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Not quite right, Ultimately the cause WAS the stiffiling religion of Islam

Reader comment on item: How Muslims Can Catch Up

Submitted by End PC (United States), Jul 21, 2022 at 20:37

Islam's Qur'an, with all its logical problems and esp the many scientific errors believed in hardly made Islam friendly toward free scientific inquiry. It's because of this natural hostility that the ulema–state alliance that emerged was able to sidelined intellectuals and the bourgeoisie. The Mongols didn't sack Baghdad until 1258 and as Prof Pervez has pointed out in his excellent book "Islam And Science" :
"But it is important to note, disastrous as they were, the Mongol depredations came at a time when Islamic civilization had already entered a state of decline. The caliphs had lost their power to secular sultans, and the institution of the caliphate had been tottering at the time it was abolished. Further, though the damage inflicted by the invasions was considerable, their effect was localized to Iraq and, to a lesser extent, Syria. The Muslim civilization in Spain and the Maghreb was unaffected . Moreover, the marauders gradually converted to Islam and began a new period of cultural and economic development. One cannot, therefore, blame external political factors alone. Rather there were elements internal to the society which played a very important role in arresting its economic, political and intellectual evolution."
The impressive Golden Age of Learning was only under very tolerant Caliphs and many of the great minds were not believers - like Al Razi - and others were persecuted by conservative Islamic orthodox authorities: see Hoodbhoy's chapter on the "Five Heretics".
The very influential Al-Ghazali (d 1111), with his denial of physical causes (making the science of physics impossible), was largely responsible for the decline.

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