You are here

Golden-Age

  • Summary: 
    • Egyptian intellectual Dr. Khaled Montaser referred to the "scientific-miraculous" nature of the Quran (i'jaz) as a "great delusion" and "an anesthetic or a nice sedative" for the Arabs and the Muslims.

    • "Where does extremism come from? People, we must admit -- as our president has often said -- that there are elements in our books of heritage that incite to this. We must admit this." — Dr. Khaled Montaser.

    • Montaser's harsh criticism should be understood as a call, similar to that of other caring Muslims "trying to fix this," not to abandon Islam, but to modernize or risk remaining "at the tail end of all the nations."

  • Summary: 

    Like many other concepts that shape our understanding of medieval history, the idea of a “Muslim Golden Age” is a historiographical construct. It promotes the notion that, until at least the early thirteenth century, the Muslim world experienced an era of unprecedented stability, prosperity, and cultural production. More particularly, it emphasizes that the period between roughly the ninth century and the thirteenth century (sometimes extended to the eighteenth century in order to include the Ottomans and Mughals; the Safavids are usually ignored) can be considered to represent the pinnacle of human endeavor in the Muslim world. There are many problems with this perspective. Putting aside the fact that it imposes an anachronistic framework on medieval Muslim history, its main argument that the period between the eighth century and the thirteenth century can be characterized mainly by tolerance, cultural efflorescence, political unity, and religious harmony is contrary to many of the facts that one encounters upon reading the history of the various civilizations which are subsumed under the category of “Islamic civilization,” a phrase which conceals the linguistic, cultural, intellectual, theological, and political diversity of the lands in which Muslims resided during the medieval and early modern periods. This is to say nothing of the fact that the narratives promoted by these “Golden Age” perspectives are usually a reworking of official histories that do not take into account the realities of marginalized groups during the same period. The “Golden Age” perspective is also problematic because it is in many ways reactionary and a response to the many political, religious, and intellectual challenges faced by the Muslim world in the modern period. History, or rather particular historical narratives about a “Golden Age,” therefore becomes an important repository for the “greatness of Islamic civilization” and a refuge in which Muslims can seek solace in order to refute the idea–promoted mainly by those hostile to Islam–that Muslim civilization was, is, and always will be characterized by death, destruction and chaos.

  • Summary: 

    Hanson has pointed out the factual errors in Obama's paean to Islam's Golden Age. Andrew Bostom has skewered the myth that Cordoba was a model of ecumenism Trikovic has shown that the continuation of learning, science, technology of the "Golden age of Islam" prospered in spite of Islam and not because of Islam and now we have Emmet Scott skewering the myth that the Golden Age of Islam saved Classical humanistic Western culture. What is next? The glory of Sharia?

  • Summary: 

    The myth of an Islamic Golden Age is needed by Islam’s apologists to save it from being damned by its present squalid condition; to prove, as it were, that there is more to Islam than the terrorism of Bin Laden and the decadence of the oil sheiks. It is, frankly, a confession that if the world judges it by what it is today, it comes up rather short, being a religion that has yet to produce a democratic or prosperous society, or social and cultural forms admired by neutral foreign observers the way anyone can admire American freedom, Japanese order, Israeli courage, or Italian style.

    Some liberal academics openly admit that they twist the Moslem past to serve their present-day intellectual agendas. For example, some who propound the myth of an Islamic golden age of tolerance admit that their goal is,

    "to recover for postmodernity that lost medieval Judeo-Islamic trading, social and cultural world, its high point pre-1492 Moorish Spain, which permitted and relished a plurality, a convivencia, of religions and cultures, Christian, Jewish and Moslem; which prized an historic internationality of space along with the valuing of particular cities; which was inclusive and cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan here meaning an ease with different cultures: still so rare and threatened a value in the new millennium as in centuries past."

    In other words, a fairy tale designed to create the illusion that multiculturalism has valid historical precedents that prove it can work.

  • Summary: 

    Contrary to what has been told us, Islam may be the most sterile philosophy to have captured the mind of man. No other philosophy so thoroughly destroys whatever people it has gotten a grip on. Once Islam is firmly in control, the society not only halts in its progress, but actively devolves.

    ...

    Our Western academics, who should know better, accept this Islamic subterfuge of history, and pass it on to posterity.

    The reverence that Islam still holds for the glories of Spain indicates Christian Spain held a genius that Islam could not generate within itself. London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin: all were the centers of empire; and all produced and still produce genius. What has Mecca produced in the past 1400 years?

    All empires draw talent inward, except Islam, where genius exists only at the periphery where Islam is weakest. The center of Islam, the Arabian peninsula, has been moribund since the 8th century. Islam must expand. It is a parasite. Without new conquests, it dies. This is why it cannot surrender any territory. This is why Israel infuriates them so much.
     

  • Summary: 

    Perhaps you have heard of the Golden Age in Spain? The Andalusian paradise? A time when from 711 to 1492, Islam ruled Spain. We're told it was a wonderful place where Jews, Christians, Muslims, all lived together in harmony. It was a wonderful, multicultural community. Well, this is not quite true. And there's a book been written about this subject. By the way, one of the ways to see the importance of Spain being free of Islam, is to think of a Europe that was dominated by Islam. No music, no art and sculpture, no art and painting.

  • Summary: 

    Steven Weinberg and Neil deGrasse Tyson describe how the "Golden Age of Islam" collapsed under islamic dogma and has not recovered intellectually or scientifically to this day. V. S. Ramachandran adds an extra cherry on top.

    Edited together from the following clips, mostly from the Beyond Belief 2006 conference.

  • Summary: 

     According to an account in Tarikh al-Tabari by Al-Tabari, Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas wrote to Caliph Umar about enquiring as to what should be done with the books at Ctesiphon. Umar wrote back, "If the books contradict the Qur'an, they are blasphemous. On the other hand, if they are in agreement, they are not needed, as for us Koran is sufficient." Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas then ordered the huge library at Ctesiphon destroyed and its priceless books, the work and wisdom of the generations of Persian scientists and scholars were thrown into a fire or into the River Euphrates. The Arabs called the Persians 'Ajam' meaning mute, and nearly 40,000 captured Persians were shackled and sold as slaves in Arabia........

    After the Arabs had conquered the Persian ruled lands west of the Zagros mountains, they began their campaign to conquer the Iranian heartland. Once they had crossed into the kingdom of Persia itself, the ruling kingdom of the Iranian peoples, they advanced on the Zoroastrian religious centre of the Istakhr, took the city and slaughtered its 40,000 residents.

  • Summary: 

    We are often told of the greatness of the Islamic Golden Age. But how much actual gold was there? And why does Islam do so poorly in intellectual work today?

Subscribe to Golden-Age