Saturday, March 11, 2006

Islamic Invention?

The Independent has an article about the "Islamic inventions that changed the world". It's a highly misleading article- and science exhibit at the science museum in Manchester. In fact, the more I learned the more it began to appear that this is little more than an attempt to rewrite history- a piece of pure propaganda. I'm no expert of many of the subjects discussed but even cursory research turns up fairly obvious reference to supposed Islamic inventions long before the religion of Islam was even invented.

Please do read on.

1. First up is coffee, and the Independent quotes the mythical story of a Yemenite who saw some particularly perky goats. They do mention in passing that coffee beans were first exported from Ethiopia to Yemen- so that would make it an African invention, not an Islamic one. Ethiopian tribesmen used to chew the bean to help keep them alert on hunting trips. There's no clear evidence that it was Muslims who first thought to use the beans in a drink.

2. Next up we hear how an Arab invented photography. According to the Independent, the term "camera obscura" comes from the Arabic for dark room. Which is odd because the term originates from Latin. It's also misleading that they say the ancient Greeks thought that our eyes emitted light- Aristotle believed the opposite. Alhazan (as he is generally known) did invent the pinhole camera, a concept understood by the Ancient Greeks. Aristotle made the first reference to a camera obscura in 330BC.

3. The Independent goes on to tell us that chess is another Islamic invention- after noting that the game itself actually originated in India. The earliest reference to the game- originally known as chaturanga- comes from 500BC while the oldest discovered chess pieces dated from 3000BC. There is another school of thought which traces the development of chess from China. So, not an Islamic invention either.

4. Next up we have Islamic claims on flight. The first attempts resulted in crashes, loosely termed here as the invention of a parachute. They were working parachutes in China by the twelfth century. The paper then goes on to credit Abbas ibn Firnas with making a reasonably successful glider flight in 875AD. There are Chinese accounts of manned kites and gliders dating back as far as 500BC.

5. Soap developed, apparently, because of the Muslim requirements of washing and bathing. While the Independent does, again, mention that this was not an Islamic invention but a development, there are other accounts of soap making. The ancient Celts for example made soap, and soap was adopted by the Romans for washing by 2AD. It's also claimed that shampoo was introduced to England by a Muslim in 1759. Funny that the Celts had used soap particularly for their hair long before this date.

6. Distillation- "invented" in 800AD by Jabir ibn Hayyan. Well, not quite. Aristotle mentioned the process (he died in 322BC) and Pliny the Elder (died 79AD) recorded an early still, the apparatus used to perform distillation. Furthermore by the 3rd century AD, Maria the Jewess, as she was known, had apparently developed a forerunner of the modern alcohol still. And Egyptians were using distillation in the 3rd century to produce alcohol. What Jabir did was to invent an alembic still - not discover the process of distillation.

7. While the invention of the crankshaft is claimed for al-Jazari by 1206AD there is no solid evidence that he did actually invent it, rather than just describe it. In fact such a device had been used by the Chinese and was first mentioned in 530AD, a water powered flour sifting device- the first machine capable of translating rotary into back and forth movement. Piston technology was, incidentally, used by Hero of Alexandria in the first century AD. Al-Jazari is also, rather bizarrely, credited as the "father of robotics"- most likely because he created some automatic machines- a feat that Hero had also been capable of. The latter did, in fact, create automated puppet theatres and water-powered mechanical birds which even chirped! Long before the 12th or 13th century. Water clocks were also not a new invention of al-Jazari- these can be traced back to the Egyptians and the Greeks. As for his invention of the combination lock, this is generally attributed to the Chinese.

8. Quilting - Again, no mention is made of it as an Arabian invention but it does say that "it certainly came west via the Crusades". So, we have Christian knights to thank, not Islam. And according to this site dedicated to the history of quilting, the skill actually developed from around 3400BC.

9. The pointed or gothic arch- a design which can be traced back to the Assyrians in 722BC. Then there's the rose window, also attributed to "Muslim genius"- but which is actually traced back to the Roman oculus. Also the dome design is attributed to Muslims, but the design is also of Roman origin, the most famous example being the Pantheon. Finally there's the ribbed vault- yet again one which began with the Romans and which was developed by Romanesque/Norman architecture, used for the first time in St. Etienne, France.

10. Surgical Instruments - While the 10th century doctor al-Zahrawi's contribution to medical knowledge cannot be overlooked, there are more impressive examples of early medicine- namely the Indian Sushruta from 500BC, known as the "father of surgery". The Indian schools of medicine passed their knowledge west to the Persians. The Independent asserts that it was al-Zahrawi who discovered that catgut dissolves internally but it took until Joseph Lister in the nineteenth century for the technique to be developed to perfection- and the Egyptians were using animal sinew to stitch wounds as far back as 4000BC. As for the Muslim invention of anaesthetics, these date back to prehistory.

