Factual Persuasion: Golden Age?
It is important to understand the true Islamic Golden Age as it is such a popular argument about the greatness of the intellectual power of Islam. The Golden Age is part of Official Islam and is taqiyya (deception).
The Islamic Golden Age occurred in two places—Moorish Spain and Baghdad in the ninth and tenth century. The oft-told Big Lie goes like this: Islam established a paradise on earth where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in peace. Everybody got along. People were wealthy and knowledge flowed from the Islamic scholars in an unprecedented wave. While Europe was in the Dark Ages, Islam was a light unto the world. The only way that Europeans moved out of the Dark Ages was through the charity of Islamic knowledge.
That is the short version told by our dhimmi professors in such works as The Oxford History of Islam. Let us examine the Islamic Golden Age.
First things, first. Islam invaded Baghdad and Spain with the sword in hand. Islam killed so many people that the remainder surrendered. Those who surrendered and did not convert were raped, robbed and made dhimmis, except for those who were made slaves and shipped to another part of the Islamic empire. How Golden a beginning is that?
The Muslim masters were the new rulers who put Sharia law in place. What was the level of culture of the Muslims when they set up Baghdad as the imperial city? Islam was only a century away from Mohammed. There had never been a book written in Arabic until the Koran. Architecture consisted of mud huts. Arabia was barely out of the bronze age. Superstition ruled and the “science” of Mohammed as shown in the Hadith:
- • The first men were 90 feet tall.
- • One wing of a fly carries a disease, but the other wing is a cure for the disease.
- • Black cumin will cure all diseases except death.
- • Indian incense will cure seven diseases.
- • Honey will cure diarrhea.
- • A fever is caused by the heat from Hell.
- • The sun sets at night beneath the throne of Allah.
This was the state of Islamic knowledge when Islam conquered Baghdad in the Christian nation of what is now Iraq. In short, Islam brought nothing to the intellectual table to start the Golden Age. The knowledge of the Golden Age in Baghdad came from the conquered Jews, Christians, Persians, and Hindus.
Islam took the “Arabic” numerals and the zero from the Hindus. The parabolic arch came from Assyria, the dome from Persia, and the barrel vault came from the Romans. Suddenly, the ignorant jihadists “owned” the world’s finest minds. This explains how so much of the Islamic knowledge was actually translated into Arabic by Christians. O’Leary’s book How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs gives a list of the best known scholars of the Baghdad (Abbasid caliphate) Golden Age. Out of theses 22 “Muslim” scholars, 20 were Christian, 1 was Persian and 1 was Muslim. Each and everyone had an Arabic name, so it is assumed that they were Muslim. It was the Christians Assyrians who translated the Greek philosophers into Syriac and then Arabic. It had to be this way. The Christians had a long tradition of education and learning that came from the Greeks, Jews and Romans; the Muslims had none. It had to be Christian Kafirs who brought the Greek and Roman knowledge to the Muslims. Ironically, the Muslims claim all of the credit for the translations saving Greek knowledge from the Dark Ages (more about that name later).
Another example of taking credit is found in Iraqi history texts which claim that the Assyrians, Sumerians, and Babylonians were all Arabs. This allows Islam to take credit for earlier work.
Islam makes great claims for its advanced medicine, which was the best in the West. However, the Christians and Jews were the chief practitioners. For 200 years the Bakhtishu family, Assyrian Christians, were the physicians to the Caliphs of Baghdad.
The Baghdad Golden Age disappeared as the persecution of the Christian dhimmis continued, and they converted to Islam. Once the pool of Kafir talent became Muslims the gold went out of the Golden Age.
The Golden Age of Spain is much the same. Let’s examine the perfect society of Christian, Jew and Muslim living in such harmony. Moorish Spain is portrayed as the high point of multi-cultural existence and the perfect expression of Islamic society. Islam came to Spain by the sword. That invasion started an 800-year war with the Christians fighting against the constant Islamic invasion at the border between Spain and Europe.
