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Muslims for Europe - Islam and Science


July 14, 2008 · 1 Comment

It is ironic to me that many of us today within the Muslim intellectual-sphere claim names of great scientists of the demised Muslim empire to ourselves. Such scientists have made major contributions to medicine, mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, optics and much more. One thing that this muslim intellectual-sphere fails to observe is how were these great scientists treated during their times. Take Avesenna (Ibn Sina) the great innovator in medicine, philosophy and much more, or the great mathematician and philosopher “El Faraby”. Both were accused of heresy and were judged to be outlaws and infidels (expelled from Islam) by a religious scholar/zealot who is cited today in many circles as an Islamic renovator in his era, that is “Al Imaam Al Ghazaly”. Further accusation of the heresy of those great muslim scientists were also perpetuated by prominent religious scholars like “Ibn Taymya” or “Ibn el Kayem”.

The beginnings of the demise of Muslim civilization can be traced back to the days those so called “Islamic renovators or renewers” were in the high. Books were burned, and havoc was wrecked on a fragile but vibrant scientific community. Religion killed science, which is the same fate that was suffered in Europe in the middle ages and before the renaissance. Respectable renaissance scholars attribute the spark of the renaissance to many works by those heretic muslim scholars that were prosecuted in their times by the religious institutions…so much for Islam’s scientific legacy, don’t you think?

Indeed Europe’s scientific rise did not happen until the grip of the religious fanatics in the church were challenged. If I see a seed of demise in western civilization today it must be without doubt the rise of the religious right, specially in the US, and take a look to fine a proof at creationists who so easily trash cosmology, physics, and biology for the sake of an argument that is naive at best and cancerous to the core.

If Islam is to be reformed, we must acknowledge the real reasons behind its demise. Within the current muslim religious “renaissance” which is viewed with optimism by some circles in the muslim world lies the seeds of demise, once more. When I see “Imaam Al Ghazaly” and “Ibn el Kayeem” credited these days as sources of a revived true islam, it sends shivers through my spine! Is this a renaissance or a new demise towards a deeper low in our history?

Being a scientist myself holds me back from the idea of burning books. Although, there is no doubt in my mind about which books that really need to be burned this time around!

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