“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.”
Read more here.
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?”
“A band of Islamic vigilantes has admitted to roaming the streets of East London, confronting and threatening to kill non-believers in an effort to enforce Sharia law. Three men have pleaded guilty to related charges after self-proclaimed ‘Muslim Patrols’ attacked, intimidated and threatened to stab members of the public,” reports The Daily Beast from England.
“East London’s ‘Muslim Patrols’ first came to attention when a a series of videos were posted on YouTube including one called The Truth About Saturday Night, in which a group of men threatened and berated members of the public for being gay, dressing inappropriately and drinking alcohol. Hooded men derided women as ‘naked animals with no self-respect’; claimed alcohol was evil; and said to one man ‘you’re walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag, mate’,” wrote Nico Hines.
“The three men will be sentenced on December 6. The judge warned that they could be imprisoned. ‘The court does consider this passes the custody threshold,’ she said.”
In the eyes of most of the world, there is no reason for the capricious restrictions on women’s movement in Saudi Arabia.
Is there another country in the world that restricts driving to one sex?
When women drive on Saudi roads — thus defying the ban — and police stop them for this “crime”, it makes me cringe. (It’s not as though the Qur’an forbids women to drive cars.)
Another episode of such free-wheeling civil disobedience took place in the kingdom this week.
The good news is that some of the male drivers were cheering their female counterparts on the roadways (read about it here).
It’s only a matter of time before things change, but this is only one change of many needed in Saudi Arabia.
In the Canadian province of Quebec, “the separatist Parti Quebecois [wants] to make the provincial government religion-neutral. It wants to do so by banning symbols of religious faith such as Jewish skullcaps, Sikh turbans, Muslim head scarves and large crucifixes from public work places.”
Read more here: Quebec Seeks Ban On Religious Symbols In Public Work Places
“Some worry the ban would force them to choose between their religion and their job.” No kidding.
The cultural wars continue.