“The fact [Richard] Dawkins presents – that so few Muslims have won Nobel Prizes — does raise legitimate questions that Dawkins himself addresses in a blog post about the controversy he stirred up by his tweet. He points out that in view of the grandiose claims advanced by some Muslims for the ‘science’ contained in the Quran, it’s rather depressing to note that not much by way of science has come out of the Muslim world in the past 500 years, and it behooves us, and certainly Muslims, to ask why.”
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It’s a question that all of us need to ponder.
In the Middle Ages, Muslims were the best educated scientists and physicians in the West. How did that clear advantage dissipate?
Why are there few universities with science faculties of note in the Islamic world? Why is the emphasis on thought control rather than unfettered exploration? Why are Muslims worried about what women wear and not how women are educated? When did memorizing the Qu’ran take precedence over learning?
As Dawkins points out, “Muslim scholars did indeed grace a golden age, so it is all the more poignant to ask what went wrong and what should be done about it.”
Putting it bluntly, he writes, “Has something gone wrong with education in the Islamic world, and is it a problem that Muslims themselves might wish to consider?”