Egypt's faded glory and Islamization

Not to make the connection to closely, but note that the greatness of Egypt was prior to its Islamization. Note the same thing with Constantinople: it was the worlds leader in art, theology and science--before Islam. One might point out other cities (Carthage?), or the reverse direction: Israel has become a leader in technology, education and economics, but only after it was partially de-Islamized and rule was given to the British Mandate and the ultimately it achieved sovereignty. In Egypt's case (as in all the cases above actually) note that the successes were achieved not only by non-Muslims but by entirely different ethnic groups. It was the Copts who built the pyramids, not the Arabs. Again, don't make too much out of all this, each example is fairly complex, but it is worth noting.

This pattern will be replicated as Europe continues to be Islamized: decline in all areas: economics, rule of law, education, art, science, and so on.

[...]The pyramids are proof of Egypt's endurance and what distinguishes it from modern confections, like Saudi Arabia, a nation founded 76 years ago, named after a family and built on oil wealth. But these monuments to Egypt's early ingenuity are also an ever-present symbol of faded glory. It is hard to escape comparisons between an Egypt that once led the world in almost everything and modern Egypt, where about 40 percent of the population lives on $2 a day.

"Can you believe our government can do nothing for us, and this thing that was built thousands of years ago is still helping me feed my family?" Ahmed Sayed Baghali, 49, said as he sat in a plastic chair selling postcards to tourists outside the Egyptian Museum here, which displays millenniums of antiquities. "Who would buy my things if they were not about the pharaohs? People come here from very far to see the pyramids, not to see Cairo."[...]

From IHT.


Abu Daoud said…
Oh yes, and the Nabateans who built Petra in Jordan--before it was Islamized.
Don said…
Under these circumstances, perhaps they will find this of interest.
charles said…
This view is surprisingly ahisitorical. There are plenty of examples where cities/regions only flowered technologically and culturally when they were "Islamic" (yes, plenty of non-Muslims were involved, but nevertheless, your point is too thin). In these cases, we must even be careful how much credit we give to Islam per se - there are always too many factors involved to give credit to just one element. The current situation, as I'm sure you know, is a tangled history of indigenous and non-indigenous politics, so it seems a bit dubious to pin it all on Islam. It seems to me that even suggesting the point is to lead readers astray.
Abu Daoud said…
Hi Charles, first, pls provide some counter-examples.

Second, if you want some heavy reading on the topic I would suggest The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam by Bat Ye'or.

Third: I do not 'pin it all on Islam,' in fact I am quite careful in not pinning it all on Islam.

Fourth: you mention the current situation, where is that? In Egypt? I am purposefully mentioning situations all throughout history and in different places precisely bc I don't want to only focus on 'the current situation' but the historical perspective.
Abu Daoud said…
Sorry to belabour the point but I have to point out that I started the blog post with, "Not to make the connection to closely," and end it with, "Again, don't make too much out of all this, each example is fairly complex, but it is worth noting."
Don said…
Charles, perhaps some additional light can be shed on this subject by considering the historical course of Islam itself, as I do here.
Rob said…
Don't retreat so much Abu Daoud. Even I was about to object, and then I thought, "Well, any objection should contain at least one counter-example."

And, for the life of me, I can't think of one. Your point stands until somebody can make at least one weak objection.
Anonymous said…
The decline of Egypt is not due to Islam, but lack of Islam. If you haven't noticed, it has been ruled by fanatical western empires and their modern incarnation of the pharoahs for the last 200 years. Constantinople was destroyed by Christians, not by Muslims, and in any case regained much of its splendour under Islam, after the sacking by the Crusaders. That is objective history, not Spencerian nonsense.
Abu Daoud said…
Thank you anonymous for just saying what you want to believe without backing it up with facts. Very nice.

You are right the Christians dealt a great blow to Constantinople, but it was driven into the ground by the (Muslim) Turks.

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