The Poverty of Islamic Acheivement in History

Please see the post below, which this is posted in regards to.

Here is a link to an essay by an author arguing (with actual examples, instead if simple assertions, which is all you have in the article from Al Guardian below) that in fact European culture and accomplishment occurred in spite of Islam, rather than because of it.

I have read a good deal on the history of both regions and their interactions and I think there is more good scholarship on the side of the argument that Islamdom in general impoverished rather than enriched world civilization on the whole. It is a harsh verdict, and I am open (even eager) to be proven wrong.

An excerpt:

"About Mesopotamia (Iraq), Niebuhr had this to say: 'In Cairo there is at least still a store where the Muhammedans can buy old books. In Baghdad one will not find that sort of thing. If one collects books here, and is neither prepared to copy them oneself nor to let others copy them, one must wait till somebody dies and his books and clothes are carried to the bazar, where they are offered for sale by a crier. A European who wants to buy Arabian, Turkish or Persian manuscripts will find no better opportunity than in Constantinople for here at least there is a sort of bookstore where Christians – at least Oriental Christians – can buy books' (Niebuhr, Vol. 2, p. 305)

"Printing had not been adopted in the Muslim Middle East due to religious resistance. Three centuries after Gutenberg had invented the movable type printing press in 15th century Europe, and a thousand years after the earliest versions of printing were invented in China, books were still rare in Muslim countries and could be bought most easily when somebody died."


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