11. The windmill became commonplace in Persia or perhaps Afghanistan, probably sometime around 600AD. As such they were in use before the beginning of Islam in 622AD. Yet again, not an Islamic or Muslim invention, but a Persian one. There is also some evidence of ancient Babylonians using windmills in 2000BC.

12. Inoculation - Inoculating against smallpox was first witnessed by an Englishwoman in the Ottoman Empire, but the origins of the technique go back much further- beginning in either India or China in 200BC. The importance of Jenner's work was that he used relatively safe cowpox to vaccinate against the much more lethal smallpox- hence vaccination was invented by Jenner. Contrary to the Independent's statement, it was smallpox which was used for these inoculations.

13. The fountain pen - While it true that there is a reference to a fountain pen dating from the tenth century, there is no actual evidence of its existence nor of the veracity of the claim. The earliest surviving examples of fountain pens date from the 17th century.

14. Numbers- There are quite a few claims laid down here. The first printed record of the Hindu-Arabic number system was not an original work at all, but a translation of an Indian book, the Brahmasphutasiddhanta, written in 628AD.
al-Khwarizmi and al-Kindi are essentially responsible for popularising the Indian method. Algebra is named after a book by al-Khwarizmi but its roots go back to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, then to the Greeks and the Indians. Fibonacci did bring the Arabic system of numerals to Europe, but this system is itself based on an Indian, Hindu, system; a fact Fibonacci himself referred to. As for trigonometry, it was a branch of mathematics which goes back for 4000 years, though important work was done by Omar Khayyam, whose religious beliefs differed considerably from Islam- he was obliged to take the pilgrimage to Mecca to prove he was a follower of the religion.
I'm no mathematician so forgive any technical errors I may make here. The Independent- and the Science Museum, Manchester- assert that algorithms came from the Muslim world. An algorithm is simply a procedure for accomplishing a task. The first algorithms were used by the ancient Babylonians and were also used by Euclid and Eratosthenes. While the Muslim mathematician al-Kindi did record the first known instance of frequency analysis (the study of the frequency of letters in an encrypted message), cryptology itself can be traced back to the time of Julius Caesar and the early Christians.

15. Food, specifically the three course meal. While the Independent would have us believe that this was an Islamic innovation dating from the 9th century, it actually can be traced back to the Romans- the Roman cena was a three course meal that usually began with a starter of salad, a main meat dish and then a dessert of fruit, nuts, and perhaps some wine. This was a tradition which was enjoyed by the Romans in Britain too. I can find no reference whatsoever to an Islamic invention of crystal glass (perhaps the author is using the incorrect term). Lead crystal glass was invented by an Englishman, George Ravenscroft, in 1676.

16. Carpets- Again, NOT an Islamic invention. Carpets can be traced back to Mongolia or Turkestan between the 4th and 2nd millennium BC. The earliest surviving example of a pile carpet has been dated back to the 5th century BC. Carpet production in Spain also pre-dated the Moorish occupation.

17. Cheques - It's quite true that a Muslim businessman could use cheques in the 9th century, but the actual development of the cheque pre-dates Islam; they go as far back as the 1st century AD, originating in Persia.

18. A spherical earth. Apparently by the 9th century most Muslim scholars held that the earth was a sphere, a position that they were not the first to expound by far. The idea comes, of course, from the ancient Greek scholars. Aristotle provided evidence for the theory in 4BC. In calculating the size of the Earth, Eratosthenes managed to get within 800km of the actual figure- in 250BC. It is a myth that people widely believed the earth to be flat before the age of exploration- by the 1st century AD Pliny stated that just about everyone was in agreement that the earth was round. As for the assertion that it took another 500 years for Galileo to reach the same conclusion that too is a myth- Galileo's battle with the church concerned the movement of the earth, not whether or not it was flat.

19. Gunpowder. This is a strange one- the author admits that while the Chinese invented saltpetre gunpowder, it was the Muslims who "
worked out that it could be purified using potassium nitrate for military use". What's odd about this is that saltpetre is potassium nitrate- they may perhaps have been able to produce a more purified form of saltpetre. Gunpowder was developed in China around the 7th century AD and it was brought west either along the Silk Road or by the Mongols. In any case, the Chinese were using militrary rockets in the 11th century-long before any other such recorded use. On the contrary it was only in the 15th century that Muslim forces seem to have used their own rockets, a development probably brought to them by the Mongols who used Chinese technological expertise. As for the notion of an Islamic torpedo- there is a reference to it, but there is no proof that it was ever actually developed.

