Christians such as the fifth century priest Probus of Antioch, who introduced Aristotle to the Arabic-speaking world. Huneyn ibn-Ishaq also translated many works by Aristotle, Plato and Hippocrates into Syriac. His son translated them into Arabic. The Syrian Christian Yahya Ibn ‘Adi (893-974) also translated works of philosophy into Arabic. His student, another Christian, Abu ‘Ali ‘Isa Ibn Zur’a (943-1008), translated Aristotle and other Greek philosophers from Syriac into Arabic.

One of the greatest Assyrian achievements of the fourth century was the founding of the first university in the world, the School of Nisibis, with three departments: theology, philosophy and medicine, which became the center of intellectual development in the Middle East, and the model upon which the first Italian university was based (Arthur Voobus, the Statutes of the School of Nisibis.

As for astronomy, the astronomers and astrologers were all Chaldeans, Babylonians, not Muslims who were forcibly Arabized and Islamized, and by year 750 they had disappeared completely. The astrolabe was developed long before the rise of Islam.As for literature, Arab-Islamic writing and literature was and still is very little in quantity and very poor in quality. The Qur’an is the only significant piece of literature, whereas the literary output of the Assyrians and Jews was vast, and comprised the most. The third largest corpus of Christian writing, after Latin and Greek, is by the Assyrian language (also known as Syriac). As for the press, it was introduced in the Ottoman Empire only in the 18th century, 300 hundred years after it appeared in Europe.

As for civilizational achievements, the book How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs, by De Lacy O’Leary, lists the significant translators and interpreters of Greek science. Of the 22 scholars listed, 20 were Assyrians, one was Persian and only one an Arab. Assyrians played a significant role in the shaping of the Islamic world via Greek corpus of knowledge. Moreover, Islam itself was significantly molded by Assyrians and Jews.

Another pattern of propagations claim that Islam fostered a rich heritage of scientific discovery, paving the way for modern advances in technology, medicine and all other natural sciences. The truth is totally the opposite. Apart from violence and bloodshed, Islamic contribution to the history of the world is negligent at best. The great achievements that are said to have come out of the Islamic world were made by non-Muslims mostly before but also during the Islamic occupation. The Arab excelled in raids, plundering, butchering and slaughtering, slave-trade, ethnic cleansing, and imperialism and colonialism that culminated in Arabization and Islamization of the occupied lands. In these realms their “inventions” were great and conspicuous.

A Muslim propagator in the West, Mohamad Abdalla, has written a long article, in which he laments that “Muslim contributions to science were deliberately ignored or suppressed, and the view that Muslim scientists produced nothing original remained the orthodox belief.” He begins his article “Modern Science’s Debt to Islamic Civilization,” by declaring that the claim as if “The Arabs only transmitted Greek science and made no contribution to overall history of Western science. Fortunately, many historians of science no longer hold this view. The Arabs acquired the scientific heritage of earlier civilizations, including classical Greece and Rome, and translated, preserved, and transformed much of it. Their scientific experience profoundly impacted the late medieval world of Western Europe, where Muslim scientific achievements were important to the evolving Renaissance and the grand narrative of the history of science…” No less.

Abdalla claims that Westerners know that the Muslims invented algebra, Arabic numerals, and possibly the zero, but show no interest in Islamic science and ignores most of the research conducted during the past 50 years. Europe has no such textbook at all, and the less said about modern Arabic books on Islamic science. The contributions of Muslim scientists are even less well understood in the Islamic world itself, and nothing on Islamic science is available in Arabic. “Today there is sufficient information about the quality and staggering quantity of Islamic science. Muslim scientists were active in many fields, from astronomy to zoology, and made original contributions… These results resulted in a massive scientific movement and the creation of a library on the scale of the world of its time. For the first time scientific traditions from different backgrounds and languages became elements of one science, with new methods and even new disciplines, such as trigonometry, algorithms, and algebra.”

