Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Richard Butrick: The Golden Age of Islam - A Second Look

Richard Butrick has written an excellent article on the so-called "Golden Age of Islam," i.e. the mythical period in history when the Muslim world led humanity in science and mathematics, and Christians and Jews lived in an interfaith paradise under Muslim rule.

STONEGATE INSTITUTE--The period from the death of Muhammad through the 13th Century marks the glory days of the Islamic empire. It was a period of commerce, industry and intra-cultural synergies and a flourishing of the sciences, art, medicine and architecture. It was the epitome of what civilization should be. Just ask Obama. In his 2009 Cairo speech the president said that Islam "carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment," and praised the "innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed."

While Central Europe languished in the Dark Ages of ignorance, fear and superstition following the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century (so the story goes), it was the Islamic world that carried the torch of Classical civilization to a Europe finally stumbling out of the Dark Ages in the 15th century.

By contrast the Islamic world flourished during the Dark Ages: by the 13th century, both Africa and India had become great centers of Islamic civilization, and soon after, Muslim kingdoms were established in the Malay-Indonesian world while Chinese Muslims flourished throughout China.

Islam therefore is a religion for all people from whatever race or background they might be: Islamic civilization is based on a unity which stands completely against any racial or ethnic discrimination. Such major racial and ethnic groups as the Arabs, Persians, Turks, Africans, Indians, Chinese and Malays in addition to countless smaller units embraced Islam and contributed to the building of Islamic civilization.

Moreover, so the story goes, Islam was not opposed to learning from the earlier civilizations and incorporating their science, learning, and culture into its own world view. Each ethnic and racial group that embraced Islam made its contribution to the one Islamic civilization to which everyone belonged.

The global civilization created by Islam also succeeded in activating the minds and thoughts of the people who entered its fold. As a result of Islam, the nomadic Arabs became torch-bearers of science and learning. The Persians, who had created a great civilization before the rise of Islam, nevertheless produced even more science and learning in the Islamic period than before. The same can be said of the Turks and other peoples who embraced Islam. The religion of Islam was itself responsible not only for the creation of a world civilization in which people of many different ethnic backgrounds participated, but it also played a central role in developing intellectual and cultural life on a scale not seen before.

Quite a story. And it is a story being fed to US students from k-12 on through graduate schools. Quite a story? More like a fairy tale.

Click here to read Butrick's response to this "fairy tale."


WhatsUpDoc said...

I am choking myself while reading this.

John said...

This is a bombshell. The Golden Age of Islam myth was Islam's only redeeming feature. The argument went that while Islamization brings on a new dark age today wherever it raises is ugly head and gains control, a form of Islam that existed in the past was beneficial to mankind, therefore, so the argument went, today's manifestation of Islam could evolve from within by some kind of civilising force - and the example of Islam's golden age would give hope of a change for the better. If the myth is false there is no hope for Islam and we must see it as the cancer it is.

Eugene said...

Islam (like its prophet) is a parasite. It feeds off the host (dhimmis, conquered people)and for a while things look good for Islam. But like all parasitic infestations, it eventually consumes the host, and when that happens things get bad really fast.

In the case of Islam, once the dhimmis on whom Islam feeds (and who were the real basis of "golden age" are forced to convert and become parasites themselves, the conquered civilization can no longer support the parasite and the great civilization ceases to exist and dies. Only the sick body of Islam remains. Then parasitic Islam must find a new host to feed off of. The result is perpetual jihad, but never a change in the parasite.

Islam is evil and has been from its beginning. It cannot be changed. It cannot be appeased. It has to be fought.

Tatersalad said...

So this is the Islamic Religion of Peace?


Brother C.L said...

This myth was one of the three things that tricked me into taking shahadah the others being racism doesn't exist in Islam(You can stop laughing now), and Muslims worship just like the prophets and messengers. Who knows maybe when the Mutazilah had the caliphate there could have been a golden age, but the traditional scholars like Imam Ahmad shut that down, and then the Sunni's closed the doors of ijtihad(independent reasoning from the Islamic texts). There can never be a Islamic reformation because there can never be any such concept as sola scriptura, because a orthodox Muslim must blind follow(make taqleed) of the consensus and traditions of the schools of thought which were formulated 1000 years ago.

Islamic "thought" is forever stuck in the middle ages.