20. Gardens - Apparently it was the Arabs who developed the garden as a place of beauty and meditation. Only if you ignore the evidence of ornamental gardens in ancient Egypt. And while the Persians did develop such gardens, it can be traced back to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (long before Islam)- and the Greeks also had their own gardens, dating back as far as 350BC. There was also a strong Roman tradition of gardening- a tradition which was
continued, but hardly invented, in Byzantium and by the Moors in Spain.


Jason Pappas said...

Thanks for doing the leg-work on this. I knew a few of the counter examples (enough to distrust the original article) but you've supplied the rest. Interesting history, too!

Poposhka said...

This whole independent article is rediculous!

I am trying to find out why they wrote it. Seriously! Just on it's face it's completely insane! Attributing achievements by individuals to an entire religion? That's utter baloney!

What? Are we supposed to attribute modern philosophy to the followers of Zeus? Are we supposed to attribute the microwave oven to christianity? No! because it would be INSANE and fallacious!

Here's a list for the independent to follow in their next article, Jewish inventors:

... i'm not holding my breath.

dabydeen said...

Did you guys miss the start of the article? Let me quote:

"From coffee to cheques and the three-course meal, the Muslim world has given us many innovations that we take for granted in daily life."

I'm not about to defend the article -- it did take a few liberties -- what strikes me is this response that seems hell-bent on painting those from the Arab world as totally lacking. Innovations build each other. This response starts out to counter propaganda, and instead turns out to be propaganda itself.

Yes, question the Independent's facts -- but the tenacity with which this response attacks any implication of innovations from the Arab world, makes me wonder about your motives. I didn't think religion had anything to do with the Independent's article -- you just made that leap however.

Jay.Mac said...

And cheques and the three course meal had absolutely nothing to do with Islamic culture whatsoever- both were firmly established long before the birth of Mohammed.

My objection to this article is that is is patently false- trying to attribute inventions and developments to a culture which had nothing to do with them. Windmills for example are a fairly definite Persian development, as was the cheque, but the article- and Science Museum show- both try to attribute them to Islamic culture.

Why? Why is there such shoddy history being propagated here? Could it possibly be an attempt to show Islam and Islamic culture in a better light? If so, why did it choose to play so fast and loose with the FACTS.

If religion- or religious culture- had nothing to do with the Independent's article, why are they trying, for example, to tell us that the cheque was an Islamic innovation when it actually came into being hundreds of years earlier?

Obviously this is everything to do with religion- if not they could have called it "20 Arabic or Persian Inventions That Changed The World".

BTW, I'm not trying to deny any Arabic innovations- if you have a FACTUAL rebbutal of any of the arguments I've proposed, I'm more than happy to consider them.

I'm not playing propaganda here- I'm attempting to correct obvious falsehoods which are being peddled by a major newspaper and museum, two institutions which should know better, as facts.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the muslim world lacking any significant contribution to mankind has to lie about inventions and discoveries made by others. It doesn't surprise me even the Quran is plagerism of jewish, christian and gnostic traditions. The best way to improve their image to the world is to get rid of the terrorist among thier ranks instead of trying to take credit for inventions they did not create. When that happens they would be better like by everyone and perhaps their self esteem will improve.

Anonymous said...

To see even bigger lies promoted with the help of the UK Govt. agencies like the Home Office, FCO and DTI, check this site out: 1001 Inventions.

I have submitted numerous comments to their moderated blog but have only managed to get them through after adopting Arabic psedonyms!

Anonymous said...

Jay Mac, the Independant article may may be inaccurate in some places, but your article is even more inaccurate, and seems to be based almost entirely on Wikipedia and some obscure websites. You have not given any academic references from peer-reviewed journals or publications to support any of the claims you made.

Some of your points may be true, like chess and the Indian-Arabic numerals being pre-Islamic inventions for example, but many of your other points are false and not supported by scholarly consensus.

For example:

-Aristotle did not invent the camera obscura. He only made references to natural pinhole cameras through the pinholes of certain objects. He did not build an actual camera obscura (dark room with pinhole and screen) like Alhacen did.
-There is no documentary evidence that the Chinese built a combination lock, crankshaft, hang glider (they flew on kites), or parachutes (Andalusia had parachutes before the 12th century) before the Muslim world.
-The earliest windmills were built in Persia after the Muslim conquests.
-The first working soap that actually cleans the germs from your body were indeed created by Muslim chemists.
-Al-Jaziri not only first described the crankshaft, but gave full instructions and illustrations on how to build one. Al-Jaziri is known as the "father of robotics" because he built the first programmable humanoid robot, not just because he built any automata. Also, a water clock and a "mechanical clock driven by water and weights" are not the same thing.
-The ancient Egyptians never used catgut. The article said Muslim physicians invented "anaesthetics of opium and alcohol", not the concept of anasthesia itself.
-The documentary evidence for the Muslim Egyptian invention of the fountain pen is just as strong as any other ancient invention drawn from documentary evidence.