The answer to these highly pretentious but clearly uncorroborated claims is one big “no.” and more of that: those who translated and preserved Greek and Persian and Indian sciences were not Arabs, but indigenous natives of the occupied lands. The Arab tribes, coming from Arabian Peninsula, did not know the Middle Eastern languages, no Persian, no Sankrist, no Greek, and no Latin. They were busy with occupying lands and plundering them. Yet Abdalla continues the fabrication route: “more evidence showing the magnificent work in Islamic science has come to light. Modern history of science studies show that the productive, original scientific research of Muslim scientists persisted into sixteenth century.” However, when defining what does it means “Islamic science,” Abdala reveals his strategy: now it is no longer Arab Science and contributions. He says: “Islamic science perhaps should mean science conducted mainly in Arabic and within the context of Islamic civilization…” This is true. No Arabs, but “many individuals from different ethnic and religious backgrounds Christians, Persians, Sabians, and Jews.”

Indeed, this is true and expresses the entire subject matter of Islam and sciences. However, Abdalla continues to twist and distort by declaring: “Arabic was the main scientific, but not necessarily the native, language of these scientists. While the terms Islamic science and Arabic science are modern historical terms for the science conducted within the context of Islamic civilization, this science is Islamic in the sense that it suited the new and growing needs of Islamic civilization; was available entirely in Arabic, which had replaced Syriac…” indeed, this is exactly the opposite: ancient sciences were translated into Arabic, by non-Arabs, and Islamic science and Arabic science were not conducted within the context of Islamic civilization, but continued by the indigenous scientists who were forced to write in Arabic.

The distortion continues. Abdalla declares that “Islamic science, in this context, does not imply religious sciences (e.g., jurisprudence) but rather the natural sciences (e.g., mathematics, astronomy, and physics).” However “Islamic Science” is indeed exactly only religious science. All along Islamic history including contemporary, 90 percent of all Islamic publications in all Arab-Islamic countries together is religious. Curiosity has not and still does not exist in Islam due to the Qur’anic teachings, and translations from foreign languages is negligent. Publications on Islamic religions is huge, and the sales of other publications is highly poor.

There is a direct link between the contemporary wretchedness and misery of the Islamic world, and its total shameless impudence to exhibit its faked invented greatness and contributions to world civilization. Contemporary reality is clear: the spirit of science in the Arab-Muslim world is as dry as the desert. Muslim states have nine scientists, engineers, and technicians per thousand people, compared with a world average of forty-one. There are approximately 1,800 universities, but in only 312 of those scholars have published journal articles. There are roughly 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, but only two scientists have won Nobel Prize. Spain alone, hardly an intellectual superpower, contributes more of world’s scientific literature than all Muslim countries together. Spain translates more foreign books in a single year than the entire Arab world has in the past thousand years. In one year, the United States published almost 11 thousand scientific papers that were frequently cited, while the entire Arab world published only four. Between 1980 and 2000, Korea granted 16,328 patents, while all Arab countries granted a combined total of only 370, many of them registered by foreigners.

Abdalla arrogantly and impudently continues by claiming that the originality of Islamic science and its significant innovation is clear in several fields, including mathematics, astronomy, and medicine. Originality in mathematics. Recent research proves that many of the ideas that once were thought to belong to European mathematicians of the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries were in fact originated by Islamic mathematicians. They have made original contributions that directly influenced arithmetic, geometry, algebra, algorithms and other fields. By the time of Khawarizmi, many other important works in Arabic were well ahead of the West. In many respects, the mathematics studied today is far closer in style to that of the Muslims than of the Greeks. No less. That is why he claims in Arab-Islamic countries the study of mathematics is so advanced and Muslim scientist are in the forefront of scientific research.

Abdalla and his fellows, like George Saliba and Ziauddin Sardar, admits: “scientific experiments have been devised to discover what is mentioned in the Qur’an but not known to science… this view is now the most popular version of Islamic science… not all knowledge, including scientific knowledge, can be found in the Qur’an.” This is exactly the problem, as this claim makes Abdalla and his fellow apostates according to Islam, and apostasy was exactly the cause why Islamic science flourished in only a short period of time, and perished forever. As long as Islam exist, rational sciences based on critical thinking, skepticism and question-asking are denied.

