How Did We Become So Hateful?

Category: Americas, Faith & Spirituality, Life & Society Topics: Europe, History, Islam Views: 10343

America's long festering animus toward Arabs and Islam has finally arrived. From black tie affairs to your local barbecue, you can see it in the U.S.A. You can hear it, too, whispering in the White House and booming from Capitol Hill. Language that would get people fired if applied to blacks or Jews now passes without comment when used against Arabs and Muslims. It can be found somewhere, every day, in almost every newspaper and TV news show in the land. We tend to view this disturbing trend as the result of two, or twenty, or fifty years of politics and events. But we are children of a history we do not know. The roots of our "new" bigotry stretch through our racist American past to a thousand-year old blind spot, one big enough to drive half the world through. It's time to learn where we came from.

It's true that our reaction to September 11, twisted and amplified through the gov-media input stream, opened a dark door in the American heart. Softened up by decades of neoconservative, fundamentalist, pro-Israeli and Hollywood propaganda, we were easy marks for politicians brewing a spirit of national retribution.

But we had already shown our stripes, long before the bigotry got organized enough to establish its own think tanks. From our demonization of Nasser and the PLO to the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, when Iranian-American citizens instantly became "sand niggers" and victims of mobs and hate crimes from coast to coast, we had revealed a wide seam of hatred for Arabs and Islam in the bedrock of our national character.

Today, after years of diligent polishing by powerful friends, this obdurate stone of intolerance is passed off as a sparkling gem, a dynamic, no-nonsense political point of view enjoying the highest official approbation. Bush foreign policy and the continuing round up and incarceration of Arab citizens and immigrants make the identity of the enemy crystal clear.

We have returned to our former habit of publicly attacking races, cultures and religions as a matter of national politics. American racists once again have a "legitimate" language to express their hatred. No longer must the dirty business be kept behind the curtain, when the nation is willing to watch, mute and compliant. Instead, we hide the enemy, especially if she is dead. It seems to be easier to accept what's going on, if she has no humanity, if the dead and dismembered civilians can't be seen, if their race and religion are inferior, if "they will have to change anyway, one way or another", as Tom Friedman might put it. We slip into it so easily, it's as if we've been doing it for a thousand years.

Have you ever stood so close to a Monet that the image dissolves into a sea of swimming color? Step back a pace, and the background begins to resolve. Back another pace, and the foreground jumps out with a sudden force. If we take a few steps back into the deep history of our problem with Islam, we may see the background for what it is. And that may help us to resolve the turbulent foreground of our picture.

For example, what is the background to the new bigots' favorite claim, that Islam is a "uniquely violent religion"? The scriptural perspective is simply embarrassing. Both the Old Testament and the Torah chronicle God's recurring commands to the Hebrews to wipe out everyone in sight, so copiously that the Qur'an looks downright tame by comparison. Christian and Jewish fundamentalists defy their own scriptures when they defame Islam as a violent religion.

Empirically, since the beginning of Islam fourteen centuries ago, the Europeans have been far more bloodthirsty, perhaps by a power of ten or more, than the followers of Mohammed. ("Christendom" casts a wider net than my argument intends, so I will use the term "Europeans", i.e. people of European stock and heritage, wherever they may be.) Not only did Europeans leapfrog the Muslim world in developing sheer killing power, they have also been at each other's throats in large conflicts far more frequently than have Arab Muslims in their own sphere. And of course Europeans nearly invented large scale genocide and colonization of foreign lands as a state-commercial enterprise. What do Muslims have in their history that even begins to compare with the seizure, annihilation, and occupation of an entire hemisphere?

And what, to cite just one example, do Europeans have to compare with the Moorish occupation of Spain? Instead of sowing lasting bloodshed and dispossession, Islamic Spain allowed Muslims, Christians and Jews to live together in fairly peaceful co-existence for 800 years, as they co-developed the beautiful Spanish language and culture. You could take a lot of Spanish in a lot of American schools without learning much of anything about this rich and instructive heritage.

In a recent article in the New Statesman, Ziauddin Sardar gets to the heart of the matter when he writes that "the west's hatred of Islam stems from, more than anything else, the denial of its true lineage. The western world as we understand it is a child of Islam. Without Islam, the west - however we conceive it today - would not exist. And, without the west, Islam is incomplete and cannot survive the future."

If you're having trouble with "the western world is a child of Islam", welcome to your blind spot. Happily, it's not about theology, but to clear it up we'll have to go back thirteen hundred years, to the first contacts between Islam and Christian Europe. You may experience some embarrassment along the way, especially when you realize that it's a natural and important part of the history that Arabs and Muslims learn today.

In the year 700, Islam and the Arabic language were on the move. Soon their influence would stretch from India to Spain. Europe was entering its Dark Ages, nursing its dwindling links to a dead Roman culture. Arabic scholarship, science and invention surpassed Europe in every way. Arabic scholars would soon include Greeks, Persians, Indians, Africans, Christians, Jews and more. Arabic would become as essential as English is today. Europe would cling to Latin, already a dying language.

Four hundred years later, Europe began to catch on. Translating more Arabic texts in Latin, we began to learn. Not only did we imbibe the fundamentals of our math, science and technology in Arabic, we learned the very roots of our culture and democracy at the feet of our Islamic neighbors. At a time when very few in Europe could even read Greek, the Arabs were already rescuing the genius of ancient Greece from oblivion. They translated Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Pythagoras, the whole Pantheon of Greek learning and art into Arabic, and brought it back to life in Islamic culture.

We learned "our" Greek heritage by translating the Arabic translations into Latin. For centuries, the fundamental texts of budding European scholarship were based on Arabic translations, and Europe's scholarship continued to be informed by its more learned Arabic contemporaries. Europeans even copied principles of Islamic scholarship and academic organization in building their own nascent academies. But soon we were spinning the myth that we'd got it all directly from "our" Greek ancestors. Which may have made it easier to launch the Crusades, to begin murdering our teachers.

The injection of ancient Greek learning and art into Church-bound Europe is generally held to be the engine of the Renaissance, and the beginning of our humanist traditions. The fact that we learned it all from our Islamic intellectual superiors has been blotted out of Western history for a thousand years. The language of algebra and the concept of zero were also vital to the growth of Europe. By the year 800, Arabic mathematicians had learned these tools and the place-valued decimal system from the scholars of India. Four hundred years later, Fibonacci wrote his groundbreaking Liber abaci to introduce modern (Arabic) numerals and the Hindu-Arabic decimal system to a Europe still muddling with Roman numerals.

The word 'algebra' is Arabic, from the book "Hisab al-jabr w'al muqabala", written around 830 by the renowned astronomer and mathematician Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khowarizmi. When translated into Latin, it caused a sensation in Europe - 310 years later. Where would Newton have been, without the Arabs? On what would he and Leibniz have based the calculus? Whither Maxwell and Einstein, without Islam? How can we receive such gifts and perpetually rebuke the giver?

There are many other examples, including the Arabic roots of European music and musical instruments, and the rich Islamic/Arabic influence spanning the people and cultures of southern and eastern Europe, to name but two. We have a lot of history to recover. Who would we be, without this cornucopia of gifts?

Even the engines of our world dominance are built with intellectual hand tools forged in the Muslim mind. If we are not the child of Islam, we are at best its kid brother. The one that likes to blow up frogs with firecrackers.

Being a kid brother myself, I know the signs, when it's time to grow up and show your big brother some love and respect. A time to reconcile the past, and talk man to man. You find out he's not such a bad guy after all. And he sure knows a lot.

James Brooks, writer and former business owner, resides in Worcester, Vermont. He is also the webmaster for http://www.vtjp.org


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  119 Comments   Comment

  1. Avner stolitz from uk

    Thankyou james, for your eyeopener of an article. I have

    renounce judaism now, thanks to you, Allah hu Akbar.

  2. carlo chicco

    This article hasn't improved over time.

    It is still badly informed and incorrect.

    I repeat: apart from all the rest, it's impossible to translate Socrates and Pythagoras. They didn't leave one single written line.

    Why don't you check your sources ?

  3. Gabriela Bidot from USA

    I am 52 yrs old and I have lived in USA and abroad. I have never been taught to hate Muslims or Arabs in my country. During my travels to other countries I learned to my surprise the lack of tolerance of other religions in the Middle East. How could anyone be sympathetic to these people. They can build a mosque on our land, but God forbid if I wear a sleeveless dress in their country or openly practice Christianity. It is impossible to admire these people.

  4. Ahmed

    Good to see this article reposted. The blatant rejection of facts by the usual crew of Armageddon wet dreamers and Empire worshippers should surprise no one.

    These people are clueless when it comes to history, hell they dont know their own, much less ours.

  5. Hudd from Great North

    Carlo Chicco, man, why do you insist on joining the coallition of the ignorant? Before you make a .. statement like that, please man, document and inform yourself. This is secondary school stuff in Canada, everybody knows as much. Yes, the Arabs saved the works of the ancient Greeks, whether you like it or not, truth is truth and knows no racism or discrimination. I understand, in a primitive sort of thinking one would put the question,'how come that the Arabs were so smart and now they are so backwood?' You can say that about many nations, for instance,'how come that the Greeks were so great and today they just stuggle to imerge from a rural and quite primitive society?' Or,'how come that the Portuguese conquored and colonized a great portion of the world, South America, Africa, Asia and today Portugal is the bottom of the European community?' You see, Carlo, because nations rise and fall in the course of history we have 'lesser' nations today that were rulers of the world in the past. It is like a very successful neighbour of yours that was your envy becomes bankrupt and loses everything and reaches on the street. Does that mean that he never achieved anything? What kind of thinking you have, Carlo? Yea, the Arabs once ruled the World as well as the Romans, Greeks, Mongols, English, Portuguese, Spaniards, etc. All you have to do Carlo is read more and not from one source, you'll get smarter, I bet!

    My regards!

  6. carlo chicco

    This article is uninformed, superficial and very naive. The article completely ignores the role of the Byzantine Empire in preserving classical heritage. It says stupidities like "at a time when very few in Europe could even read Greek" the Arabs blah blah blah; what did they speak, in your view, in Constantinople during the dark ages, and until 1453?

    What is even more ridiculous, is the idea that Arabs translated Socrates and Pythagoras. There is not a single line extant by those two authors. Difficult to translate them.