There are other examples of inaccuracies in your article, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Jay.Mac said...

I think you'll find that the inaccuracies are also in your reading comprehension. And, BTW, the point of my post is not the falsehoods only of an Independent news article but an actual museum exhibit which completely distorts historical fact.

1. Camera Obscura - If you read what I wrote you'll find that I dispute the claim that the term is Arabic (it's Latin) and I DO state that Alhazan invented a camera- I merely pointed out that the concept of a camera obscura was understood by Aristotle in 330BC. The point is that the exhibit is trying to re-write history and eradicate any pre-Islamic contribution to science. It's not history, it's propaganda.

2. The earliest windmills WERE Persian as I stated (and that;s ignoring any of the Babylonian evidence for now)- and they pre-dated Islam so evidently it's false to state that they are an Islamic invention. They had nothing whatsoever to do with "Islamic culture".

3. Anaesthesia - There's evidence of opium-like treatments going back to 1500BC. See the Ebers papyrus, the writings of Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder, etc for evidence of opium use in medicine. So it's plainly not an Islamic invention either. As for catgut, I didn't mention the Egyptians using it- I pointed out that they used animal sinew to stitch wounds.

4. Soap - Again, the [Egyptian] Ebers papyrus refers to using a soap-like material to wash and treat skin diseases, there's evidence of ancient Babylonian use of soap, there's Roman evidence of soap use (hence the name from Mount Sapo) and the Roman doctor Galen recommended the use of soap for washing and medicinal purposes.
So quite a lot of pre-Islamic evidence. "Working" soap is not that hard to make actually.

5. I take the fountain pen story with a huge grain of salt- apparently invented in the 10th century it seems that no one, no where else ever used it or had one. There seems to be only one reference to it which is not the kind of historical factual evidence I take for granted. No other examples of this extraordinary development were made and no trace of it exists. An anecdote isn't evidence.

6. Al-Jaziri did describe the crankshaft but there is evidence it was already in use in China- long before the birth of Mohammed and the religion of Islam. As for calling his automata a programmable robot- it stretches the definition considerably and his work was pre-dated by Hero. As for water clocks their history lies with the Egyptians (going back to 1500BC)and the Greeks and Romans. Nothing whatsoever to do with Islamic culture-look up the term "clepsydra" for more information.

7. As for the Chinese claims on flight- they did use kites and gliders (a flight is mentioned in 559AD for example), I've referred to their creation of the crank shaft and the consensus that the combination lock and parachute originated there too. You might want to read The Genius of China by Robert Temple.

The problem with this "Islamic Invention" stuff is that not inly is it touring museums but it's also making its way into classrooms- and as I've demonstrated much of it is completely and utterly false. The rest can at best be said to be highly misleading and utterly and deliberately ignorant of any pre-Islamic developments.

And it's being taught to kids. This isn't history, it's propaganda pure and simple.

Rahul said...

Nice one buddy, I was just reading a Pakistani blog in which all this was written and was pissed off at them appropriating some Indian ideas and trying to pass them off as Islamic, I was searching for sources to rebutt the comments when I stumbled upon your blog.

As I said, in that blog, The principal contribution of the Islamic Empires in this time was in providing a stable, peaceful empire stretching all the way across the Middle East to India and China and in reducing anarchy thus encouraging trade and a free flow of ideas and information that had not happened earlier accross the known world. Books in greek/sanskrit/persian etc. were translated into Arabic and a freedom of thought was encouraged at a time when the rest of the world was falling in the grip of orthodoxy.

But the fact that a lot of books were translated from Sanskrit/Persian or Greek does not make the ideas Islamic or arabic. One should acknowledge the true sources. What actually pissed me off is that said Pakistani Blogger probably had no knowledge of the Indian discoveries but swallowed all the facts in this article hook,line and sinker just because it is supposed to be Islamic science.

Anonymous said...

Joseph Needham(1900-1995) is recognized as the leading authority on the history of Chinese science and technology. In his 7-volume (20-parts) publication, Science and Civilisation in China, he lists 26 inventions transmitted from China to the West through the Middle East, while only naming four inventions originating in the West and migrating to China before the Industrial Revolution: the screw, the force-pump, the crankshaft, and clockwork. Needham concluded that the advancement of technology in the West is built on the technology learned from the East.