Another propagator Hamza Dhib Mustafa, member of the Supreme Fatwa Council, has declared: “Europe and the West in general, would never have reached these principles had they not been influenced by the advanced Islamic culture and had they not borrowed much from it… Islamic societies are cultured, humane and righteous societies, since oppression had not found its way to them and the killing did not spread nor extend among them. Human beings are equal from the point of view of Islam… Everyone is equal under the law in terms of their rights and obligations…This and more, Islam promises various rights to the human. It promises him freedom of religion and citizenship, freedom of thought, the right to property, political freedom and his right to employment. The thing that has no doubt… is that Islam preceded Europe and the West, in general, with all that pertains to matters of human rights by no less than 13 centuries…The Muslims and their societies are more advanced and more sublime than the West and its societies. They are earlier in human civilization, and are more perfect in value system and humanity. The fact that there are those who believe that these are Western values – it is a delusion and false, since the Muslims are masters, leaders and teachers of the world, even if the West rejects this. It is no wonder that this is rejected by the West, the most eager rival of Islam, its followers and its culture.”

There is more. Muslim propagators launched a block-buster exhibition at the world famous London Science Museum, January 2010, entitled: “1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World.” Accordingly, the shameless propagation continues: “it traces the forgotten story of a thousand years of science from the Muslim world, from the 7th century onwards that still shape everyday life. This free entry exhibition looks at the social, scientific and technical achievements that are credited to the Muslim world… Featuring a diverse range of over 60 interactive, sensory and static exhibits, the exhibition demonstrates how many modern inventions can trace their roots back to Muslim civilization.” The interactive show covers many aspects of human life.

Such claims have even been forced upon the general public in a nationwide tour which opened with an exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the University of Manchester. Moreover, this exhibit, “1001 Inventions: Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization” was also displayed at the Washington, D.C. museum from August 2012 till February 2013, featuring a video starring by actor Ben Kingsley, as well as various interactive displays. To add to this calamity, one can also find a short film entitled “1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets” which claims that much of the science we take for granted was drawn from Islamic discoveries.

To this huge pile of lies, Alan Robertson has reacted: the only Islamic inventions are the lies and the preposterous claims from Muslims. The exhibition of “Muslim inventions” is an absurd example of deception, misrepresentation and falsification of history in order to appease the ever growing Third World colonization of our country. The exhibition claims to reveal all the contributions which Islam has made to civilization.

Central to the exhibition is a model of a wooden water wheel. There is also a picture of a stone arch originating some 2000 years BC. Sources show that the earliest known arches did originate in Mesopotamia. On the interactive display one can see that coffee was apparently ‘invented’ by an Arab in the ninth century. Invented? Are they serious? Carpets first appeared in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Middle East about 2000 BC. How can carpets or coffee be an invention?

Another exhibit is entitled “naming the stars,” as if the Arabs translated the original names for the stars from a well-known book by the Greek astrologer Ptolemy. While the West has sent probes into deep space, are we supposed to marvel at the fact that Muslims merely renamed the stars? In 852 AD, a Muslim holy man jumped from a tower wearing a billowy, large cloak and lived to tell the tale. Also, in the ninth century, Abbas Ibn Firnas attempted to fly using a wing frame attached to his arms, whereupon his back was seriously injured. Muslims apparently invented the concept of the spherical earth in the ninth century. However, the earliest known records of the concept of a spherical Earth came from Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Eratosthenes made an estimate for the circumference of the Earth.

Indeed, contemporary public opinion is bombed with publications concerning many inventions claimed and attributed to Islamic creation, which in fact either existed in pre-Islamic eras, or were invented by other cultures, or both of these.

*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.

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Muslim-Evangelical alliance strives to create religious and political middle ground

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A recent unprecedented alliance between Muslims and Evangelicals takes on added significance in a world in which human rights are on the defensive, religious groups tend to forge political as well as ideational partnerships, and the role of the clergy in multiple Muslim-majority countries has come under scrutiny.

The alliance potentially could create a platform for voices in the Muslim world, particularly the Middle East, in which significant segments of the youth who constitute a majority of the population, increasingly reject state-controlled, ritualistic forms of religion and distrust clerics subservient to the government.

It could also offer a middle ground on which elements of the secular centre-right and centre-left could meet based on shared faith-based values in deeply polarised parts of the world, particularly in the West.

International affairs and inter-faith scholar Michael Driessen suggested in an email to this writer that the recently forged alliance between Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), one, if not the world’s largest Muslim civil society organization, and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), fits a pattern of partnerships between diverse religious groups that goes beyond seeking to protect minorities to promotion of social cohesion and fraternity.

Speaking at a virtual meeting of the Interfaith Forum of the Group of 20 or G20 that brings together the world’s largest economies, Tunisian Islam scholar Nejia Al-Ourimi seemed to anticipate the alliance when she argued that reform of Islam would have to be bottom-up and originate in civil society rather than top-down and directed and controlled by autocratic rulers who see it as a way of branding themselves and their nations as well as and one way of ensuring survival.