    Bes regards

    Carlo Chicco

  7. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Peace be unto you, Farrell (as well as unto all those who have submitted comments to this article). You seem to be under the impression that Islam is inseparable from various cultures that are foreign to you. Admittedly, many Muslims would appear to be under the same impression.

    For whatever it might be worth, I fully imagine that there is no future in either intolerance or bigotry. Unfortunately, you already seem to have made up your mind.

    [Quran 22:40] ...And had it not been for Allah's repelling some men by means of others, cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein Allah's name is much remembered, would surely have been pulled down...

  8. madmax from Maroc

    Farrell, I do believe that you have read and re-read this article, however, speaking of "incredible narrow-mindedness", do you happen to "read and re-read" your own comments before posting them for others to read? If not, "read and re-read" your comment and you will be surprised to discover your own insularity you are sharing with the world. Also in case you never heard of, or never seen, there are some objects that exist, you know they are usually made of a material called paper, that's right, that noble Chinese invention, oh yes! they are called BOOKS, I think you should try one at a time and try not to consume anything you lay your hand on. Do let us know about your experience with these objects.

    Paix et sans rancune

  9. Farrell from usa

    I read and then re-read your article, and still am unable to understand how you arrive at your conclusions. You go far back into history because that's exactly what you have to do to find any positive contributions from the Muslim east. Like the Jews that are constantly talking about how oppressed and abused they are, never once looking at what they may have done to cause their situation, Muslims constantly whine about how the West has always hated them. The crystalization of my disdain for Islam, Arabs, and the East certainly occurred as the result of 9/11, but the roots existed long before then. I work with Muslims (good people) from Iran and Turkey. Although Muslim, they are aware of, and are openly critical of the inhumanity and suffering brought about by Islam. They are Muslims because they were raised that way and because they don't want to alienate or endanger their relatives still in those countries. They are in America because they wanted freedom from the oppression of their homelands. What kind of incredible narrow-mindedness could perceive that a culture that is the very definition of intolerance and bigotry is somehow a light of reason and progress for the human race. I write this as I think of my friend, scarred from acid burns, acid thrown at her by Muslim women when she entered a part of Istanbul where the locals thought that she should be wearing a burka. How sad that you choose to ignore the truth and believe a fantasy.

  10. Arya Purzad from usa

    While I agree with the article as a whole I have a few points to make. First and foremost, Iranians are not of Arab stock but of Indo-European origin. In fact the name Iran means "land of the Aryans" in Old Persian. Aryan, of course means "noble" in that language and Sanskrit (and has nothing to do with revisionist Nazi ideology). The modern language of Iran is Persian (again, part of the Indo-European language family much like English). Secondly, mathematicians such as Khowarizmi and Khayam (better known for his poetry in the West) were both Persian (Iranian). It just so happened that the scientific language of the time was Arabic; much as Latin was in Europe. The Islamic world, much like the Christian word is a mosaic and not a monolith. There is a disturbing trend in the West to reduce and generalize the inhabitants of the former world as simiply "Muslims"; as if that is some sort of quasi ethnicity and a convenient blanket term. The same does not hold when discussing the people of Europe and the Western Hemisphere (do we just call these diverse people "Christians"?).

  11. Ronald K. Rowe from USA

    What an incredibly well thought out, rational, article. The author has truly spoken Truth to Power. Judging by some of the negative comments posted here, it appears that Mr. Brooks has touched a very raw psycological and emotional nerve. By and large most Americans have been deluded by their narcissistic neurosis. Whenever someone has the courage to tell America the truth about itself it responds like a spoiled juvenile delinquent. Americans, by and large are woefully pig ignorant of the contributions to humanity by other civilitions, and when it comes to Al-Islam it conveys a highly irrational, prejudicial attitude. That attitude is a carry-over from the Crusades and has been handed down from generation to generation. America has been historically a racist, xenophobic society, especially towards peoples of non-European decent. As an American I am force to conclude that this country lacks the moral courage to face up to its flaws willingly. Only when forced to do so will she admit, albeit grudgingly, that she has a serious character flaw. History clearly shows that only through conflict (Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, Women's Rights, Vietnam War etc.)does this country finally come to grips with it's dark side. Let's hope that it doesn't have to take another bloody conflagration before this society wakes up. WAKE UP PEOPLE.

  12. ex-navy from USA

    I was just out of boot camp and in an NAS Memphis school. It was March of 1976. When I arrived, we were warned to stay clear of the local bars where the local gentry were shit-kicking rednecks looking for a reason to hurt anyone.

    Inside the base, there were also Iranian military that dressed like they were off the street. They were going to the schools as we were.

    I recall having dinner in the 'chow hall' and normally ate alone. There was a disturbance a table away and I began to pay attention to the conversation. It was an angry Iranian bothering everyone trying to enjoy our meals, a difficult thing to do with navy food...

    He kept threatening that americans were going to die, this was 1976 and before the downfall of the Shah of Iran.

    So, Mr. columnist, we have many divisions in this world:

    1. Race - color - language - ethnicity

    2. Religion - atheism

    3. Country - monarchy - democracy

    A lot of room for disaggreement and hate.

    I hope this translates into other languages because they have hate too.

  13. Rabia from US

    wow, I have never read such a well-written article on the contributions of Islam and Muslims, to Western civilization. Bravo!

    I am a college student, taking a class on Early Modern European History, and I have to admit, this class leaves no doubt in my mind that, while the Muslims were advancing in fields such as science, technology, mathematics, literature, etc, unfortunately, the Europeans were busy fighting amongst themselves. And, it is through the Crusades (which is the correct term for a "holy war", as oposed to "jihad" which means "struggle", so please get it right) that Europe came upon the Renaissance, otherwise, it would have never occurred. So you wouldn't be sitting here dreaming of how evil and wicked Islam is, because half the things you have and know, are a direct result of higher learning. Since the West is an offshoot of Europe, no less, and Europe developed with the help of Muslim contributions, simply logic tells you that the West is successful largely due to Muslim acheivements. Now, I am sure everyone can understand that, right?

    NO hard feelings, though. Because now, the West controls the media and is free to distort the facts any way it wishes.

    However, there are, fortunately, scores of people the world over that are well aware of the tricks and schemes of the West and especially of the United States ( look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, need I continue?).

    Man, I love this country.

  14. Lili from US

    Hello. I just learned about your website today. After reading this article, I just love it!!

    Thank you so much for bringing out what I'm trying to say, what's in me, I know it and it's choking me to get out somehow!

    I'm a muslim, I'm originally from Iran and I've tolerated all the violent American hatred towards muslims and Iranians as a child in elementary school. But I've also seen the Islamic community. I've been to Iran, I've lived in Iran, I know with all my soul and body and mind that Islam is superior, it creates superior people, superior thoughts, great inventions and so much progress. It builts enough strength in it's beleivers to scare the globalization efforts so they start to kill muslims before the muslims ever get a chance to say anything and defaces them before they even get a chance to introduce themselves. Which is what they are doing to Iraq. They were insuccessful with their efforts in politically and economically dying out the Iranian Islamic Republic, only to see that they have grown superbly day by day and have become persistant awakeners of the middle east neighborhood of the Israel subject and the globalization efforts. They killed the could-be Ayyatollah Khomeini, Ayyato-llah Hakim and so on...

    There will be a day, I beleive, that they will see with their own eyes how disgusting, disgraceful and unpleasant their goal was and they will find no way to escape their past behaviors and acts.

    Thank you very very much for this great article!!!

  15. Imran from USA

    Everyone against this article needs to GROW UP,espacially Marlene,Jose and of course Esther,the babygirl ALWAYS crying for dying christianity and western civilization, and blaming it on Muslims.

  16. Marlene from USA

    Ahmed

    Sorry but I am the mother of three boys so you are going to have to do a whole lot better than that to impress me. Furthermore I am not sure who in the world you think you are; but I find your comments no more important than mine, so deal with it!

  17. musa muhammad from Nigeria

    I believe if we go back to history a little there is enough light for anyone who wants to see.

  18. Ahmed from UK

    You protest just a bit too much Marlene. If that was an attempt at sarcasm it was amusing. As for your modus operanti of using my comments to judge how peaceful Islam is, it says quite a bit about your level of maturity. The lowest common denominator in action as usual.

    Maybe its because most of you westerners are so used to controlling the discourse about non-westerners in general that you found my comments shocking. I was defending the author, a humble Christian mind you, for shedding light on some historical facts. The amount of racist hostility generated by the article speaks for itself.

    This is not Fox news or any other organ of american state media, if you lie and spew venom at people, you'll be aptly corrected and set straight. Muslims are not going to your punching bags nor are we going standby and let our history be debased by immoral apologists of empire.

    It seems you can dish it out, but cant take it, which is not at all surprising.

  19. Marlene from USA

    Ahmed-Thank you for showing this stupid westerner what a tolerant and peaceful religion Islam is. Your respect of other peoples cultures, opinions and religions is just outstanding.

  20. Sylvia Maniscalco from Canada

    It is increadibly refreshing to hear the truth being spoken so eloquently by Muslim and non-Muslims. To the writer of the article: as a muslim convert (I was born Christian) it pleases me to hear everything that you wrote. To Ahmed, my dear brother: I don't know who you are but I am so impressed. It is so nice to hear you put into words so precisely what I think about all the time. May God bless you.

  21. Ahmed from UK

    You're the liar here Jose old chap. Lets analyze some of your high flying distortions and deception, so simmer down. The civil rights of Muslims in America are next to non-existent. Its a common lie that American propogandists use when they claim that American Muslims are having a real party in the States. Thousands of innocent men detained, thousands of hate crimes committed and the daily dehumanization of Islam by your state media is what happens in America. So dont even attempt the hide the stink.

    Next, you claim that you are a Christian, well so is the author of the article you attack. Apparently your version of Christianity is the same one which is espoused by the Armageddon fanatics who want to destroy the Islamic world. The same bastardized polemic adopted by Falwell and other equally corpulent christian charlatans. Does Christ(s) have surprise for you !

    The claim that Christians are persecuted in Muslim countries is without merit and the product of christian propogandists who to want fill up their coffers with loot from unsuspecting dullards like yourself. The oldest Churches and Synagogues are in the Islamic world, where people are free to practice their religion. Tensions are often started by crooked missionaries trying to fan the flame of sectarian violence.

