Utter Twaddle: More on the Al Guardian Article

That is how Stephany from Australia put it in her response to the recent article from The Guardian in England. Here is her response, found on the response section to article, the link is on the original post:

What utter twaddle.

The reality is that Islam slowly strangled the spirit of free scientific enquiry wherever it took hold.

One example:

Taqi al-Din could have been the Ottoman equivalent of the great Danish astronomer, Tycho Brahe. His observatory, built in Istanbul in 1577, was certainly up to the task.

Tycho Brahe went on to revolutionise astronomy.

Taqi al-Din's observatory was raised to the ground by a squad of Janissaries on orders of the grand mufti. With it died a 2,500 year old tradition of astronomy that had started with the Babylonians.


The Babylonians were the world's premier astronomers. Using only naked eye astronomy and water clocks they discovered that 19 solar years equaled 235 lunar months. They established a calendar that had seven leap months every 19 solar years. The calendar lives on in the form of the modern Hebrew calendar. Even the months of the Hebrew calendar have Babylonian names. Tishri derives from the Babylonian Tashritu.


Eratosthenes, third Librarian of the Great Library at Alexandria, conducted an experiment to estimate the circumference of the Earth. His estimate of 250,000 stadia -- equivalent to about 40,000 km -- was remarkably accurate. Eratosthenes hailed from present-day Libya.


Claudius Ptolemy of Alexandria compiled the Almagest, the greatest compendium of of mathematical and astronomical knowledge the world had seen up to that time. (The name Almagest is a combination of Arabic and Greek)


Hipparchus who hailed from present-day Turkey discovered, among other things, the precession of the equinoxes.

Books could be written about the scientific achievements of scholars who lived in present-day Dar-ul-Islam BEFORE ISLAM.


Christianity too nearly succeeded in extinguishing scientific enquiry. But Europe recovered. Dar-ul-Islam never did.

Spare me claptrap about Islam's contribution to civilisation. For a while Islamic civilisation was able to live on the intellectual capital of those who had gone BEFORE ISLAM. Islamic civilisation added nothing and eventually the pre-Islamic intellectual capital was exhausted.

Every serious student of scientific history knows that between 1550 and 1950 nearly, not quite all, scientific advancement was the provenance of White men who traced their ancestry to Europe.

Since 1950 scientific research has become an international endeavour. An endeavour marked by the almost total absence of participation by the inhabitants of Arab countries.

The Arab Human Development report 2003 compares the Arab world to South Korea. Every year South Korean companies patent more inventions in the United States than the Arab world manages in a quarter century. South Korea has one quarter the population of the Arab World and was recently much poorer than any Arab country.

BEFORE ISLAM the present day Arab territories were at the leading edge of scientific enquiry.

The heart of Dar-ul-Islam has yet to recover from its Islam-induced dark ages.

The question is whether the rise of Islam in Europe will herald another European dark age.

I will try to find some positive remarks to the article and post those too. There are about 20 pages or so of responses to the article in question on Europe's Islamic Identity. Almost everything there is against the article (which I support, as the article is quite frankly ridiculous) or just anti-religion period. And that worries me. Any response to Islam without the charity of Christian faith could degenerate into something violent and xenophobic.


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