Ms. Al-Ourimi reasoned further that genuine inclusivity was precluded in much of the Middle East because most Arab constitutions assume that the state has a religion. She went on to say that “what we need to do is reframe the traditional approaches of linking religion to legislation. We must find leaders who are willing to withdraw from the traditional way of participating in the public sphere—through the legal and legislative dimensions—and return from a ‘values’ perspective to guide ethical efforts.”

In a contribution to a recently published report on Human Fraternity and Inclusive Citizenship issued by the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) and the Beirut-based Foundation for Diversity, Solidarity and Human Dignity (Adyan), Ms. Al-Oumiri points to a series of lofty, lovey-dovey inter-faith statements issued in the past decade by different combinations of Arab Muslim and non-Muslim clerics, religious and secular intellectuals, and politicians.

The statements constituted attempts by Muslim religious authorities and autocratic governments to keep ahead of the curb of youth aspirations and project themselves as voices of moderation by emphasizing religious freedom, religious pluralism, and inclusive citizenship irrespective of religious belief.

The statements include the 2012 Statement on Basic Freedoms issued by Al Azhar, Islam’s Cairo-based oldest institution of Islamic learning that has long been swayed by Saudi and United Arab Emirates financial support, the 2016 Marrakech Declaration that called for the development of a jurisprudence of that enshrines the concept of inclusive citizenship, and the Document on Human Fraternity signed in the UAE in 2019 by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar.

Referring to the 2012 Al Azhar statement, Ms. Al-Oumiri highlighted the fact that the statement was issued in the wake of popular revolts that in 2011 toppled the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. Saudi and UAE manoeuvres helped roll back the revolts’ achievements in all of the countries except for Tunisia.

The manoeuvres did not roll back what Ms. Al-Oumiri described as a “new awareness” among “all the components that participated in the protest movement, secularists, liberals, Christians, Muslims and others, (that) became aware of the fact that the bilateral polarization and exclusionary relations prevailing at that time were the main reason for the dispersion of forces capable of inducing positive change and extricating Arab society from its chronic crisis.” It is an awareness that expresses itself today among others in changing youth attitudes towards religiosity.

Ms. Al-Oumiri’s ‘new awareness’ is one factor that hampers autocratic efforts to shape a moderate form of Islam that serves the needs of social change and economic diversification without conceding democratic freedoms, projects autocrats as religious moderates as part of their nation branding and furthers their quest for religious soft power.

The ‘new awareness’ is borne out by research and opinion polls that consistently show that the gap between the religious aspirations of youth and state-imposed interpretations of Islam is widening. The polls and research suggest that youth are increasingly sceptical towards religious and worldly authority. They aspire to more individual, more spiritual experiences of religion.

As a result, Nahdlatul Ulama’s opportunity to turn its alliance with the WEA into a vehicle of change in both the Muslim world and the West is enhanced by the fact that religious reform in rival contenders for religious soft power like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Egypt is top-down by decree or changes in common or civil rather than, more sustainably, bottom-up and anchored in religious law and jurisprudence.

The point was highlighted when Nahdlatul Ulama’s religious leaders took the first step towards reform of religious law and/or jurisprudence in 2019 by replacing the notion of the kafir or infidel with the concept of muwathinun or citizens to emphasize that Muslims and non-Muslims were equal before the law.

Leaders of the group say that they intend to tackle other outdated, intolerant, or supremacist concepts such as the dhimmi or People of the Book, and slavey that remain reference points even if large numbers of Muslims do not heed them in their daily life, as well as eventually blasphemy and apostasy.

Nahdlatul Ulama’s opportunity is further both bolstered and complicated by the fact that autocratic Muslim rulers wittingly or unwittingly reinforce Islamophobic tendencies in multiple ways by their often brutal abuse of human rights at home and their support of policies in various parts of the globe that encourage negative perceptions of Islam and Muslims.

These policies include the blurring in countries like France and Austria of the lines between political Islam and piety as well as autocratic Muslim acquiescence, if not endorsement of the crackdown on Turkic Muslims and Islam in China’s north-western province of Xinjiang.