    As for 9/11....your own CIA assetts attack you and Islam is responcible ?! Muslims did not celebrate the attacks, you're desperation in looking for a handfull of losers in the UK to justify your petty hatred of Muslims is pathetic. You owe Muslims one hell of an apology for what you criminals did in Iraq, not the other way around. I'm not holding my breath though.

    Now that brings us back to your poorly typed canard, as all other attacks on the article, none offered any evidence to the contrary except to hurl cheap slanderous invective. How pathetically typical of a society of failures and illiterate warmongers.

  22. Ahmed from Uk

    Wrong as usual Esther. The problem with your mindset is that its based on false premise and petty assumptions about Middle Easterners, and non-Westerners in general.

    People are not racing to come to American shores, this is a myth propogandists like yourself focus on to point to the perceived magnanamity of your supposed tolerance, as well as to gauge the xenophobia prevalent in your society. We do fine in the Middle East thank you very much, there is the problem of terrorists from the Western world launching wars of aggression against us, but God willing justice will prevail.

    Second, technology doesnt belong to anybody, it is the process of history and civilization that knowledge has flowed throughout the ages. No Muslim asks for special recognition in regards to this, but we will speak out and set the record straight when our history and its contributions are denied and belittled by vulgar fanatical illiterates who are in the business of empire worship, that is pax americana. You are basically dishonest and conceited people, and we know it. YOu cant change history, God knows you're not learning from it.

    Finally, I notice you had nothing to say on the subject of Iraq. The silence is deafening indeed. Nothing surprising in that. The rape of Iraq was a concrete example of your criminal and predatory character at work. And I'm not even going to mention your Armageddon fairy tales in regards to this. Unfortunetly for you, the jig is up, we've seen your barbarity in the open. The only hope your dying parasitic "civilization" has are the millions of young people who marched against the war and are fed up with whats being done in their name throughout the world.

  23. JOSE CARCAMO from USA

    tha's a completly lie, and the proof is simple, the islam people can come to america and many nations on the world and live in peace, teach they beliefs,open mosques, schools,political offices,etc, but in the opposite side any other religions than the islam have the same treatment in the islam countries,even the most outrage; the case of the islam group in England,making apologies and celebration for the 9-11( look in the 19 magnificients),in NEW YORK most of the Islamic schools teach heatred against the cristian community, this is base it in their school books. I'm 44 year old , i'm christian i never had been received a religius studies base it in a hate against any religion, either base in the supremacy or request of our religion like the onlyone./I respect your religion,but i love the universality of my country and of the world,and i hope for the future the dissapear of all the treats against your religion and our world, and pray for that ones who think only one religion can preveal.

  24. Esther from USA

    Ahmed, Western civilization is not perfect. And I don't realy agree with all it stands for. But let us be honest here, Muslims flock to the West (not just America) for money. For they are money hungry. If the Middle East was so great people would want to live there. As a matter of fact the West may be dying because of their population decrease but I doubt the Muslim world can bring the world back to life even of they have ten children. Also you should quit trying to take credit for the technology of today.

  25. Yahya Bergum from USA

    In addition to toppling a dictator and committing approximately $100 billion (so far) towards Iraq - if not Afghanistan (astagh-firullah!) - is America now being blamed for the destruction of idols? By the way, what happened to all those pictures of the defaced idols - showing only the faces of the idols having been defaced? Meanwhile, I would guess that a portion of the booty is funding the forces of "Iraqi" resistance. Another portion might perhaps be enabling formerly oppressed Shiite families to eat. Before hurling an accusation, a person might wish to consider the accusation (they are about to hurl). Is the accusation something of which the accuser (themselves) would be proud - if someone were to hurl it at them?

    Furthermore, if 9/11 was "sanctioned" by Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) - according to an authority on Islam (recently in the news) - then how about our invasion of Iraq? And if Muslims are freed by "polytheists" then are those Muslims violating some sort of a law by thanking Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) for their deliverance? Perhaps might it actually be imprudent NOT to thank Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) for receiving that for which we have perhaps made dua for more than three decades? Who knows? At least America is showing, for the time, that we are - partially (astagh-firullah!) - willing to compensate our victims in the on-going global campaign. May the cups of the righteous be filled (Ameen).

    Alhamdulillah. Subhanallah. Allahu-akbar!

    Assalamu alaikum wa barakatuhu (wa lihub-billah).

    --Yahya Bergum

  26. rajawali from Teganu

    DESPITE computers, medicine, and infrastructure, they also invented atomic bombs, nuclear bombs, carpet bombs, mother of all bombs, biological bombs, chemical bombs etc?? which are damaging many of human civilization and life of mankind as well as living creatures where satans themselve do not do the work up to these limits.

  27. Ahmed from UK

    On the contrary Timothy old boy, its very relevent to recognize the past and present contributions of the Muslims to your dying "civilization." Most of you backward minded western propogandists just dont get it. Muslims do NOT care whether you recognize reality or not, we know how you people are, how you think. A concrete example of your unrelenting hatred towards Islamic civilization and pretty much anything to do with Muslims is your invasion of Iraq, and how its heritage was destoryed under your occupation. And thats not including the 12 years of systematic genocide you subjected the Iraqi people too. Rest assured we will not forget.

    Your analysis is completely without merit, as if your contempt for facts in general. A fine reflection of a society of failures and warmongers.

  28. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Wa Alaikum Assalaam. That was an awesome comment! I meant the comment of someone else - not my own comment. ~:o)

    If I may (please!) offer just one suggestion, we might wish to consider allowing our intuitions to hold us back for perhaps a moment or two - before submitting any sentiments POTENTIALLY critical (without realizing it!) of that which (all) members of our Ummah consider to be very special. Sometimes a second look will lead me (Allah be praised) to soften up what I wished to say, to limit it somewhat or to even change my comment to be less "hypocritical" towards myself - insha'Allah.

    My point would be something like: not only ought we consider how we might better observe ahadith - and peace be upon Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) - but also we might wish to consider applying the lessons of ahadith to perhaps even more of our daily lives. For example: we hem up our garments to avoid dragging them along the ground - but other expressions of vanity (or perhaps even wealth itself) perhaps might just as easily keep us from entering Paradise - so perhaps we might let the need to correctly hem our garments serve us as a reminder concerning expressions of vanity in general. I am "afraid" to be less "cryptic" than that - for which I apologize.

    All the same, beautiful - masha'Allah. Jazak Allah khair.

    --Yahya Bergum

  29. Timothy Hilliam from USA

    Wether or not Islam contributed to the West's development is irrelevent. Whenever a people are down they exaggerate their contributions from the past. It is well known to myself and others of the Arabs contribution to the Enlightenment. However, the present is most important. Islamic culture and religion is a failure much in the same way that Christianity and Judaism have been. There can be no final word as it is evident all things change, including the word of God. The Muslims and their apologists are clamoring for anything to show they are relevant and world minded when it is evident through their actions and continued support for only Muslim causes that they are the same as the self interested western buisness man. Only it is obvious their deontological cause is a teleological failure. The main difference is that the western buisness man in the end will be remembered for the advancements that were made under his leadership in the form of computers, medicine, and infrastructure that have and will benefit mankind while the Muslim will unfortunately, from henceforth, be seen as a murdering savage without the abiltity to solve problems through a manner other than violence. The terrorists have ruined your religion and most of you stand by and say "woe is me, what about Palestine." The arab, or more correctly, semitic arab has never been able to unite for a period of time that could bring about their global dominance in the way in which Europeans have mainly due to their histrionic nature. It is this fact that stares both the moderate and fundamentalist muslim in the face every day and gnaws at their inside providing tangible proof of the falicious nature of their religion and eminent doom of their society. The west is not perfect but, unlike Islamic culture, it works.

  30. T. Ahmed from USA

    This is a very enlightenning article! I recall my father (a scholar of Islam himself) trying to explain this in my teen years when all I could think off is adopting the western culture. Thank you for bringing it all back is right perspective.

  31. Nida from NY/USA

    James Brooks is a brilliant writer! I was so engrossed in this article that I have now made it a point to research the topics he has brought to light. Amazingly articulate, Brooks details a very common notion nowadays: the hatred of Muslims and Islam, pre-September 11 and the ridiculous aspects that the West hilights in order to make us seem evil.

    Alahamdulillah, I can definitely say that I learned a lot today and will, Insha'Allah, pass on this information--especially to all thise ignorant of the gifts and purity of Islam.

  32. Akil Tariq Mawuli from USA

    As Salaam Alaikum

    Righteousness, and absolute truth cannot be achieved by human beings. Only by the grace of Allah(swt) are we granted righteousness, and absolute truth is Allah's(swt) alone.

    All civilizations are influenced by their predecessor(s), and not one civilization ever in existence achieved righteousness or lived in absolute truth.

    Jews, Christians and Muslims are all in deep trouble because we, as a whole, are in error.

    We are self-righteous, self-absorbed, and hypocrites. How can we claim to love Allah(swt), whom we have never seen(in flesh), but openly hate our brothers whom we see everyday...how can this be?

    As a Muslim, I am tired of fellow Muslims behaving as if they are so righteous and beyond reproach. Some of us act out our religion openly in order to gain praise from our peers as opposed to Allah(swt). Some of us act as if we are partners with Allah(swt) by forceably telling others how to think and act (threatening women who do not cover their head in public, etc).

    Some of us are more concerned with carrying on pagan cultural practices, than with learning Al-Islam according to the prophets (may Allah be pleased with them). Some of us cry about Western racism, but when our children want marry a MUSLIM from a different ethnic background we show our true racist colours. I could go on, but the point has been made

    Nothing can save us but the grace of Allah(swt), so stop pretending like you have the answers!

    Turn toward Allah(swt) and do what YOU, as an individual, were commanded to do!

    Respect me by leaving me to do the same without your corrupt guidance!

  33. With Held from U.S

    I just want to thak you Mr. Brooks for your time and your effort you took to cleared it out of those who maybe blind. I heard a teacher made a comment in school(high school) that she hates Islam in front of the class and nothing happend she was Christian then after a year later another yeacher made the same remark she was a Jew nothing happen. How about if a Muslim teacher made same remark infront of the class about christian or jew he/she not only was he/she going to be suspended, but was going to be fire.

