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Response to comment by Mr. McMurtrey regarding "uneducated Islamists"

Reader comment on item: Jihad and the Professors
in response to reader comment: Jihad is "Mein Kampf"

Submitted by Frank F. (United States), Feb 15, 2005 at 13:17

Mr. McMurtrey stated, "the people of Islam have been around for thousands of years and have done nothing to improve themselves, and they are weak and uneducated". McMurtrey apparently fails to realize that his own education (whatever level he has attained) is a result of the valued contributions of well-educated peoples of Islam.

Arab mathematicians such as Al-Khwarizmi, Thabit ibn Qurra, Omar Khayyam and Jamshid al-Kashi all helped transmit mathematics to Western Europe. They also contributed greatly in the field of Algebra (al-gebra is an Arabic word), Chemistry (alchemist is an Arabic word) and trigonometry. They brought the strands of Algebra and Geometry together. This helped us have a good system of numbers, an algebra that was practical and challenging and a geometry and trigonometry that was not tied to religion and astronomy. Even your numbering system, Mr. McMurtrey, (0, 1, 2, 3,...) is called "Arabic Numerals".

Education was paramount to the Islamic people. The teachings of Islam stressed the importance and respect of learning. For example, the first word revealed to the Muslims' prophet Mohammed was "Read". In Mohammed's era, a captured enemy was freed if he paid a ransom or taught ten Muslims writing and reading. In their holy book, the Qur'an, the importance of knowledge has been repeatedly stressed as it says "Those who know and those who do not are not equal." Mohammed stressed learning by saying. "One hour of teaching is better than a night of praying."
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