Nahdlatul Ulama, despite its tangible adherence to principles of democracy, human rights, and tolerance, has yet to clearly distinguish itself from autocratic religious soft power rivals when it comes to its shared rejection of political Islam and identity politics. In other words, how it handles Islamophobia is likely to be a litmus test for Nahdlatul Ulama as well as its alliance with the Evangelicals.

Making that distinction clear is likely to also enhance the Nahdlatul Ulama-WEA alliance’s ability to bring together elements of the centre-right and centre-left could meet based on shared faith-based advocacy of human rights, democratic freedoms, and tolerance at a time that democracy is on the defence.

The linkage between the Nahdlatul Ulama-WEA alliance’s opportunity to serve as a bridge in both the religious and political domain is evident not only when it comes to countering religious supremacism but also far-right extremism. It is that linkage that adds a geopolitical dimension to the alliance’s potential.

Germany, where ultra-nationalist supremacists, despite recent electoral setbacks for the Alternative for Germany (AfD), have infiltrated the security and armed forces, spotlights the importance of creating a religious and political centre that is driven as much by shared values as it is by interests.

Security services recorded more than 1,400 cases of suspected far-right extremism among soldiers, police officers and intelligence agents in recent years. The German defence ministry last year disbanded a whole company of special forces after explosives, a machine gun, and memorabilia of the Nazi’s SS were found on the property of a sergeant major.

The geopolitical significance of developments in Germany is enhanced by the fact that some German ultra-nationalists and members of the far-right are believed to have links to Russia and /or far-right Russian nationalists.

In the latest German incident, prosecutors are investigating an official of Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the country’s domestic intelligence agency, suspected of helping plan the assassination of a Chechen dissident as part of a campaign across Europe that targets critics of Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of the Russian republic of Chechnya. Mr. Kadyrov is widely viewed as an associate of President Vladimir Putin and maintains close ties to Middle Eastern autocrats.

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Defining moderate Islam: Muslims and Evangelicals forge an alliance

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A major Muslim and Evangelical organization joined forces this week to significantly advance hitherto state-backed ceremonial inter-faith dialogues that seldom go beyond platitudes and lofty statements.

This week’s launch at a Washington DC mosque of an inter-faith alliance and a book published by the Institute for Humanitarian Islam and the Germany-based World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) as well as the Center for Shared Civilizational Values constitutes an Evangelical endorsement of Humanitarian Islam.

It also amounts to a rare Muslim celebration of an Evangelical authority, WEA secretary general Archbishop Thomas Schirrmacher, who played a key role in building a relationship between the Evangelical group and Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, one, if not the world’s largest Muslim movement.

“Dr. Schirrmacher’s decision to engage with the Humanitarian Islam movement may prove to be singularly consequential, and perhaps even historic, in its ramifications for the relationship between Christians and Muslims,” the editors of the book, Thomas K. Johnson and C. Holland Taylor said in their introduction.

Entitled ‘God Needs No Defense: Reimagining Muslim – Christian Relations in the 21st Century,’ the book is an anthology of essays written by preeminent Muslim and Christian scholars.

Based in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, the Institute for Humanitarian Islam was established by Nahdlatul Ulama to advance globally its humanitarian interpretation of the faith.

Nahdlatul Ulama sees the concept as an alternative to state-backed less developed and less tolerant and pluralistic notions of a moderate Islam as propagated by countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well expressions of political Islam represented by Turkey, Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nahdlatul Ulama was founded almost a century ago in opposition to Wahhabism, the austere interpretation of Islam propagated for decades by Saudi Arabia until the rise in 2015 of King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Indonesian group positions Humanitarian Islam as advocating genuine religious reform rather than self-serving social and rhetorical change advocated by rulers eager to implement long-overdue economic and social reform and project themselves as genuine religious moderates in a global battle for Muslim religious soft power and the soul of Islam.

The differences between Nahdlatul Ulama’s Humanitarian Islam and the interpretations of the faith put forward by its conservative monarchical and republican Islamist soft power rivals are stark and raise fundamental questions about what constitutes genuine reform and how it can sustainably be achieved.

The differences pitch an independent civil society group, albeit one with close ties to the state, against states themselves.

Nahdlatul Ulama’s independence has allowed it to start a process of real change rooted in religious law and jurisprudence rather than a ruler’s decree or opinion issued by subservient clergymen.