    I kind wonder since the tragedy of sep. 11 how is it safe to express your view because the so called "patriotic act" is seems to be takin alot of freedom away from people. I am kind curiosus because it is easy for a Muslim person to be accused as "terrorist". I decided to WithHeld my name for the security reasons and my safty !!

  34. Sarah from u.s.

    I read some coments showing hatrite against Islam

    it really made me sick from me stomach.To the haters you'll are ignorants.

  35. Yahya Bergum from USA

    May Allah forgive my assertion here, but the Quran says that even Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) will be involved in straightening us out, concerning beliefs about which we used to differ. From both the Quran and some of the prophesies of Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) I can support, correctly or otherwise, the argument that perhaps all of us will have to either face or follow Jesus (peace be upon him) in the course of (hopefully) entering into Paradise - which is perhaps not to be confused with Heaven. It would seem that some of our questions will simply not be answered until the Last Day - if ever.

    Also, I can not recall ever having suggested that a Jew was not Kosher because they were Jewish. I can see no reason to defend the actions of Muslims who do. An intention to incite Jews against Muslims is the only motive I can even imagine - Kat - for an imam to insult parents of Jews in front of reporters. Surely, I expect it would be enough to cause temporary insanity - if directed towards a Muslim - would it not? (I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan.)

    Furthermore, the Quran clearly describes various circumstances in which wars of aggression are called for. I know of no excuse for an invitation to blasphemy (to teach otherwise) - other than, possibly, as a pretense, to protect someone in immediate danger. I would - of course - hope a kindly someone would warn me (of such an error) if I myself were transgressing the limits (and may Allah be praised.)

    Peace be with you. May you receive mercies and blessings of the one who is good. May we be grateful for what we do and don't receive.

    --Yahya Bergum

  36. natashoo from usa...future pakistan

    i think this guy is smart. it's about time the europeans/west started paying tribute to muslims rather than stealing our work and showing it as their own.

  37. rc

    the world dangerous actual situation is a weack crooked zionist megabankers puppet scenario to push naives islamic and americans people into a slaugther nigthmare so they can take over the world ,open your eyes wide

  38. Kat from Canada

    I'd like to ask muslims how they became so

    hateful and intolerantl? How do you pretend

    what you are not--you call Jews sons of pigs

    and monkeys and then you whine about

    respect. Respect is earned, not demanded.

    Islam deserves no respect.

    The Thursday, September 27, Cleveland Plain

    Dealer headlined: "Imam says Palestinians

    have the right to take up arms."

    The story reported that on Tuesday night, a

    Cleveland television station had aired a

    ten-year-old videotape. It showed the Imam

    raising money for a Palestinian "jihad" against

    Israel. He called for "directing all the rifles

    against the first and last enemy of the Islamic

    nation, and that is the sons of monkeys and

    pigs, the Jews." This is the man who told me

    that there is no such thing as a holy war. "A

    war can not be holy."

    His explanation exacerbated his problem.

    "The tape was describing me as asking my

    community to contribute to the struggle of the

    Palestinians in the Holy Land. This is their

    right. My remarks were not directed at all

    Jews. I have Jewish friends all over the world.

    I am a man of moderation . . . a man of

    reason," he told The Plain Dealer reporter

  39. YAHYA from INDIA

    AFTER READING THE COMMENTS OF SOME WESTERN FRIENDS I AM BEGENNING TO HATE THEM RATHER THAN TO LOVE THEM .I AM A DOCTOR BY PROFFESION AND WAS BROUGHT UP IN EDUCATED FAMILY .WE ARE ALL PRACTICING MUSLIMS .EVEN IF THE ENTIRE WORLD MOCK US WE WILL BE MUSLIMS FOR EVER AS WE KNOW ITS BY ALLAHS GRACE I WAS BORN AS A MUSLIM.I WILL NEVER WOUND FEALINGS OF ANY OF MY CHRISTIANS HERE SINCE I KNOW MY LORD DOES NOT LIKE IT.BUT U WESTERNERS HAS NEVER SHOWED ANY RESPECT IN ANY ARTICLES OR IN YOUR NEWS CHANNELS U CALL MUSLIMS PARANOID ?WHAT IS THE WORD I HAVE TO USE TO EXPLAIN YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS US

  40. Rob from United States of America

    There is no way to God except through His ONLY begotten Son, Jesus Christ! Islam is a Sham! It is an abortion of faith! Death to all Islamic Terrorist; Death to Osama bin Laden!

  41. Yamen Nanne from US

    This is the best of truth I have read about the Muslim faith in my life. It is apparent that it is truthfull and non-biased because the person writing it is not a Muslim. I congradulate James Brooks for taking the time to perform the vast amounts of research that had to be done to write this article. Histrical facts like those in this article have been a target of an ongoing camapagin of revisionism throughout the fall of the Islamic power structure since the end of the 18th century. I would refer people to view a documentary entitled Islam Empire of Faith, and Muhammed Legacy of a Prophet for more info. Again thanks very much Mr. James Brooks and let me know if I can help your cause and website in any way.

  42. r.s. from u.s.a.

    that piece was utter propaganda and very condescending.

    "muddling with roman numerals"

    "at the feet orf our islamic neighbors"

    "we learned it all from our islamic intellectual superiors"

    "a child of islam"

    islamic contributions are overblown. transcribing ancient roman and greek texts doesn't count. algebra didn't fully come from islam and the concept of zero is kinda in dispute as to whether it came from islam or hindu. the biggest insult is that muslims, christians, and jews lived peacefully together in islamic spain. it's the peace one gets from an islamic sword hanging over your head. there are many accounts of christian kings in the area who had to hand over virgin girls every year to fill muslim harems. then, of course there is jizya... enough said there. this article was written by someone who probably hates the west.

  43. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Hurricane Isabel drops to category 4. What could it mean? Regardless, it's the favor of Alaihim (Elohim). Alhamdulillah (Praise G-d)!

    Assalamu alaikum (Peace be with you).

    --Yahya Bergum

    PS. It is my understanding that Alaihim is disinclined to be worshipped. It is Allah (who has honored servants and powerful slaves but is unpartnered) who alone is worthy of worship.

  44. M.Marcus from UK

    The comments of Americans here pretty much confirm that hate is indeed a value very dear and precious to them. Instead of humbly accepting reality, what we see is gross denial of history sprinkled with brazen lies. Nothing surprising really, given the western world operates within such a framework.

    The Western world has been on a campaign to exterminate Islam since the first crusade was launced. While the face of this campaign changes from time to time, the original intention is very much intact. The phony "war on terrorism" is the latest example.

    The fascists further claim that their civilization is benign and under attack from Islamic fanatics......an opportunistic self delusion to justify wars to secure resources of the "other."

    The author has simply stated what is obvious and painfully true. Its no surprise that the frothing apologists of empire are foaming at the mouth at this article. Well done Mr. Brooks.

  45. melinda from usa

    we dont look at it as a big brother because my brother doesnt bomb me or innocent bystanders in the name of our lord and savior. thats insane. we'll show you some respect when you show us some sanity.

  46. sussanne from australia

    Absolutely excellent.

    thank you James for revealiig something so essential to our understanding of history and the present- the truth!!

    your objective- hatred of Islam is caused by the masses denying its glory and the outstanding achievements of its followers, is so vital to understanding current day situations.

    Even more important than that though is recognisiing the truth of civilisation.

    thank you so much, wish there was more like you!!!!

    peace

  47. Eric Cliffton

    This article is flawed in several ways. The west is not a child of Islam, but if anything, it is the other way around. High learning and culture existed in the Roman and Greek cultures hundreds, thousands of years before the Islamic religion even came into existance. Its true, Europe was entering the dark ages, but most european learning and culture was preserved through catholic monks, and revived through the Italian and French renaissances, not through Islamic invasion. In fact, through the invasion of Europe, the muslim invaders picked up a great wealth of european knowledge.

    Also, when the author says "Islamic Spain allowed Muslims, Christians and Jews to live together in fairly peaceful co-existence for 800 years"- he states a fallicy- for, rather than cultivating the spanish language( which originates from latin ) they attempted to continue their invasion of europe, into France, where they were eventually defeated by Charles Martel. The Islamic religion is not at fault for anything, for, as in any religion, there are flawed followers- The bloodthirsty, greed-driven invaders from Arabia in the middle ages were not acting out of religion, but out of poiltical and monatary ambition. You can make a claim that the Muslims of the era were excelent invaders who took advantage of a devided and disoriented time, you cant, however, make the claim that they are the roots of the west- plus, even if that were true, it has no modern relevency. The west may have taken that information, but from there, it was all them. The west continued to advance and move forward with the info, while the arab world stood still.

    As well, Modern western man isnt antagonistic toward the Muslim world for ancient cultural root issues- the average western man is concerned with the present, in which he sees a violent and agressive faction of Islam attacking him and his fellow citizens for no reason he can think of- That is why this theory holds little weight on teh current issues...

  48. Dania from USA

    This is a wonderful article! It would be really nice to expand on this and research all the methods by which the middle east influenced the west.

  49. Anon from UK

    The central contention in this article is wrong. The West does not hate Islam. This is Islamic myth and paranoia.

    Of course, right now there is a high level of animosity towards the Islamic world, but lets be objective here - you guys are the only people to kill 3000 Americans on home soil in unprovoked outrages. Even if that isn't representative of mainstream Islam it is perceived as so. And that is why there is so much hostility.

    Don't make historical comparisons and allege there is some 1400 year old plot in the west against Islam. There isn't. The Crusades after all were only started when Muslem armies threatened to overrun the Italian principalities and the Catholic church.

    This doesn't mean we ideologically like Islam, or that we have ever particularly liked it. But to argue that we have spent the last 1400 years harbouring a special hatred and plot against you guys is just paranoia, an Islamic urban myth. Westerners are not even aware of Islam 99% of the time.

    And for the record, when this article paints Europeans as a particularly murderous bunch that have no parallel with anything in Islamic history I would just have to ask whether you are in denial about the genocide of the Armenians in 1916. Perhaps the only reason why Muslem societies have not killed as many people is because Muslem societies have lagged technologically so far behind that they lacked the capacity.

