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Oh what fools we ignorant infidels have been!

FED on an almost daily diet of images and reports of Muslims setting fire to things; blowing stuff up (except when they accidentally lock themselves up in a lavatory); and elevating the Noble Art of Whingeing to hitherto unreached heights, we have been blinded to the fact that we owe a great deal to the Religion of Shining Innovation.

The “burcycle”, for example. Just when we thought that Islamic technology had run out of steam moments after it had invented soup, Iran’s top techie brains came up with a bicycle for women that incorporates a cabinet. This virtually renders the rider invisible, and therefore incapable of igniting the passions of men who might be turned on by the sight by a burqa on a bike.

From Jesus and Mo

From Jesus and Mo

And, as we speak, in Saudi Arabia fashion designers, we believe, are putting their heads together in a bid to meet the challenge of creating a one-eyed veil – the brainchild of some far-sighted mullah. This is not as easy as it sounds. Is a hole to be made for the left or the right eye? Or should it be in the middle, thus enabling the wearer to adjust it to suit the better eye on occasions when sight is required.?

But, thanks to British Schools Minister Jim Knight, the veil – as it were – has been lifted. We now know that without the inspiration of Islam we wouldn’t have things like carpets, fountain pens, windmills, coffee, gardens, three-course meals, pointy arches – oh, and parachutes.

Knight, according the Telegraph, wants to rid us of our foolish misconceptions by having children taught about the contribution Muslims have made to civilisation. This, he thinks, will combat the threats of extremism and discrimination.

Knight claimed lessons in the scientific and cultural innovations of Islam over the centuries would give young Muslims a sense of worth and reduce their risk of becoming alienated and falling under the spell of radicals.

The Minister was speaking at the launch of an exhibition in Parliament about Islamic innovations, which has been developed by The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation  – an education group dedicated to improving knowledge about Muslim history in Britain.
Knight said:

Here is a project that brings together science, history, RE, citizenship and community cohesion – some of the most pressing problems for me as the minister responsible for the curriculum. One of the major reasons for the alienation of British Muslims is a lack of clear identity. This can leave them vulnerable to messages from extremists.

This offers a whole series of remedies and an education for the rest of us. It is very important for the whole country to understand the hugely positive impact that Islamic inventors have had upon the world, and for Muslims to take pride in it.

Salim Al-Hassani, the honorary chairman of FSTC, added:

At present there is a widespread misconception among many people worldwide that the state of science and technology during the period known as The Dark Ages was that of stagnation and decline. Learned intellectuals are challenging this myth and showing how, during the same period, the Muslim civilisation flourished and contributed to thousands of essential inventions that still affect our daily life.

Note: See other Jesus and Mo cartoons here.

6 responses to “Oh what fools we ignorant infidels have been!”

  1. valdemar says:

    So we have to list inventions on the basis of religion, now? Right, so Christians are better than Muslims because they invented more stuff: the electric motor, internal combustion, jet engine, modern steel, modern concrete, the suspension bridge, railways, radio, radar, antibiotics, satellites – oh, no, that last one’s wrong because Arthur C. Clarke was an atheist. And who knows if the inventor of the windmill was an observant Muslim or a closet atheist? This is very silly indeed.

  2. Newspaniard says:

    Yeah But, what have they invented in the last 700 years? A better way to put up a tent? Why weren’t they first on the moon? Silly question really, Old Mo didn’t tell them to do it.

  3. valdemar says:

    Perhaps a moreeffective way of keeping Muslim boys away from older radicals would be to point out that the latter are often paedophiles, if reports in the Times are to believed.

  4. tony e says:

    I would not mind if politicians were honest in their beliefs, but this stinks of cynical vote prostitution on Knight’s behalf.

  5. GeorgeOfTheJungle says:

    Actually, if you read and research this subject of what islam contributed to the world, you will discover a bunch of academic thieves.
    The number system, which they still use in Saudi Arabia and the middle east today, was stolen from the Hindus in India – who also discovered algebra and the notion of ‘zero’.
    As with this idea that the Koran and muslims discovered something about medicine… it was all stolen from the Greek civilisation.
    What a bunch of bloody liars. And this stupid minister wants to introduce this crap in our schools. He obviously has not researched the death cult of islam, and how it was started by a raving, psychotic and barbaric camel-driver who also happened to be a pedophile – he married a 6-year old girl and ‘consummated’ the marriage when she was just an innocent child of nine! What a dirty, dirty, despicable and depraved lunatic.
    This British Schools Minister should be taken to Court for betraying Britain and the British way of life. Or at the least he should be kicked in the balls to wake him up.

  6. Dan says:

    It’s interesting. If you read atheist/secularist publications of the 19th century, or histories of unbelief, the role of the Islamic world in keeping alive Greek learning and philosophy is often cited in contrast to the European “dark ages” (though maybe it wasn’t really so dark as is sometimes thought).

    It was perhaps contact between Europe and the Muslim east that kickstarted the revival of independent thought which lead eventually to open and conscious atheism in the west.

    I think it’s hard to talk about “betraying Britain and the British way of life”, when Britain through its foreign policy has supported some of the most unpleasant reactionary theocratic regimes in the world (and thus helped breed reactionary anti-imperialist Islamists like Bin Laden).

    I think I would want to draw a distinction between Islam and the Islamic world, because it seems to me that adherence to Islamic ideology, like inflexible and literal adherence to any religious doctrine, is going to stunt your intellectual development. So if that’s how you run your State, then that’s going to be the fate of your scientific culture. However, I wouldn’t want it be thought that that means I think that all Muslims are intellectually stunted. But Muslims who think outside the box gets a hard time from the religious police.

    Our message should be one that encourages freethought across the Islamic world, rather than one that denies freethought, invention, etc is possible. The point is that dogmatic religious suppresses creativity, not that Muslims cannot be creative.

    Dan