"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Fjordman Fights False History

Over at Gates of Vienna the noted Norwegian blogger Fjordman has published a review of two books which distort the extent to which Western Civilisation and its scientific advancements owe a debt to Arab Muslim scholarship.

Below is an excerpt:

Stephen O’Shea of The Los Angeles Times has reviewed the book The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization by Jonathan Lyons. I will publish a longer and more thorough rebuttal of this book at some point in April, either at Jihad Watch or at Atlas Shrugs. I will publish a review of John Freely’s related book Aladdin’s Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World next week at The Brussels Journal.

I have read both of them, and Freely’s book is the best of the two, or the least bad, since he at a minimum has some understanding of the history of science, which Mr. Lyons in my view does not. That doesn’t mean that I would recommend buying his book; there are better and more balanced titles available on the market. Stephen O’Shea in his very positive review claims that “Dust will never gather on Jonathan Lyons’ lively new book of medieval history.” I strongly disagree. I consider The House of Wisdom to be a bad case of poor scholarship.

Lyons’ book is 200 pages long, Freely’s Aladdin’s Lamp 255 pages. Neither of them mentions the terms ‘Jihad’ or ‘dhimmi’ even once in their books about Islamic culture. This says a great deal about the current intellectual climate. I didn’t notice these words while reading the books and they are not listed in the indexes. The authors certainly don’t devote much time to debating the violent aspects of Islamic expansionism through the Islamically unique institution of Jihad, or the fates of the conquered peoples. Is it a coincidence that whatever useful work that was done in the Islamic world happened during the first centuries of the Islamic era, while there were still large numbers of non-Muslims living in the region? We don’t know because the question is never debated by these authors, but it deserves to be.

It's an excellent read - head over there to read the rest.

1 comment:

WAKE UP said...

In one sentence: Europe and the West invented the MODERN world, which is vastly superior to any other; is the one in which any sensible person now lives; and is one in which Muslims, having gone backwards, are incapable of living.