Many of these things will be pure lies and distortions, unsubstantiated claims that cannot possibly be proved, or simply overblown - but they will doubtless be taught as fact.
An educational foundation has announced plans to distribute free books to UK schools to highlight the scientific and cultural legacy of Muslim civilisation. 1001 Inventions is the brainchild of the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) – a network of academics dedicated to debunking the myth of the so-called “Dark Ages of Civilisation”.
Last month, atheism activist Richard Dawkins announced plans to distribute free DVDs to UK schools. Whilst FSTC does not consider it’s 1001 Inventions campaign a direct challenge to Dawkins, it does hope to encourage debate about the relationship between science, faith and culture.
FSTC has campaigned for school curriculums to acknowledge the scientific achievements of Muslim civilization for more than a decade. While the Dawkins campaign, supported by the British Humanist Association, positions science and religion as opposing forces, the 1001 Inventions project reminds us that for 1000 years the religious and the scientific were comfortable bedfellows and led to unprecedented openness to new ideas and social change.
The book that accompanies the project is entitled 1001 Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World and highlights the thousand years of social, scientific and technical achievements that are currently under-recognised in schools’ textbooks. The project aspires to deliver at least 3000 copies of the book to UK schools by October 2009, and is seeking public support for the campaign through a sponsorship scheme (as has Dawkins).
Professor Salim Al-Hassani, chief editor of the book, explained: “The period between the 7th and 17th centuries, that has been erroneously labeled ‘The Dark Ages’ was in fact a time of exceptional scientific and cultural advancement in China, India and the Arab world. This is the period in history that gave us the first manned flight, huge advances in engineering, the development of robotics and the foundations of modern mathematics, chemistry and physics.
Some of the lies Obama told regarding Islamic science and inventions can be found here.