There seems to be an, in my opinion, unfortunate counter-reaction to the Muslims’ apologia as to the Islamic origins of modern science. Fearing (rightly) that that apologia is a justification for Muslims to regard modern Western science and technology as being actually theirs, and therefore yet another reason why they are entitled to institute their laws upon the West, the non-Muslim response has been to discredit the history of Islamic science entirely, not granting the Muslims of the 9th to 15th centuries even the slightest achievement in any field of sciences. While the Muslims’ insistence on the indebtedness of all modern science is unwarranted, the non-Muslim reaction is overblown as well. I wish to show here why there is no damage done in granting past achievements in science in the Islamic world, and more: why, far from justifying the Islamic aggression and imperialism of today, the achievements of the past are an argument damning to current Islam.
A scientifically-advanced society, then, is one where all of science is given a free hand, without that “operational science vs. theoretical science” nonsense. The Muslim world had that in the past, it doesn’t have it now, the West has it now. When we read of Alhazen’s treatise on optics, we can see he dwelt on the subject far beyond the practical needs of doctors for eye treatment. He ran wild, supporting his arguments with observations but letting the facts take him anywhere—and that is science. That’s how scientists in the West today work.
They want their glory days back. I am sympathetic. But they doom themselves to failure by setting the restoration of the geopolitical state of those glory days—the worldwide Caliphate—as a precondition for the return of the scientific lead. That is why they don’t do science, they do appropriation of Western technology for the sake of the jihad. That is why CAIR has to work at building a positive image of Islam, while the negative image comes naturally, even through the filters of our OrwellMedia, simply because the Muslims are exerting efforts at achieving geopolitical supremacy on expense of self-treatment. I think Charles Martel’s defeat of the Muslims at Tours (732) was good for Islamic science, because it forced them to relinquish the military expansion efforts and focus on internal building instead. Appeasement fuels their thirst for lands and shariah law; the opposite of appeasement is needed to force them to look inside themselves and realize that the return of their scientific glory days can be brought only by coming back to Alhazen’s free-running spirit.
Pope Benedict XVI has wisely opened a route for self-examination and reform for the Muslims. That they have responded to it by riots and killings and demands for apologies means that they have no right to complain about their undesirable state.
In full on Our Children Are The Guarantors »
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