Why does a struggle of 800 years not sound so Golden? If Islamic Spain was such a Golden Age, then why did the Spanish die in furious battles to throw out the Muslims? Why is Islamic imperialism painted as such a beautiful thing?
At this point it may seem as if there were no Islamic intellectual work that was of any value. This is not true, but the Golden Age propaganda is so strong, that a case must be established that the Golden Age was not what is portrayed—a proof of Islam’s wonderful multicultural paradise and superior intellectual achievements.
But even the Muslim scholars had to contend with an intellectual world that was limited by the Koran and the Sunna. No thoughts were allowed that went beyond these small and strict bounds. Averroes was one of the best-known scholars of Moorish Spain and was very influential with both Christians and Jews. His writings were not Islamic enough and he was banished until shortly before his death. Many of his writings were burned. No Islamic school of thought followed him. Only Europeans honored his intelligence.
Al Farabi was a Muslim thinker of the first rank and used Greek reasoning to conclude that logical thought was superior to revelation, an Islamic heresy. He used critical thought examining the Koran and rejected predestination. He illustrates the idea that the best Muslim scholars were part Kafir.
Al Khwarzimi was an Islamic scholar in mathematics and astronomy. His translated works introduced Hindu mathematics to Kafirs. His work was the basis of algebra and the algorithm.
Even during the Golden Age, the Muslim scholarly output was small and depended upon Kafirs. In the modern world, Muslims have never won a single Nobel Prize in science, medicine or chemistry by themselves. There have been 8 prizes won by Muslims who worked with Kafirs in Kafir countries. But there has never been a Nobel Prize for Muslim research in a Muslim nation.
Yes, there are Muslim thinkers who can produce good intellectual work, but they are outstanding individuals and are not typical. Saudi Arabia is the purest Islamic country and has untold billions to support any project they choose. In 2003 there were only 171 patents granted to Saudis; compare this with 16,328 patents by South Korea [Arab Human Development Report 2003: Building a Knowledge Society, UN Publications, 2003, p. 11]. Why is this?
This is not a modern phenomenon. It goes back 1400 years. The only explanation lies with the nature of Islam itself and its limits on freedom of expression, education, human rights, etc.
There is one more thing to notice about what Islam produced with the Kafir knowledge. Some of their best work was in math, but it never went anywhere practically. Al Khwarzimi may have developed the algorithm, but it was Kafirs who put it to use in computers. Algebra was only an idea in a book. It was a Kafir, Sir Isaac Newton, who used algebra to develop calculus and differential equations. And with calculus and differential equations, Newton was able to show how the planets moved in orbit. Muslims used glass for windows in their mosques, while Kafirs used it in telescopes and microscopes.
The final word
The basic problem with the Golden Age is the status of the Kafirs. They were dhimmis, third class citizens without civil rights.
The Islamic ethical basis of the Golden Age was dualism—one set of ethics for Muslims and another set for Kafirs. Kafirs had to wear special clothing, were prohibited from being in positions of power, had to get permission to repair their houses of worship and could not testify in courts against a Muslim. If a Kafir killed a Muslim, he received a death sentence, but if a Muslim killed a Kafir, he paid a fine. A Kafir was inferior in every way to a Muslim. How Golden is that?
Every Kafir lived under Sharia law and Sharia law is based upon the evil of the principles of submission and duality. Sharia is oppressive and cruel.
Where did all this propaganda about the Golden Age come from? Two sets of people created the Golden Age myth—French intellectuals such as Gibbons, Voltaire, and Jewish writers such as Graetz. Both had the same motivation—hatred of the Catholic church. Building up the wonderful Islamic culture was a reaction to the hated Catholics. There were Kafirs who prospered under Islam. They submitted and served Islam and their masters rewarded them. Every occupying army can persuade some locals to act as traitors for their own personal gain. Some of these Kafirs had positions of some power, but in the end, they were still servants of Islam.