    What recent history does teach us is that there is no want of wickness in Islamic circles where mass murder is concerned. Perhaps, if Bin Laden was allowed his way, he'd make up for the disparity in blood in Allah's name.

  50. Pat Deskins from USA

    Talk about one-sided!!! You'd think no one else invented anything or contributed anything else to this world but Muslims!! Who invented the airplane, the car, the computer, phones,air conditioning,electric lightbulbs..... Muslims need to look outside their very narrow world view which only recognizes and inflates their own achievements. As far as Americans hating Muslims, I would have to ask why do Muslims hate everybody in the world except Muslims? Your fantastical claims that Muslims haven't slaughtered as many and more people in conquest than Europeans is absurd. I find this repeatedly in Muslim perceptions, that there is a total lack of self reflection. As "Idol" describes correctly, different civilizations emerged from Mesopotomia,one went one way and another the other way. To attribute anything that happened after that to Islam is a warping of history to suit this idealized version of Islamic history and accomplishment. Every culture has contributed to the way this world is today. Why do you want to beat down and disregard accomplishments of Euoropean countries in order to boost and exaggerate what Muslim countries have supposedly done. If Muslims are so peaceful and loving, why in every country that has Muslim are they always fighting with everybody and blowing up cars and hotels? Instead of complaining how everybody doesn't like them, why don't THEY quit hating everyone.

  51. Muslim from USA

    To those who charge Muslims of not being progressive, and not contributing to the fast evolving world of science and technology, I would like you to go visit research labs all over the the west, and you will be surprised to find a great deal of those engaged in research are Muslims. Yes, they are working in the west since their countries are facing great turmoils. As a matter of fact, many universities in the US have complained that they had lost many students in these fields because of the new laws that target Muslims.

    I would like to tell those who hate us, we are human beings just like any other humanbeings we are not some evil beings who are all plotting and working to destroy the world. We are as diverse as any people, and our faith does not teach us to destroy other people and force them to be the way we want them to be.

    Terrorists are of all faiths, just in the last decades there have been tens of thousands of innocent civilians who died at the hands of non Muslim terrorists some of them were; South American terrorists, Sikh terrorists, Irish Catholic and Protestant terrorists, Jewish terrorists and African terrorists. All the victims of terrorism are equally precious, but it seems only those killed by Muslim terrorists are more important to the media, since they have done a good job ignoring the rest of the victims.

  52. Imran from USA

    Excellent Article, two points worth noticing.

    We (Europeans, Americans) have returned to our former habit of publicly attacking races, cultures and religions as a matter of national politics.

    No longer must the dirty business be kept behind the curtain, when the nation is willing to watch, mute and compliant.

  53. Logan K. Boop from UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    Where on God's earth do you people get the idea that without Islam, Christanty would not exist.

    May I remind you that Christ died and arose from the dead, as payment for the sins of ALL People a full 500 years before Muhammed was born.

    As far as a common thread, the only one is Abraham. I know that Islam teaches that Jesus assended directly into Heaven and was not crucified, the facts do support that idea. Simply put you have too many witnesses to His excution. I'm NOT referring to just the Bible accounting. You have the Romans themselves who carried out the execution. Are you foolish enough to believe that this skilled excution team would allow this "revolutionary" to survive His punishment? If He were to survive, and appear like He arose from the dead, this would certainly create a very difficult situation for the Roman goverment. So I'm quite certain they made sure that He was dead. As for the Resurection, too many people involved again that saw everything.

    We also have the Shroud of Turin which supports the most documented execution in history. As for the Shroud's authenticity, now that the carbon dating issue has been put to bed, there is no doubt about the fact that this indeed is the Shroud of our Lord.

  54. Yaseen from canada

    I think the writer has very comprehensively addresed the facts. People unable to digest it may do so because of bias and prejudice indoctrinated into them by politics and fear of the unknown. One can write books on this issue but James Brooks has done justice to the topic by putting it in one match box. Excellent work!!!

  55. mebrocky from USA

    The second part of Mr. Brooks article where he describes the great contribution of Muslims in all fields of knowledge is wasted because of the comments in the beginning. Mr. Brooks says that Americans are all bigoted, racist and anti-Muslim. That is no more true than saying all Muslims are terrorists. Racism and bigotry thrive in all countries of the world, and in most all cultures. There is a very important message here, " The western world as we understand it is a child of Islam. Without Islam, the west - however we conceive it today - would not exist. And, without the west, Islam is incomplete and cannot survive the future."

    Mr. Brooks does not speak for all Americans, any more than I do. I will say that I know hundreds of people who are not bigoted, racist, or as ignorant as this article would have you believe. You cannot hope to educate and enlighten people by first beating them over the head and insulting them! Rigid fundamentalists of all religions don't understand this, but intelligent, well-meaning, knowledgeable people, like the author should!!!

  56. Bishop from UK

    Get it straight you neurotic Neocon nutballs. You're the ones who're hateful and are the real Nazis. Dont blame Islam, blame yourself for your stupidity, ignorance and malice towards the peoples of the world. Fascists !

  57. idol from australia

    thank you for your beautiful view.your illogical view make me feel much sorry for the muslims.they already a victims of their own lack of modernity.the west is not a child of islam,why? islam is a reveal religion untouchable theological principle.the example.there is no way you can challenge the concepts of the scriptures written in the koran.the west is the child of modern human who build civilization.when the brain started to think logically in human head and build up slowly that is the beginning of a new light in this world.that light is the beginning of civilization.christianity was struggle the same problem ,tried to claim that light.civilization to be christening centralized.they wrestled with raw power of modern human brain.now christianity is the most modern religion.they see the light and they regret what they had done wrong and their mistake.again,now islam trying to challenge the modernity, the product of civilization of modern human brain,which developed from millions of years ago.christianity,islam,ect.is only a religion.scientists believe mesopotamia the beginning of civilization.this is iraq,middle east.islam and christian start there.why this civilization goes west.adopted by early middle easterner,next the greek,then roman,the european,the anglo germanic,the then british ,and then america.finally the whole world.because modernity produce high technology and make us closer.and modernity travel faster reach everywhere.because of that that some of our global village brothers and sisters think is another infidel.zionism,americanism,westernization,islamism,etc.they where all minor reasons and excuses.america fail one day another modern civilization come up because the law of nature that build-in inhuman brain.to logically wise,reasons and critisize.nothing in this world is untouchable to question.from the core of the earth to GOD.PLEASE JAMES GIVE LIGHTS TO ISLAM,WHICH YOU PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED AND YOUR CHRISTIAN FRIEND.THEY RIGHTLY DESERVE A MODERN RIGHT

  58. Tamer from Egypt

    I totally agree with the writer. I believe western people have to read the history of Islam to understand that there is nothing called cultural conflicts. But there is cultural cooperation for the benifit of humanity. Those sick people who are looking for enemies and developing theories to justify their attack against Islam will be the loosers at the end.

  59. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Forgive me, map, but the people most noted for saying it's by grace alone that we are saved would appear to have been noted, additionally, for having been remarkable pious. I would agree that it's by grace alone that even the most remarkably pious people would be saved. But would it be prudent to assume that I, myself, do not need to worry about being pious? (May it be the will of Allah that I act with piety - and that I be grateful to Allah for having done so.)

    My own readings of the four Canonical Gospels would seem to indicate (to me) that through the Messiah our chances of salvation are perhaps made possible - but we are still not off the hook. It also seems (to me) that the Quran was revealed (at the time it was revealed) partly to address popular "abstract concepts" not in conformance with the teachings of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him).

    What would be the purpose for giving the people so many teachings apparently along the lines of Matthew 5:26? At what point were Christians first taught that their debts would be excused through no effort of their own - and according to whom? For that matter, what would be the point in seeking to avoid the wrath of elohim if Christians have no reason to fear Elohei? (May Elohei forgive me!)

    Might Christians hope to be "judged" to have acted morally? Why would Christians even bother, with moral behavior, if they were already off the hook? Rather, of what might moral behavior, on the part of Christians, be a sign? (May I fear Allah - and follow a sin with a good deed.)

    Are Christians afraid of acting immorally? And how might such "apprehension" square with traditional Christian doctrine or even currently popular Christian sentiment? Forgive me, but Christians do tend to appear a bit presumptuous - regarding disposition in the afterlife - perhaps from time to time.

    May Peace be upon you, as well.

    --Yahya Bergum

  60. Jeremy from USA

    If you can get the Islamo-Nazis to stop blowing people up around the world that don't "fit" their insanity, then I'll stop referring to them as murderers, killers, and terrorists.

    Until then, I'll continue to refer to them as what they really are, and I'll continue to expose their murderous religion for what it is.

  61. Robert from US

    Great! Then why doesn't Islam return to discovery instead of hate? Why doesn't Islam preach tolerance instead of hate? Why doesn't Islam teach diversity and acceptance of other religions? Why is Islam involved in a civil war between its different sects? Your story points out events in distant history and not current events involving Islam today.

  62. TA from U.S.A.

    We do not need to jump on sides in the whole U.S./Middle East/Islam/Terrorism issue currently boiling in the world. Both "sides" have made mistakes and are making mistakes. No single side has a right to pretend to take the "moral highground". Use of the term "blind spot" is not beneficial in helping develop mutual understanding, esp. in the context used here. We cannot falsely portray one side or the other as a "big brother". Islam was at the helm of a long and prosperous age of illumination, peace, order, and relative religious tolerance. Now America is at the helm of an age of illumination but not necessarily including the other elements. But both have faults as well. Let's not forget our HISTORY here. Islams's primary tool to convert infidels in the beginning was the SWORD. "Let us bring our peaceful understanding of God to those who haven't received this enlightening knowledge, and if they don't receive Islam or defy us, we will kill them." America's roots grow from resistance to imperial oppression. Now she has become the Empire and oppresses at times. There is the distinction in that one is a religion and one a country; there is the similarity in that both are societies. Both have wrongfully slain the innocent in the name of righteousness. Both have iniated extremely beneficial ideas and practices in society. America's Constitution (do not confuse with America's actions) has been the basis for numerous religiously tolerant and just constitutions and public policies throughout the world. Islam's example of sanctuary and order in the abyss of the Dark Ages provides a shining example to all. In a situation such as this, one who takes either side is taking a simplistic approach. Some with a chip on their shoulder feel the need to villainize America; some with ignorant bigotry condemn the whole of Islam. Both should be appreciated for their outstanding contributions to world society; the faults of both should be evaluated for solutions.

