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Re: Muslim innovations?

Reader comment on item: Assessing Obama's Cairo Speech
in response to reader comment: Muslim innovations?

Submitted by Jagger (United Kingdom), Jul 3, 2009 at 11:23

Obama never claimed Muslims invented anything, but only that they "developed" those things. Learn the difference.

["It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation (compass was invented about 200 years before Christ in China. Chinese started to use it as a navigation tool not later than in the very beginning of 9-th century CE. The earliest European reference to compass comes in 1190, whereas in Arabic – in 1282);"]

How convenient of you to ignore the earliest Persian reference to the compass in 1232. Either way, the Muslims did further develop the compass once they got hold of it. They developed the dry compass independently, were the first to develop the 32-point compass rose and the compass dial, and were the first to use the compass for astronomy.

["our mastery of pens and printing (the first printing press was invented in China in 6-th century CE, in the 8-th century Chinese had a newspaper, the earliest known book was printed in China in the second half of 9-th century CE);"]

Again, the Muslims did further develop printing once they got hold of it. For example, they were the first to use metal blocks for printing, long before East Asians and Europeans.

["our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires (arches were invented much, much earlier than religion "of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings", look, for example, at Greek's and Roman's architecture);"]

In case you haven't figured it out, Obama was referring to pointed arches, not the arches used in Greco-Roman architecture. Europeans adopted the pointed arch from the Muslim world, not from the Greeks or Romans. And in case some fool feels the need to point out the pointed arch existed in the pre-Islamic Near East, Obama never claimed Muslims invented or even developed them, but merely that they "gave us majestic arches".

["timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation (what about Greek's philosophers and Roman's artists. Probably, places of their contemplation were not peaceful enough for Barak the Historian?)."]

And how exactly are the Greeks and Romans supposed to be relevant to Obama's speech on the Islamic world? Do you have a clue what you're even talking about?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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