Soumaya Ghannoushi writes in yesterday’s al-Guardian about Europe’s Islamic self:
The “west”, as it conceives of itself, is a gigantic lie… Although the Greek Hellenistic and the Christian traditions were undoubtedly vital in the west's evolution, so too were other elements from which it has sought to distance itself and assert its difference.
At the forefront of these expelled forefathers, these banished ancestors, is the Islamic… Without the gifts of Islamic civilisation in philosophy and astronomy, mathematics and physics, art and architecture, “modern” Europe would have been virtually impossible.'
I have touched upon these myths several times. The numerals we use come from India. When the German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz in the 17th century combined 0 and 1 into the binary numeral system that now underlies virtually all modern computers, he was inspired by the ancient Chinese classic text I Ching, or “Book of Changes.” Western mathematics owe much more to the Indians and the Chinese than to Muslims. And the entire Scientific Revolution would have been – still is – impossible in the Islamic world because of Islam’s hostility towards freethinking.
I still remember the first time I read the Koran. I soon discovered how intolerant it was, but my first impression was actually not that it was violent, but that it was remarkably incoherent and poorly edited. When European scientists initiated the Scientific Revolution, they assumed that God had made nature according to logical patterns that could be uncovered and predicted. But Islam, starting out with the very structure of the Koran itself, assumes that there is no pattern, and that nature is simply subject to Allah’s whims.
I have given detailed explanations to non-Muslims of how Muslims continuously lie to and deceive infidels, but frankly, Muslims even lie to each other. I’ve gradually come to the conclusion that it’s not so much about lying as about the fact that truth is simply irrelevant in Islamic culture, which is why all kinds of ridiculous conspiracy theories always find an eager audience there. Needless to say, this is also why Muslims have such a poor track record in science. Science is about uncovering truth, and if you come from a culture which holds that truth is irrelevant, you have a huge handicap. That is why the Scientific Revolution happened in Christian Europe, and not in the Islamic Middle East.
Then again, in our Multicultural universe we are saying that all truths are equally valid. The West is thus regressing and abandoning the scientific process as well.