  63. Jack Ali from US

    I agree with Danny Amazi to an extent, yes that is true, that is great, Alhamdullilah, Muslims did that, they did that as a part of their faith, not the lazy ass muslims these days just talk about the glory, Muslims are far leaving their traditions, traditions left by the Prohphet (SAW) hismelf and his companions and the great scholars and the sufis who came later on. Muslims became stagnent in their thinking, they didn't take the work of their predecessors further on, they started getting used to the good life, which the Prophet SAW predicted would happen. I think Muslims should stop balming the west for their problems and start assimiliating themselves into AMerican and EUropean societies or wherever they live, look at Malaysia, India, Morocco, how Islam and Muslims assimiliated into the culutre, Islam is a way of life not a culture, when you adopt it into your own culture it refines it to be the best. Muslims have lots and lots of work to do, they need to get off their indulging lifestyles and do something for humanity in general (that i feel is an obligation of every muslim, thats what Islam is about) instead of miling the cow all the time, give the cow a greener pasture by sweating a little bit, so it can eat the better grass and yield a higher quality of milk.

    Please send my your comments to [email protected]

    thanks...

  64. YUSSEF from USA

    An excellent article. Growing up as an all american boy, I only learned the truth of our western history and culture from searching many paths, most of them dead ends. As Muslims, it is our duty not only to teach our children the origins of western culture but also to share this with non-Muslims. Inshalla, this article will be shared with all of our friends and neighbors, Muslim and non-Muslim.

  65. Kevin Sutherland from USA

    This article get's right to the sad, harsh, TRUTH! It is so unfortunate Western civilization quickly forgets it's ancestry. Or history for that matter, the Civil War was fought to end slavery and discrimination in this great country. Why is it that people in this country have become so self-righteous, and involved in the propaganda of the media and tolerable of ignorance? You should be intolerable of ignorance, and understanding of our heritage. I think it's about time the United States took a back seat to the rest of the world, and look at our older, wiser, allies for guidance. The United States has a problem and it's not Islam or Muslims, it's our uneducated lemmings, we call Americans! As a Middle-Class, White, College Student, I encourage everyone to learn from their own eyes about Islam, and they truly will find the most humble, and peaceful religion in the world, both in America and abroad. I know I have. Haven't you ever wondered why faith is a noun in western civilization, and a verb in Middle-Eastern and Eastern civilizations?? READ...READ...READ!!

  66. Red Pill from USA

    Notice how "map" posts a generic and ambigous post about bigotry. Christians never cease to amaze me with their shamelessness, and oh yes, Jesus Christ (s) is NOT the son of God.

  67. map from usa

    No matter who we are we all are guilty of some form of bigotry. It's the result of our fallen nature called sin. There is only one person who isn't a bigot and he is called Jesus Christ the Messiah. He paid our debt (penalty for sin)for everyone no matter what color we are.. Arab, Jew, African, Hispanic, European, Indian, etc..

    Jesus is the only answer to our world's ills.

    May His Peace be upon you.

  68. Tahir Nawab Ghaznavi from USA

    May God bless Mr. Brooks for his clear and unbiased analysis. In times like these it truly takes a person with the courage of a lion to speak the truth and display teh facts as accurately as he did. May God carry his words on the wind far and wide and open greater avenues of understanding and discovery for him. Ameen

  69. Danny Amazi from USA

    My reaction to this article is 'so what'? Who cares if trade with the Muslim world influenced the Renaissance? Even though there is evidence that a lot of what we are talking about was also being sheltered in Irish monastaries, lets say that math, philosophy and Greek culture came directly to the West through the Muslim world. Let's even go further, and say that all of the good things in Western culture are based on Muslim thoughts. We're talking about 700 years ago! If this makes you, as a Muslim, happy, then go right on smiling, but while you're patting yourself on the back, we're wiring a continent for electricity, developing air travel, electronics, microelectronics, flying to the moon and discovering planets in other solar systems. What have Muslims done in the last 50 years? How about the last 100? If an advance doesn't come from a Western culture, it comes from an Asian one. What advances have came from the Muslim world since the 14th century?

  70. Paul Christopher (last name witheld) now: (Abdul Wali ibn Dawud) from USA,,,now in Turkey, alhamdulillah

    well, not much to add, only thank you for having such a fully informative article in a venue where hopefully many will read it. I was about to copy the thing and email to all my friends, but I see the comment window here, and will await your permission, for now, I will send only a link to the site. May I at least use credited excerpts?

    P.S. I'm shaking and tears well in my eyes.

  71. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Alhamdulillah. I actually read a report of a statement, made by an American imam, that expressed sympathy for the victims of 9/11. I didn't even see any "curses" directed at the perpetrators. Masha'Allah.

    Assalamu alaikum.

    --Yahya Bergum

  72. Fleming Burrell from United States

    I understand as well as agree with the posted statement in regards to the historical analysis of the "hatred" of Islam and Arabs. Yet one thing we less forget in history is that in the sense of categorization we cannot isolate the word "Arab" as if this one community of entities is only misunderstood in ambiguity. We must understand through the centuries of European history that ethnocentrism plays apart into the mindset of earlier Europeans (or so perhaps now in a systematic fashion) Arabs were not the only ones targeted. In American history, primarily blacks, Latinos as well as Native Americans were primary targets of racism. If we subject ourselves to the fashion that only Arabs were primary targets throughout history we fail to realize that we not only single out all other minority groups but we are amplifying one group as if history has an intention bent on singling out that group. On the historic note regarding Islam yes as a Muslim myself I agree. During the dark ages Arabic language sprang forth the beautific image of Greek and Latin text as Arabic revival of the ancient texst brought forth a whole new dimension in intellectualism. Later. We see that as Europe began to regain its conscious of the "enlightenment" the "west" as we now call it, began to expand its nationalist ideas across the western part of the world. It seems the west began to diverge from the intellectualis attachement with Islamic heritage to its one seperate category, rewriting the very history of its own foundation! indeed a tragedy of forgetfulness and ethnocentric ideologies are definitely the epitamy of the whole western world.

  73. Jamil Siam from USA

    This is the best article I have ever read about Islamic history in my life. As a muslim, I am aware of the many contributions Islam has given to the world and i find it disturbing that many have no idea!!! I thank James Brooks very much for this contribution and wish the whole world could read his article, Thank You James!

  74. Saifuddin Hasaan from U.S.A.

    One of the best articles I have read in some time. I only pray that it will reach others and help to build some badly needed bridges between the people of the West and Islam.

  75. Ali Issack Ismail from Kenya

    I was truly taken aback by the contents of your article and I have been enlightened by it. As a muslim I have always known the contribution Islam made to the progress of the western world but have always wondered why the west was so ungrateful. I'm encouraged by the fact that there are some westerners who appreciate and are willing to point out that reality to their compatriots.

    THANK YOU AND CONTINUE THE GOOD WORK.MAY YOU BE BLESSED.

  76. AlIslam from USA

    This is one of the best articles I have ever read. It was very educating article. I can use such articles in my everyday conversations with fellow americans.

  77. omran from earth

    I am mutual but I have to tell you to those who think Islam ruled by the sword, we are not the ones who attaked people who persued science, we are not the ones who banned philosophy, did the mangolians come muslim by force or did they come to it wantingly, did the Indonesians come into Islam by the sword? Did the Muslims put the Jews into the furnace? did the Muslims devide and conquer? did the Moslims go into land and remove the natives by giviing them blankets with desises.

    Did the Muslim invent the word "nigger" did the Moslims introduce intrest that has put most world in debt?

    About slavery, when there was slavery in the Islamic world, they ought slvaes from africans, hence slavery was common among alot of nations, no.2 the moslims treated slaves like their family and intermarried with them, we are not the ones who used slaves for amusement ( gladiators), the Qura,an never says that man is not equal, I can recall that in America, not sar far in the past that reserchers and scientists came up with some bull reasearch and conclusion of so called modern "Darwin theory" that blacks are lower tan the Aryan race. Look at your self before you speak I would not want to embarass you again.

  78. Yahya Bergum from USA

    I express my sincere appreciation, to Allah (subhanaha wa ta'ala), for the author's support of the Palestinian people.

    It seems unlikely (to me) that non-Muslims will generally become more trusting of Muslims, until at least one sheik offers words of comfort for non-Muslim victims of violence committed by Muslims. Until Allah (subhanaha wa ta'ala) wills that such a gesture be made, by at least one Muslim religious authority, I would say that non-Muslims might have ample reason to remain suspicious of our intentions regarding their welfare.

    Assalamu alaikum.

    --Yahya Bergum

  79. Mohamed from usa

    I'm glad to see more and more occidentals coming forward to tell the world the contribution made by the Islamic civilization to the occident. The most complete work done on this topic was by Sigrid Hunke in the 60's in his book "Allahs Sonne ber dem Abendland ".

    God bless all those working to correct those historical blind spots and promote Peace and understanding between muslims and others.

    May God gives us all the wisdowm to learn to love and understand each other .

    Mohamed

  80. RahmatAllah Ghanim from USA

    Life to me is people. I see every one's heart with

    yearning for a chance to be able to talk to and listen to everyone without fear. My prayers are for the Arabs and Jews to live according to God's Law. Think what the Middle east would be if together. My guess? Absolutely Brotherly.

  81. Muslim from USA

    Do you know that 80% of world refugees are Muslims? Muslims are the most attacked people on earth.

    The westerners who hate Muslims would blame Muslims, following a long tradition of blaming the victims.

    As they have blamed the native Americans of this country who were dehumanized as blood thirsty savages that had to be exterminated. Hollywood had done a good job depicting this. In the 30's, 40's and 50's most westerns were about the savage indians attacking vulnerable caravans of poor whites who just wanted to live in peace. The native Americans were always the aggressors and the white cowboys were always defending themselves. Does this sound familiar? Muslims are depicted the same way today.

    I remember playing Indians and cowboys, all my playmates wanted to be the cowboys, because they were the heros and no one wanted to be the Indians who were the villains.

    Even today, Americans are proud of their forefathers who committed genocide against the natives, they are talked about as corageous heros who established a great country.

