Al-Guardian Wrong Again: Islam and Science

I know al-Guardian is not the best yardstick, but this article illustrates the kind of myths that have now penetrated deep into Western universities.

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.

Why isn’t the oldest university at Alexandra?

Oh yes, after mastering the rudiments of fire Omar and his band of Moslem scholars burned the library down as an act of piety; or perhaps to fuel the bath houses for six months and enjoy some baser luxuries that they couldn’t make for themselves or even fully comprehend.


The ideal that these dolts preserved classical learning is ludicrous.


First you write: In any case, your recent posts suggest an aggressive rampant petty antiIslamic agenda thus I would be very sceptical about anything you selectively present as "evidence"


Then: Valid crticism of Islam is vital. Not your subjective BS which you
repeat constantly to make yourself feel good about your insidious

Please come back when you have real content to provide.

When you have no more arguments, and in particular as you only want to demonize anybody that you think doesn't agree with you, you start to write yourself the nicest BS I have ever seen.  Your approach is typical dictatorial, whether islamist or stalinist.



I don't see what Wilders has to do with Islam & Science. Are you sometimes depressed or so when the truth gets to the surface?

And I see that you are nevertheless invaded by some hate as any kind of correct critisism of Islamist extremists is in your mind a critique of Islam itself. Or is this then the absolute proof you provide yourself that there is only 1 islam=islamist extremism?

@ Rudi & Paganini

Valid crticism of Islam is vital. Not your subjective BS which you repeat constantly to make yourself feel good about your insidious beliefs.

Anyway, why are we talking about Islamic/Muslim inventions? I thought inventions were an act of individual creativity not religion.

"the first universities"

First of all, it's "Azhar", not 'aznar'; and secondly it's not really an "university" because it's only a religious centre for studying islam. In the first european universities you could also study theology, but also mathematics, prosody, physics, and so on. From the moment that al-Azhar & Al-Karraouine was founded they produced jihad, sharia and veiled women, our universities produced people that enhanced the possibilities and knowledge of mankind.

Arabs better than the Byzantine Greeks ?

"The Arabic world can be proud of the preservation and translation of the old Greek works when Europe was going through its Dark Ages."

I often hear that, and I wonder what it means. Once the Roman empire had disappeared in Western Europe (good riddance!), the Greek culture continued to thrive in the Byzantine Empire, throughout the Middle Ages, until Byzantium was destroyed by the Turks. Maybe the Arabs did not destroy every library when they invaded North Africa, but it is doubtful they would have been interested in Greek philosophy.

the only

The Arabic world can be proud of the preservation and translation of the old Greek works when Europe was going through its Dark Ages. They should be lauded for that. But to say that much original thought was developed through that time is certainly too much. Yes there were some great Arabic scientists, like Alhazen, who was also Muslim. That should be acknowledged. But to call that an achievement of Islam?

Not surprising

Watched a documentary on the history of Islam on PBS.  The one thing that struck me is their continual reference to comparing itself, in its heyday, to the Christians.  Also, their history on a personal level is skewed.  A Bulgarian friend told me of the history of her country that the Muslim hordes came and converted people by the sword.  A Muslim overheard and interjected that that wasn't true.  He said they were converted because of the culture they brought.

"Sunshine is the best disinfectant"

Keep shining it on these ridiculous myths; very happy to see someone letting the air out of such propaganda.

While you're at it, please do find time to debunk the general Islamist claims of scientific progress and societal advancement.

The fact that they essentially conquered and saddled the brilliant Assyrian peoples, appropriated their achievements and inventions, and then proceeded to ride them to ruin and persecute them as they are now doing to the Jews, has not yet slowed the advance of these propagandistic claims of "Islamic science and medicine".

It is just too bad that we

It has translated the works of Greeks?!! Is that really important today? I don't care, just live and let others live......Yet, we are forced to consider Islam since it imposes itself on us , me as individual...It is just too bad that we all keep talking about this pathetically backward and totalitarian religion. ( And I don't think it is a true religion either, it is more of a political ideology, which I could say is evil from the point of justice fairness and most importantly - from the perspective of a free human being) And how much I know about this Islam!!!- tonnes, yet I know almost nothing about other religions. It is truly a case of a squeaking wheel getting most of the grease. And it is all "thanks" to our "progressive leaders" of today and 30 years ago. The unfortunate thing is that we should talk about it, since if we don't , our children won't have a chance to discuss Islam or talk about it - just to obey to it.


Iqbal, don't make me laugh: always worried about islamophobia, but never on sharia & jihadism & veiled women. You are just perfidious, like all moslims/lefties (don't know what you are but you will be one of the two).