The group challenges outdated, intolerant, or supremacist concepts such as the kafir or infidel, the dhimmi or People of the Book, and slavey that remain reference points even if large numbers of Muslims do not heed them in their daily life, as well as eventually blasphemy and apostasy.

The group’s religious leaders took the first step in 2019 by replacing the term kafir with the word muwathinun or citizen to emphasize that Muslims and non-Muslims were equal before the law. “The word ‘kafir’ hurts some non-Muslims and is perceived to be theologically violent,” Nahdlatul Ulama cleric Abdul Moqsith Ghazali said at the time.

Independence also enabled Nahdlatul Ulama to embrace the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, parts of which are exempted by its religious soft power rivals. That is not to say that liberals may not take issue with some of the interpretations of the declaration by Nahdlatul Ulama, a socially conservative movement.

The differences raise questions about Nahdlatul Ulama’s ability to succeed beyond the significant inroads that the group has made among political and religious elites in the United States, Europe, the Vatican, and parts of Africa and Asia.

The launch in Washington of the unprecedented alliance and the book is together with Nahdlatul Ulama’s association with the Centrist Democrat International (CDI), the world’s largest grouping of political parties, the most publicly visible evidence of its success among elites.

The alliance puts flesh on the skeleton of recent inter-faith dialogue by bringing together two of Islam and Christianity‘s major groups. Nahdlatul Ulama has tens of millions of followers while the World Evangelical Alliance says it represents 600 million Protestants and national evangelical alliances in 140 countries. The alliance with Nahdlatul Ulama casts a different light on Evangelicals as opposed to Evangelists, who particularly, in the United States have often come to be identified with Christian nationalism and Islamophobia.

The alliance aims “to prevent the political weaponization of identity; curtail the spread of communal hatred; promote solidarity and respect among the diverse people, cultures and nations of the world; and foster the emergence of a truly just and harmonious world order founded upon respect for the equal rights and dignity of every human being,” the Institute for Humanitarian Islam and the  Nation’s Mosque in Washington, said in a press release.

With the creation of the Center for Shared Civilizational Values, the alliance also constitutes an effort to create a platform for a dialogue that moves beyond elites to nurture a grassroots movement in favour of religious reform across major religions that emphasizes inclusivity, pluralism, tolerance, and common values rather than exclusivism and supremacy fueled by identity politics. (In the spirit of transparency, this writer has been invited to be a member of the centre’s advisory board).

In doing so, the Center hopes to build on Nahdlatul Ulama’s substantial popular base in Indonesia, the WEA’s reach across the globe and a range of contacts and interactions with Catholic, Jewish, and Hindu groups and personalities.

The choice of Masjid Mohamed, the Nation’s Mosque, as the venue of the launch, suggests an outside-in strategy in trying to garner grassroots support in the Muslim world. Located in Washington’s historic African-American Shaw district, Masjid Muhammad is the first mosque in the United States built by descendants of slaves.

As such, the launch constitutes an outreach to a minority Muslim community in a Western democracy that despite upheaval in the United States as the country struggles to come to grips with its history of racism is likely to be more accessible and perhaps more open to Humanitarian Islam’s message than significant segments of the population in Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan or the Middle East where many see what has long become a global faith through the lens of its Arab origins.

The alliance takes on added significance in a Western world that despite the electoral defeat of former US President Donald J. Trump and setbacks in Europe suffered by populists and ultra-nationalists has in recent years increasingly mainstreamed prejudice, bias, and authoritarianism.

“Rather than the world becoming more like the United States, as so many of us expected after the Cold War, the United States has become more like the rest of the world—in particular, its authoritarians,” noted foreign policy analyst Steven A. Cook, debunking the projection of the US as a beacon of liberty and freedom.

In a twist of irony, Nahdlatul Ulama’s book publication coincided with a more narrowly focused and transactional Saudi-backed launch in Lebanon of a book, ‘The relationship between the Maronite patriarchate and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.’ Written by Maronite Father Antoine Daw, Saudi support for the book and outreach to the Maronites was part of the kingdom’s effort to counter Iran’s regional influence and engage the Islamic republic in direct and indirect issue-oriented dialogues.

The launch in Bkirki, the Maronite patriarchate’s episcopal see, followed a call by Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi, Lebanon’s most senior Christian cleric, for a meeting with Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militia that is Iran’s closest ally in the Arab world.

