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Wilfred Cantwell Smith's thesis

Reader comment on item: Muslims "Lagging Behind"

Submitted by Prashant (United States), May 15, 2013 at 21:40

Dear Dr Pipes:

Wilfred Cantwell Smith's thesis is not entirely correct. I wonder if a family gets the freedom to go out and rob the bank at will and take as much wealth as needed, will that family become prosperous enough? It will not be too surprising if such a family will have enough prosperity and success. A lot of western prosperity after the industrial revolution occurred because of the industrial revolution. But then a lot of it alo occurred due to colonization (otherwise, why would anyone colonize?). Same thing can be said about Islam. Did Islamic nation of the early era colonize other countries? If Islamic Spain was not a colony, what was it? If Delhi Sultanate was not a colony, what was it? When we talk of the history we lose the sense of time. For example, it is statted that betwene the 8th and the 13th centuries a lot of hadiths were compiled. Hadiths are books of moral conduct. But then in the same period, Islamic armies were conquering whatever they could conquer. While wars cannot necessarily be termed bad or immoral because they were the then accepted practices, no one can deny that these wars were not very kind to the, so called, non-believers. And Islam benefited from these wars. When we read history, we also lose the sense of proportions. Was someone jailed for proposing an alternative doctrine? Was someone killed?

I will not deny that some good progress was made in the so called Islamic golden era but this progress was not enough to ignore all teh violence and torture that happened in that era. And also, was that progress comparable to the progress that was made in any other 600-year long period of human existence? How much progress was made in India and China between 600 BC and the birth of Christ. How much was made between the birth of Christ and 650 AD? How much progress was made after the industrial revoluton? Is there any other period of human history when so many people conquered so many other people while being organized under a single religious umbrella as the justification? I think Islamic conquests are unprecedented in the entire human history.

Submitting....

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