"The West is thus regressing and abandoning the scientific process as well."

It might be worth reading the robust comments from the al-Guardianistas following Ms Ghannoushi's article before deciding that all is lost.  


An islamic bitch with a veil is writing this kind of nonsense in an european newspaper: did you see the picture ???! This makes me sick, just look at that picture, I can't understand why they allow such a person to write in an european newspaper.

The veil is the symbol of sharia, and 'radical islam'. Why not ask Hamas or Hezbollah to have a weekly column ??

@ Paganini - Such elegance

Mwahha ha ha ha!!!

Such elegance! People like you who think of themselves as true defenders of Western Enlightenment conservatism makes my entire brain start to spin with absurdity. This is the true face of the right, hell bent on defending the true superior moral (and dress) code of Western civilisation? Aye right... and pigs might fly. Keep posting man...that cracked me up!!!

Western civilization is superior!

Sam Igbal -Western Civilization is superior and there is nothing arrogant about it. That is the fact validated everyday by thousands of immigrants who are trying to get in here.
As far as a creativity of Islam - that simply does not correspond to facts. There are many things that can be said about it, but just a very small little fact: a few years ago the Chinese university of Shanghaj has compiled a list of 500 best universities of the world (based on the achievements of alumni of those universities). Schools from 35 countries were included in the list. ..Not a single university has made it from 56 Muslim countries. And there we have over a billion of people. So this is from a Chinese University, hardly a Zionist entity.... Creative Islam - in what? Hate and suicide bombing?

RE: Hi-tech

The comment was meant to be a parody of Paganini's horribly aggressive and sinister post. It was NOT meant to be a critical appraisal of the superiority of Western civilisation. Context please.

"That is why the Scientific

"That is why the Scientific Revolution happened in Christian Europe, and not in the Islamic Middle East."


Yeah right.  They are both anti-science.  The Scientific Revolution happened DESPITE Christian europe and then after the Catholic Church crushed it again it only resurfaced in Protestant europe.  If not for Martin Luther and the Reformation giving science some breathing room we would be at the same barbaric state as most muslims are today.

Re: Islam & Science

Whilst I agree that the Islamic world has been in intellectual decline for the last 5 centuries or so and I also agree that the article by Ms Ghannoushi is terribly one sided and shows her up as a zealot, it is fraudulent to deny and reasonable to assume that much of the knowledge of the ancient world would have been lost had it not been for the Arabs. Further, the Arabs made significant improvements and expanded on the knowledge they obtained from ancient India, China, Egypt, Greece, Roman etc. This is historical and documented FACT. Original texts and transcripts can still be obtained if one really wishes to pursue this further.

Incidentally, the University of Al Karraouine in Fes (founded 859)is the oldest existing educational establishment in the world today (according to the Guinness Book of World Records) and Cairo's Al-Aznar University is the second oldest operating university in the world.

@ Iqbal

I see that you don't know what you write about. I assume you don't understand Dutch otherwise the article I mention would allow you to enlighten yourself, ... maybe?

@ Rudi

Unfortunately I cannot read Dutch.

In any case, your recent posts suggest an aggressive rampant petty anti Islamic agenda thus I would be very sceptical about anything you selectively present as "evidence". For example, when I clicked on the link the first words I see is Geert Wilders. Hardly an objective scholar of Islamic theology, science and jurispudence is he?

Go on, give me an executive summary then.

With Such a Head Start ...

The Guardian's writer S. Ghannoushi should explain why Islamic countries are now so far behind, since they had such a splendid head start.

A quibble: Leibnitz is best known as the co-inventor of calculus (along with Newton). The Chinese didn't invent calculus, and neither did the Muslims.


My local newspaper as usual had a reportage on muslim women's lifestyle as told by 3 muslim women - the usual lies & propaganda.  So I emailed the reporter and told him so, asking him to check out facts about Islam.  He then suggested I learn more about Islam via a  Wikipedia link, which is of course PC and misleading (I edited that Wiki article once but it got reverted and no more editing allowed in those sensitive areas.)  Thus most Americans and Europeans seem to prefer PC lies to truths about Islam, or at least Islam's propagada is working well.


But let's face it.  Even christendom prefers lies to truth.  "Christian" churches' doctrines and practices are full of lies too - one of many reasons why Europe is becoming more secular and European churches emptier.  Rational people do discern lies and hypocrisy.  May all use their power of reasoning and do so toward religions as they do toward sciences.  I know that is difficult at times, as many rational people become irrational when the subject is religion and faith.