Rediscovering Islamic Civilization

“What if the alternative to war, terrorism and ‘clash of civilizations’ .. Is a secret buried in the past (Islamic Civilization),” Michael Hamilton Morgan.

Samuel Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations” (he borrowed the title of his book from anti-Islam Jewish Orientalist, Dr. Benard Lewis, whose doctrine has become US foreign policy, says Wall Street Journal in an editorial). In the book Huntington wrote: “In the 1990s Muslims have been far more involved in intergroup violence than the people of any other civilization”. If so, the author ignored the fact that in most of those cases, it were foreign countries such as the US, Russia, Britain and Israel were directly or indirectly involved. Furthermore, for the last 100 years, no Muslim country has invaded a non-Muslim country while several non-Muslim countries have invaded and occupied many Muslim lands.

The public is bombarded on daily basis with anti-Islam myths and distortion of the history of Islamic Civilation by Islamophobe politicians, writers and broadcasters who are known to be linked to Israel Hasbara Committee or religious extremists. These people are having a field day since September 11, 2001. Now, a former US diplomat, Michael Hamilton Morgan (born 1951), in his book Lost History: the Enduring Legacy of Muslim Scientists, Thinkers and Artists (2007) has debunked most of the anti-Islam Zionist propaganda.

Michael says that many of the foundations of modern civilization rest in the Muslim past. The often fogotten breakthroughs in mathematics, astronomy, science, medicine, engineering, the arts, architecture, tolerance of diversity and civic leadership were undertaken by courageous men and women representing multiple faths and ethnicities. David Shasha in the book review wrote that the very time when Europe was descending into what has been called its “Dark Age”, a new upstart civilization was growing in the Arab world. Islam was not simply a religion; it was a political system, a philosophical system, a scientific system and much else. As Islam developed, it changed those who lived in the Middle East and other areas that were conquered in the first centuries of Muslim civilization. Under Muslim rule, the Jewish literature liberalized too. The Mishnah, Talmud and Midrashic literature began to speculate on new and different subjects to rethink assumptions that were held dear in the past. “It was the learning of Arab Muslims that brought about this massive paradigm shift in world civilization,” wrote David Shasha.

According to Morgan – “Most Americans, including American Muslims, and even many Muslims from other parts of the world, know only the dimmest outlines of Muslim history, i.e., ‘they were great once, they invented arithmetic, but then they fell behind.’ Most Westerners have been taught that the greatness of the West has its intellectual roots in Greece and Rome, and that after the thousand-year-sleep of the Dark Ages, Europe miraculously reawakened to its Greco-Roman roots. In the conventional telling, this rediscovery of classical Greece — combined with the moral underpinning of the Judeo-Christian faith – led to the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, and the scientific and industrial revolutions. The intellectual contributions of Arabs, Persians, Indians, Chinese, Africans, and others in the Muslim world are relegated to mere footnotes”.

“I hope that non-Muslims can gain greater respect and deeper understanding of their Muslim cousins than current headlines and policies would suggest and that today’s Muslims can see how Islam was once applied in a way to support creativity, invention, tolerance, and diversity of thought and behavior in both society and in individual lives.”

“Then, maybe we can begin to understand the issues of today that will never be solved by force. Because if there is no other lesson to be drawn from Lost History, it is that force rarely if ever positively resolves issues of the spirit and the soul – whether in individuals or in civilizations.”

The photo on the top-left shows Al-Hamra (Red Castle) the ancient palace and fortress complex of the Moorish rulers of Al-Andulus (Granada, Spain). It was built during the 13th century CE.

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