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 Why do Muslims win so few Nobel Prizes and Mecca’s disasters and Muslims’ responsibility. Great articles about modern Islam from Turkey.

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PostSubject: Why do Muslims win so few Nobel Prizes and Mecca’s disasters and Muslims’ responsibility. Great articles about modern Islam from Turkey.   Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:13 pm

Was thinking about this and found this article which perhaps provides the correct explanation.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/why-muslims-have-only-few-nobel-prizes.aspx?pageID=449&nID=52473&NewsCatID=411

Obviously this isn't a racist attack, the guy is likely a Turkish Moslem writing in the Turkish press. The Turks were pretty smart in their day too. For instance treating mental and psychological disorders not with trepaning or electrical 'therapy' but using what we would now call 'Congnitive behavioural therapy'. Namely teaching good habits of thought through positive reinforcement, art music and nature.

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Why Muslims have only few Nobel Prizes

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I am not the greatest fan of Richard Dawkins, the famous Oxford professor, whose passionate atheism looks to me as a dogma in itself rather than freedom from dogmas. Yet I must I admit that he had point recently when he wrote the following on Twitter:

“All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”

In return, some blamed Dawkins for “racism” or Islamophobia, which I found as unfair. The man had only pointed out a fact: Muslims of the modern world have won very few Nobel Prizes, which is an indication of another and more burning fact: Muslims of the modern world have done very poorly with regards to science. And it is not just fair but also necessary to question why.

Of course, it is not just the Muslim world but in fact much of the non-Western world that has done poorly in the past five centuries in the material achievements of human civilization. The all-Christian Latin America as well, for example, has not been a beacon of scientific progress, or democracy and liberalism. “Singling out Muslims,” in that sense, would be wrong.

However, there is a particular fact about the Muslim civilization that calls for a specific focus: As Dawkins noted, “They did great things in the Middle Ages.” Between the seventh and 13th centuries Muslim scientists and philosophers were the most erudite and productive ones in the world. That is why they invented so many things, some of which were exported to the West, and can easily be traced today in English words with Arabic roots. A short list would include algebra, alchemy, alkali, almanac, amalgam, alembic, admiral, alcove, mask, muslin, nadir, zenith, tariff, sugar, syrup, checkmate, lute and guitar. (And, of course, there are also the Arabic numerals.)

That is why Martin Kramer, an American historian, argues, “Had there been Nobel Prizes in 1000, they would have gone almost exclusively to Moslems.”

In short, it is really worth asking why Muslims were doing so well a thousand years ago, whereas they are doing so poorly today. This, of course, is a famous and complicated question with no simple answer. If there were any simple answer, I would root it in the decline of the Middle Eastern economy because of the tectonic shifts in world trade. But there is also something to do with the common Muslim mind as well. Muslims were quite successful a millennium ago, because they had formed a cosmopolitan civilization that did not shy away from being open to foreign cultures, such as Ancient Greece, Eastern Christianity, Judaism, Persia, India or China. Muslim intellectuals were confident about their faith and hence did not see a problem in learning from non-Muslim sources of knowledge and synthesizing them with Islam.

However, today’s common Muslim mind, including the intellectual Muslim mind, is quite insular, and is focused on protecting an “Islamic” (and quite closed) mental sphere from influences from the outside world. The result is a defensive culture that refuses to engage with the ideas of “the unbelievers,” and therefore only repeats what it has learned from its own forebears. If we Muslims want more Nobel Prizes – and all the knowledge, sophistication and success that they imply – we must begin with challenging this closed-mindedness, and strive to have more open minds.

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PostSubject: Re: Why do Muslims win so few Nobel Prizes and Mecca’s disasters and Muslims’ responsibility. Great articles about modern Islam from Turkey.   Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:14 pm

This is a good article.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/meccas-disasters-and-muslims-responsibility.aspx?pageID=449&nID=89014&NewsCatID=411

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MUSTAFA AKYOL
akyol@mustafaakyol.org

Mecca’s disasters and Muslims’ responsibility

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Two days ago, yet another horrible disaster took place in Mecca, near Islam’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba, and during the holy week of the hajj, the pilgrimage. An astonishing number of 753 pilgrims were killed in a stampede that took place near the point where the devil is ritually stoned. At least some 800 pilgrims were also reportedly injured.

This is only the latest in a series of horrible accidents or stampedes that have taken place during the hajj in the past couple of decades. Just two weeks before, a huge crane had fallen on pilgrims, killing more than a hundred people. Notably, one of the technicians of the company that operated the crane had argued that they had no responsibility, for the accident had taken place due to “fate,” and “an act of God.”

That is why I wrote a piece titled, “Islam’s Tragic Fatalism” (NYT, Sept. 23), in which I argued that such fatalistic excuses by Muslims are nothing but an easy way out to escape from responsibility. “God’s will,” I wrote, “Becomes an easy cover for intellectual laziness, lack of planning and irresponsibility.” Then I added:

“Colossal accidents in Mecca and elsewhere must be taken as alarm signals for Muslims to purge our societies of this problematic mentality and seek the great intellectual revival we need.”

Alas, the next colossal accident took place the next day: The stampede that killed 753 pilgrims. This time, at least so far, nobody put the blame on “fate,” but Saudi Health Minister Khalid al-Falih pointed a finger of blame at the dead, saying the pilgrims were undisciplined and did not follow instructions. In other words, the responsibility was again in other hands.

In fact, I am sure that many pilgrims were indeed “undisciplined and did not follow instructions,” because the hajj, often a once-in-a-lifetime experience, is not something people get disciplined for. It is the responsibility of the organizers to foresee all these problems and risks and take all the precautions.

A report in The Guardian suggested the precautions were in fact not enough. Survivors of the stampede argued the police were not properly trained and lacked the language skills to communicate with foreign pilgrims. Irfan al-Alawi, co-founder of the Mecca-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, similarly said: “They don’t have a clue how to engage with these people; there’s no crowd control.”

It is good that Saudi King Salman did order an investigation into such organizational faults, as he ordered an investigation into the crane collapse. But Saudi authorities still have a long way to go in terms of re-planning the hajj scene and re-educating their personnel in a way that will eliminate such colossal disasters. The know-how of other societies, including non-Muslim ones, must be employed.

Deep down, such coal accidents in Mecca (or the coal mines of Turkey) point to a deep mentality problem in the modern Muslim world: A lack of enough care, attention and precision for security measures. This ranges from a driver who refuses to use a seat belt, to a crane operator who disregards safety rules, to a police force who “gathers in one place doing nothing,” as a witness said after the latest stampede. We need to replace this culture of negligence with a culture of responsibility. It surely is not an easy task. But it is also a task we cannot avoid taking on.
September/26/2015

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