    I would like to know what is the difference between this kind of pride and the pride the nazis have of the genocide their predecessors committed in the 40's.

    The nazis killed 6 millions Jews, the European settlers killed unknown millions of Native Americans, the first are the epitomy of evil and the other are the example of all that is good and virtues. Indeed, history belongs to the winners.

  82. Anisulla Khan from Toronto

    I agree with the author. Muslims have conquered many countries but they just didn't rule on them but made them their homes. Where as non-muslims, for example, British when they conquerd a country, they loot that country and killd many of innocent civilians as they move on.

  83. Vader from USA

    Brooks is an ignorant liar. Islam is a evil religion bent on world domination through any means, especially violence. Get it clear. The Crusades was the Christians of the West and East response to slaughtering of their brethren by Muslim forces. It typical of people today the Muslims were seen as the victims when they were the agressors

  84. MOHAMMAD SYED from USA

    Dear Mr. Brooks,

    Thank you for your positive comments about Islam and Muslims. Today, we (Muslims) are orphans. Our own people have abondoned us. Our (Muslims) leaders are our worst enemies. They have sold their soul for a miserable price. Instead of helping us they are hurting us. They have deprived us of our natural resourses and dignity. They think that their masters (in the West) will help them; how deluded are they.

    People like you are our hope, who see right from wrong, who acknowledge truth and justice. That is what God our Lord demands from us. Thank you for an eye opening article for people who are ignorant of history.

    Sincerely, Mohammad Syed

  85. M.Marcus from UK

    Americans never fail to amaze me with their contempt for historical facts. Many of their posts are really nothing but a blunt denial of reality and adherence to second hand polemics.

    Mr. Brooks is an enlightened and sincere individual who simply held up a mirror to reveal the pathological hatred which westerners are leaned and weaned on. Not a pretty picture.

    Historians of repute have long documented that had it had not been for the Muslims, the so called Western world would have never been able acheive its own renaissance. Only a petty fraud would contest this.

    Americans in particular are evidence of this. They prefer to believe fantasies and falacies over reality. A hallmark of intellectual and moral decline. They would rather believe that a small defenceless country like Iraq posed a threat to them based on lies about WMD, they prefer to believe that Ashkenazi jewish rejects from Europe have a right to steal and colonize the land of others based on some bizarre interpretation of shoddy piece of work called the Bible. Ofcourse there are numerous examples of this degenarate mindset...but its safe to say that these are dispicable individuals from a tyrant nation which is the greatest enemy of human freedom and dignity today. A true enemy of civilization.

  86. Mickey Latimore from USA

    You are right, modern Americans hate Arab Muslims. Your "culture" is all about lying to get what you want. I HATE ARABS

  87. Seyed Naina from India

    Assalamu Alaikum,This article really touches my heart.It's true that their is racism but not all over US.Some crazy people are there every where who does things with their absence of mind.

    US is a great country to practise all religion and infact after this incident(Sep 11) many Americans want to know more about Islam and what it teaches and the growth rate of Islam in US is greater than before.What happened in Sep-11 is the worst tragedy which kills many innocent civilians that we all know.It's true that becuase of this tragedy there were some groups which really wants to bring bad name to ISLAM and its followers but Allah is great and he knows better than all.Finally i can say that it's nothing but propaganda by some fanatic groups who couldn't tolerate the growth of Islam in all over the world.The Author of this article did a great job in letting people know about what we are and were we are.Dear brothers and sisters in Islam Wake up and be truthfull to Allah so that we will be safe by the grace of Allah.

  88. shadab from india

    Mr Tim, problem is not that muslims are not good problem is with caucasian and non muslims who are hellbent on "crusade" as your dear Pres Bush says.. Now as you count on some examples let me cite some with different perspective so you be illuminated with what muslims think.

    1) Europeans are the ones who confiscated land everywhere like USA and Australia from natives and created incompatible boundaries in lust of land and sinister plans like Iraq, India, Palestine.

    2) Unconditional and unfair support to butchers of Israel in their pursuit of murders of innocent palestinians who are simply fighting for their freedom. You say that your founding fathers faught for freedom of US which actually belong to native indians and not you, but you ignore the struggle of palestinians for their own country. Who created Israel, mother of all problems. Britain again. And if you guys were so sympathetic to jews then why you threw them out of Europe in first place. Any idea how many jews were killed. Perhaps 60,000. Any more illumination you need about so called secular and humane West.

    3) World history says that the most murderes in history have been Europe with their two world wars, mongolians and European who killed jews. Muslims dont figure anywhere near to you guys in your so called pro-humanity figures.

    4) zionist agenda in palestine by opening Al Aqsa mosque to non-muslims for desecretion.

    5) How many were killed in 9/11? 3000.. Well I am completely sympathetic to those who died in this violence, but have you any idea how many you killed in Iraq alone for your lust for OIL. Not to mention, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kashmir, Chechenya, Phillipines. you need some illumination by going into history & origin of these conflicts. Just watching CNN & Fox may illuminate your rooms not minds.

    6) Do you think its easy for anybody to suicide. One does it for a purpose and when no justice prevails anywhere. Can you do suicide. Others also love lives. Simple things to under

  89. H.A. from Crawford Ranch, Texas

    Mr. Brooks!!! Are you self-employed? If NOT, are you still waking up in the morning and going to work??? I DO NOT THINK SO b/c you are say'n something in favor of the Mozzzzzleeems...

    I truly admire you courage. You are revealing the true colors of the Islamphobics and of the eternal imperialists, racists, segregationists, and enemies of ONE TRUE partnerless God. And many of them seems to be unable to handle the TRUTH as it is apparent from their comments.

    They are denying history. Anyways, if these people (not all) do not grow up, Big Bangs will not ONLY come from the Middle East, but from all over the world , except may be Israel, Coasta Rica and Micronesia if you keep supplying these 3 contrees w/ billions of dollars.

  90. Q Khan from canada

    I read many of the comments. Most of us are ignorant or biased to our religion. But in Quran our creator declared " O mankind, surely I have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other: surely the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah is the best in coduct(49;13). Allah also declared "The same religion has He established for you as that He enjoined on Noah - the which I have inspired in you(mohammad)- and that I enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus saying establish the religion , and be not divided therein... (42:13). "And they became divided only after knowledge reached them, through selfish rivalry among themselves...(42:14)

    There are so many revealations like these in the Holy Quraan that when I read them I wonder how selfish and divided we are as we still fighting for what is the best religion. Also success of Islam is not building empires, it is the cleansing of society from sins by submission to the Almighty creator to whom all of us return. For Allah, our success in business or wealth or technology doesn't matter as He is the Creator and Sustainer of everything in this Universe. Only our submission to Him matters. But He asked us to study and think about His creation in almost 1000 ayas(onesixth of the Quraan) so that we can have a little understanding about His greatness. The most important commandment of prophet Jesus(pbuh) was that our Lord God is only one and we shall love Him with all our heart. This is nothing else but Islam. Wearing a long white robe or having an arabic name has nothing to do with Islam; they are tradition. Most of the Westerner think about Jesus as a white blond man but he was an Asian with dark hair as a Bani-Israel. Only difference between a Muslim and Christian belief is about the divinity of Jesus. For Muslims, it is crystal clear in Quraan and we all revere him as a Messenger of Islam from God. For christians, the clearest of evidence in Bible is in Act 2:22.

  91. Tim from USA

    I do not beleive that the West "hates" Islam. The West simply doesn't trust Muslims and this is based on recent , on-going events rather than old historical ones. Here are some examples that come to mind on the chasm between the two peoples:

    - Sept 11 definitely changed many minds on Islam's good will. Three thousand civilians (not military) died in the attack. It was discovered that the brave "martyrs" had financial help as well as tactical help from other "good" Muslims in this country. It would be unfair to paint all Muslims in America with the same brush, and 600 Muslims also died in the attack. Many say that their religion has been hijacked by fanatics and this is probably true. But I have heard again and again that the Muslims we meet don't seem to show the outrage that would come from any association with terrorists. As a result, we are not sure who is loyal and who is not.

    - Events around the earth done in the name of Islam appall us. Suicide bombers target civilians at random and murder them. Earlier this year the news had a local council in Pakistan ordering the gang rape of a girl because her brother was seen in the company of an unmarried woman. A woman right now in Nigeria awaits being stoned to death for adultry. In my country we have had people murdered by other family members because they brought "shame" to the family. The slave trade is still practiced in parts of the world, especially , most recently in Sudan, where Christians are routinely enslaved. Stories like these occur every day and you wonder why we distrust Muslims?

    - A final reson of the West's distrust of Islam is one that could be overcome. Muslim immigrants have a knack of emigrating to the West and then not assimilating themselves in the society. These people tend to have little to do with the natives and they keep to their little cliques of ex-patriots. The natives don't get to know these people, and when we don't know Muslims, it is easy to distrust them. Make friends.

  92. Ibrahim from USA

    Mr. Brooks,

    I love your article. It just shows a different image of Islam as a faith. Islam of course encourages hard work, innovation, respect, love and all the positive things that we all cherish under God. I have distributed your article amongst my friends and colleagues here at Intel Corporation in Folsom. Many of them were impressed and slowly but surely are changing their attitude against Islam. God bless you and your work.

  93. Amir Rashid from China

    The west not only owes Islam, but also China

    for building the foundations of modern

    science, society and civilization. Oh, how did

    the great and rational civilizations fall behind

    the barbaric Europeans? The most barbaric

    and cruel of all peoples were able to gain

    technological and material wealth to carry out

    evil against peoples all over. Introducing

    imperialism, colonialism, genocide, racism,

    and all kinds of hatred. Why could it not have

    been a more mature and humane civilization?

  94. Dr. M. Z. Mashreque from USA

    Dear brother Azam,

    "Math and philosophy" from the Greeks and "decimals and zero" from India were moribund elements. Muslims brought them to the light of the sun and gave them a new lease of life. Such a Muslim-undertaking is just one of the multi-faceted Muslim-contribution to the humanity in general and the so-called Western renaissance in particular. We have to seek knowledge and this is the only way by which we can placate prejudice and hatred rampant in the West.

  95. FedUp from USA

    This is the kind of article I love to read and wait for some good disagreements. As always there are few selected "Glass half full" individuals who consider themselves historians as they learn their history while sitting outside of the school wall rather inside the class.