The patriarch urged Hezbollah, one of Lebanon’s most powerful groups that played a key role in Iranian support for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad to move towards a position of neutrality in a bid to salvage Lebanon that is teetering on the brink of economic and political collapse.

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Sedition law: Hand-maiden of the Modi’s government

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Sedition laws have become a handmaid of India’s government under Narendra Modi to stifle dissent, incarcerate political opponents or persecute minorities. Shouting  a slogan, wall chalking, social post “azadi” (liberty), wearing a prayer cap, or offering prayer on adjoining roads when a mosque is overcrowded could attract sedition charges. Even interfaith marriages or cow related offences could be tried as sedition. The Hindu-monk chief minister of Uttar Pradesh had directed his administration to try cow related offences under the National Security Act. Some states have passed love-jihad laws to prevent interfaith marriages. The over-ebullient Hindu extremists haul up even such people to the police stations who are happily married long before enactment of the law banning inter-faith marriages.

Apathy of India’s Supreme Court

Till recently, the Supreme Court had looked the other way in cases where there was blatant misapplication of the sedition law. Some verdicts smacked of communal bias. India being a secular country, the Supreme Court should have avoided dabbling into religious matters of different communities particularly of the largest minority, the Muslim. But, in vain. The Supreme Court pronounced that a mosque was not essential to Muslim way of worship. It allowed demolition of the ancient Babri Mosque. Thus it accepted the fictitious contention that Ram god was born at the site of the mosque millennia ago.

In marked contrast to its “Islamic” judgments, the Supreme Court had a benign attitude toward the Hindu religion. It admitted that a temple was necessary to the Hindu mode of worship. It allowed menstruating women to visit Sabarimala temple.

Supreme Court’s awakening

The plethora of sedition cases awakened the SC from its slumber. While quashing the sedition case against journalist Vinod Dua, the Supreme Court expressed ennui on slapping sedition charges to gag journalists. A  Bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice UU Lalit upheld “ the right of every journalist to criticise, even brutally, measures of the government with a view to improving or altering them through legal means”.The case against the journalist had been filed by the ruling BJP and was fervently defended by the Himachal Pradesh state government. The journalist was accused of “criticising the prime minister and the Union government for mishandling of the migrant crisis during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic”. The court drew attention to the 1962 Nath case judgment. That judgment took the sting out of the sedition cases filed under Section 124-A of the Indian Penal Code. In the aforementioned case, the Supreme Court had ruled that Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code can be used only when someone’s word actually leads to violence or generates an inclination for violence. The Section 124A describes sedition as punishable with imprisonment from three years to life, a fine or both.

Among journalists facing sedition cases is Siddique Kappan based in Kerala. He was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police while on his way to Hathras to cover a rape case last year and had been denied bail. Kappan and 21 other journalists covering the Hathras rape case were charged under Section 124A.

Similarly, several prominent journalists were charged under the sedition law for their coverage of the farmers’ tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day. The Supreme Court stayed the arrest of all of them. The Court observed that the Constitution has varying criteria for permissible restrictions on freedom of speech and expression and draws a boundary between serious and aggravated forms of public disorder which are calculated to endanger the security of the State and the relatively minor breaches of the peace of purely local significance.

 India’s Supreme Court had earlier observed in its 1950 judgment on Romesh Thapar versus State of Madras. “Only a higher degree of threat pertaining to endangerment of the foundations of the State could justify curtailment of the rights to freedom of speech and expression,” Thapar was editing a weekly journal called Cross Roads which was constantly at loggerheads with the Congress government of the day.

Disregarding the guidance in this judgment, the successive governments continued to mis-apply the sedition law.

Birth of the sedition law

When the Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1860, the sedition law was not included in it.  It took another 10 years for Section 124A to be included. Mahatma Gandhi was tried under this law in 1922. He told the court that the law had malafide intent. It was tailor-made to suppress the liberty of the citizen.

Concluding remark

India’s Law Commission issued a directive in 2018 that cautioned that a simple expression of a thought inconsistent with the government’s policy did not qualify as “sedition”. One has to be circumspect while invoking the sedition law. Yet, the Commission’s voice has proved to be a voice in the wilderness. Sedition law is a handy tool to stifle dissent. It is hoped that India’s Supreme Court will define the contour of the law more stringently to preclude its misuse by the fanatic Modi government.  

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