    History is fact when you can prove beyond anybodies doubt and it is fiction when some centuries goes by because there is no way to prove it in way that no one can deny. Who knows what is the motive of the so called government paid historians when they wrote and analyze history. When muslim wrote the history they glorified their achievements and when west wrote the history they glorified theirs. Now the question is who is right and who is wrong. It depends how who you are and you will try to associate yourself with your glorified history.

    Islam spread by sword or by something else it will make no difference all great civilations swollow others smaller and lesser groups to become biggest civilations. Romes did that and so do muslims.

    One thing is for fact that none of those last forever and this is fact and no one can deny. Today muslim civilation is on the brink of extinction and so be it but it is great power at once. Flip side of this is today west is the greatest civilation but will it be forever.........hummmmm I think everyone in the west think it will but everything has its end and this is a physical truth that noone can deny so it will end and hit rock bottom as muslim civilation.

    I think there is no need to defend muslims and Islam and neither muslim should try to explain everything to the west because this will not help as west on the whole don't see you equal in any way and they should not. Who really likes to hang around with some lossers we are with the winners isn't it. But remember my friends there is an other side of this picture too and I see west at the place of muslims, feeling the same thing that muslims do in these days.

    "Might is Right" so be it

  96. Ismael Abdul Kareem Byrd from USA

    Another long line of excellent articles detailing the contributions of Muslims scientists and intellectuals. The article doesnt even mention that Allah (in the Quran) commands people to be curious about their world and ask questions and to not make statements that cannot be proven. The very birth of the scientific method. Also the many miracles detailed in the Quran that were not discovered and proven until the 1900's. Yet without fail, you will still find people whose minds are somehow made even smaller by such beauty and revelation, the truly lost ones, that will simply never stop hating.

  97. Saeed Khan from USA

    This article certainly explains it all.This is the reason why Islam has become the "Bogey Man".

    If people knew these facts,then all the fallacies about Islam would disappear. People would also see and appreciate the fact that Islam is man's natural religion and solution to the world's problems.Education is the key.Let's spread the word so lies and corruption cannot survive!

  98. Katarina Lindstrom from USA

    I really am glad to see this article. I am Catholic, . I find that the real problem between Christians and Muslims and Jews is that Christians in the West have become 'modern'in all the wrong ways. I like that this gentleman has spoken to some of the issues. In as far as Christians 'modern' and not really Christian they hate Muslims, and are suspicious of Jews. In as far as a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew subscribes to bad theology, they hate the other religions which come from Abraham. The spirit of the 'modern' secular world is as anti-Christian as it is anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim. I am glad to see that I am not alone in percieving this. Thanks for printing this article.

  99. samina from usa

    An eyeopener for muslims and non-muslims alike. May God make us all open-minded people, willing to accept the truth.

  100. Ali from USA

    Chris, the concept of Scientific Method-of observations, gathering data, testing concepts and hypothesis was developed by the Arabs. The Arabs also built the first hospitals that were based on ideas of quarantining the patients in order to stop the spread of diseases to other patients, etc. Muslim doctors used thin needles to remove cataract a thousand year before the practice was developed in the West. Most of the optical concepts we know today were first proposed by Ibn al Haitham. There are many examples, Chris, but most of the anti-Islamic sites only espouse the views shared by you.

    Peace

  101. Muzammil from Malaysia

    Assalamu'alaikum/greeting/shalom,

    We in Malaysia has witnessed the violent nature of European Christian 600 years ago.

    In the year 1400's, Malacca was an established and prosperous kingdom with its own political and government systems. Malacca port was one of the world's main port at the time.

    The Arabs, the Chinese, and the Indian came to trade at Malacca. None of these people did any harm to us. Then in the late 1400's, the European Portugese came, first disguised as 'traders'.

    Then later they showed their true color as the conquerers of Malacca. SInce then European had conolinised us for more than 500 years, from one coloniser to another. Starting with Portugese, Ducth, and lastly Britain. From 1400's until 1957 when we were independent from the British.

    Thus, we the people of Malaysia had first hand experience how European Christians violently did harm to us 600 years ago.

    In addition, our neighbors, Phillipines had to face worse brutality by Spanish Christian conquerers. Much of the Phillipines used to be part of Muslims world in 1400's. The Spanish Christians came and forced the people to convert to Christianity. Those who resisted faced death.

    Nowadays, only the southern part of Phillipines, such as the Sulu Islands, remain Muslims.

    I do not blamed Christianity for the above brutal history. I do blame how those Christians interpret the Bible teaching and transformed them into action that sometimes do harm to others. Like they did to us Muslim in Malacca and Philippines 600 years ago.

  102. Jordan from USA

    Very well-written piece that does address a major

    problem that plagues this country and the West for that

    matter. As it is written in a way that develops into a

    synopsis of Western and Muslim culture able to co-

    exist, but a co-existence with mutual respect and

    understanding.

  103. Esther from USA

    The Muslims got their ideas from places such as Greece, Rome, Persia, and India. Before the Crusades the muslims took alot of Christian land, and killed many of the Greek Christians that lived in Jerusalem. (That is why there are no Greek Christians in Jerusalem). Before the Spanish Inquisition the Moores invaded Spain.

  104. john norman from uk

    Mr. Brookes seems a bit short on historical knowledge. The Arabs conquered a vast empire, larger than the British or Roman Empires. And they didn't do it by being nice to the natives. They also had a slave trade which displaced and killed as many Africans as did the Atlantic slave trade. Incidentally, castration had a central place in this trade, something which was absent in the European slave trade. No doubt, we owe the Arabs and Islam a great deal, just as they owe Europe, India and the Jews a great deal. What Mr. Brookes give us is the equivalent of hagiography, and that is not much use in trying to get to grips with the gulf of incomprehension between Islam and the West today.

  105. As salam from Singapore

    To Chris Azam,Well even before the conquering of new lands the muslims khalifah,has invented new systems of governing the land and has made achievements.I shall tell u their achievements now,

    Starting with Saidina Umar Al khattab,he has made a postage system for posts and things relating to it.has build irrigation for the farms in the islamic country.Has created new towns.Invented the Islamic calender,has introduced Islamic currency.This is his doing not the non_muslims that has been counquered...Please use logical thinking,If u have been conquered would u give all your knowledge to your conquerers of course not!!you have lost your freedom and independence,your beloved leaders are gone, and so on.You may say that the muslims force them to give their knowledge to them but in all the history books and in context with the sunnah and the Al Quran no muslim is allowed to hurt or even force a dhimmi(non-muslim living in an Islamic state)to do things that he or she do not want to do...as in the hadith:"Reported by al khatib,The prophet (peace be upon him) has said.Whoever hurts a dhimmi,i am his adversary,and i shall be an adversary to him on the day of resurrection.

    so the argument u stated is not true,Another example is Cordoba in Spain the muslims and jews lived side by side learning and inventing new things even though they did not even conquered new lands,The muslims there has researched medicine when the Western world were still believing in witch craft,satanic posession and so on.You could also argue that the greedy western powers have conquered so many muslim,asian and african lands,and during this time they have created misery for so many people,and because of this got the resources to win the war.And they have made ww1,ww2(ww=world war)and without conquering the land they will surely loose the war with the axis powers.So this argument of Islamic nations becoming stagnant because of no expansion is totally absurd.

  106. Yahya Leigh from USA

    Ignorance is a killer. However it would be very hard to sell this to normal Americans. That American freedom and deomcratic nature comes from Islam. When they see, rulers of the Islamic world preventing women to drive. When they see, an Islamic world where the people have no choice of leadership. When they see, fanitical Muslims forcing women to wear bedsheets (I mean burqahs). When they see, Muslim escaping the Muslim world to come to America. When they see self absorbed immigrants who only care about enriching themselves and dont really feel for the community outside their masjids. A huge reason Muslims are hated in this country is because we fail to speak about injustice in this country. We only care about ourselves and our people. If we spoke about injustice and seized every opportunity make life better for all Americans instead of ourselves, We would be viewed very diffrently. America is full of immigrants from the muslim world, and not one is Nationally known for speaking out against injustice inside this country.

  107. Syed S. Khan from USA

    Ecellent analysis. However one thing which is missing is the lgical root cause analysis of why the problem. The answer one would reach is greed in Western Powers, not in Americans in general

  108. D. Berglund from USA

    Arabs might have brought culture and science, Islam conquered by the sword.

    I find your article "thin" and bigoted.

  109. karali from USA

    Our debt is to the past. Our responsibility is to the future. We will do better if we learn to honor, trust and cooperate.

  110. richard oppelt from usa

    it seems funny to me that anytime america comes to a forgein land. we are the infidel and that when we are attacked we're not supposed to feel the same way. what we need to do is to keep our opinion of each other just that our opinion. not to slander eachother for personal beliefs. your opinion of me is not my business nor should you make it my business. i feel that we should love one another regaurdless of predjudice. as long as we all belive in god so be it

  111. James from UK

    A most courageous and much needed article. My thanks to Mr. Brooks.

    Thankfully there is a small but increasing number of people in the West who are begining to fathom the facts for a change. I hope this trend continues. I've sent the article to all those on my email list

    Thank you again.

  112. M.Marcus from UK

    Dear Chris, I would urge you to reread the article as well as consult some history books. Innovation through improvements and correcting errors of the past is how knowledge was used by all civilizations. The Muslims did not simply stumble upon knowledge and waited for the Europeans to come take. Several examples include the field of fiber optics, logrithmic extraction, even the idea of nuclear fission originated from an Iraqi scientist and philosopher who penned the theory of tapping into the power of the atom in the 13th century.

    The attempt to denigrade Islamic history and its over 1000 years of contributions to the fields of mathematics, social sciences etc is part of the Islamophobia which the West currently thrives on. But none of it would be possible if not for the culture of ignorance and malice towards the peoples of Middle East.

  113. Chris Azam from St Tropez

    I've never quite understood this. Math and philosophy come from the Greeks, decimals and zero from India. Ok, it came -through- the Muslim world, but I don't see innovation.

    I've seen the arugment that the Arab world was like the Borg from Star Trek. They had to conquer new lands to get new ideas. When that was no longer possible, they stagnated and started to implode. I don't know what to say when presented with this kind of argument. Some help please!