If Needham - who spent his life studying Chinese technology - says the crankshaft went West to East, then perhaps Al-Jaziri does deserve the credit for this invention.

Anonymous said...

This is again a wonderful try to demonize the Muslims and their achievements. The kind of propoganda war which has been let by the West. Frustrated with the kind of response Muslims are getting in the world, the only way out for these anti Muslim elements is to propogate propoganda and stories which will do good for nothing. Nevertheless, whatever they do, it will be of no avail. The media is totally in the control of the west, they are the gods of the Media (both Electronic and Print) they can write and print whatever they want to. But "truth will always triumph"( Satyameva jayate).
The definition of a muslim is vast. And when we say Islamic ,it also has a wonderful meaning. There are facts and figures which has been specified in the Holy Quran which has surpassed the discoveries of modern Science. Science will stand small in front of these "SIGNS" of the holy quran.
This article has tried to do only one thing and that is to draw away the credits form the muslims and award it off to others.Nothing great about that it has always been the issue. But the truth holds , and that is the muslim practices are the best in the world for the sake of humanity and the sake of the creation of the God. Any one who denies is at his or her own risk and whoever accepts "Glad tidings to him/her for the broad vision he/she has been endowed with by the God".

Well the best example i would like to tell the world about some practices of islam is
1. Halaal Method of slaughter the animal(even this is a natural method of the animals of prey(esp lions and tigers) they attache the other animals and cut of the jugular vein , the same way muslims do it.
2. Cleaning the teeth many times a days using miswak.
3. Circumcision best for a healthy sexual life and preventing other STD's Best against HIV(this must sound ridiculous, but thats how it is).

please feel free to keep reviewing my bolg for the coming days about some developments related to the world health affairs at

also feel free to write to me at

keep smiling(This is the least charity for any man / woman - according to Islam :-))
Ayatul Islam.

Anonymous said...

Re: Jay.Mac: Sorry for the belated response, but let's clear up a few misconceptions:

We do not know what exactly is being exhibited at the museum, so your accusations of propoganda against the exhibition (without ever actually attending it yourself) is unfounded. All we do know is that the author of the Independant article was merely a journalist (Paul Vallely) who lacked deep knowledge on the subject and was just writing whatever he knew. He obviously made quite a few mistakes, but many of the facts he stated are largely correct.

1. Camera Obscura - What Aristotle described was a pinhole camera, not a camera obscura. It was Alhacen who invented the camera obscura. Vallely's mistake was in attributing the pinhole camera to Alhacen, when it was actually the camera obscura that Alhacen invented.

2. Windmill - The earliest windmill was built in Afghanistan during the time of Caliph Umar in the 7th century. There is no evidence of windmills at all before this.

3. Anaesthesia - The article actually said "Muslims doctors also invented anaesthetics of opium and alcohol mixes" which is correct. Muslim physicians were indeed the first to use alcohol as an anaesthetic.

4. Soap - What the ancients used were soap-like detergents, not the actual formula for soap. The detergents used in ancient times may have been precursors to soap, but to actually refer to them as actual soap is pushing it. That would be like referring to modern handwash detergents as "soap" when they are obviously different to soap.

5. Fountain Pen - I sense some double-standards here... You are willing to dismiss a 10th century source which describes a resoivoir fountain pen quite accurately, and yet you are just as easily willing to accept any other random source which even remotely suggests that the other Muslim inventions were not invented by Muslims.

6. Crankshaft - Joseph Needham, one of the greatest authorities on Chinese history, himself stated that the crankshaft was introduced to China from the West.
Robotics - At the time the article was written, there was no evidence that Hero had designed a programmable robot. Either way, being a father of something doesn't necessarily mean he invented it, but that he made lasting contributions to the field.
Clock - What al-Jazari described was not a water clock, but a mechanical clock driven by water and weights.

7. Flight - Vallely didn't actually claim that Abbas ibn Firnas was the first man to fly, but just that he invented the first parachute, and then he proceeded to explain ibn Firnas' glider flight. Like I said before, the Chinese were indeed the first to fly, but they flew on kites, not a hang glider with artificial wings like what Abbas ibn Firnas used.

As for a few of the other points I was not able to discuss before:

1. Coffee - The earliest evidence of coffee dates back to the 9th century and is attributed to a Muslim from Ethiopia named Khalid, which would make it both a Muslim invention and African invention.

6. Distillation - What Jabir actually invented was pure distillation, i.e. a method which fully purifies a substance. It seems Vallely didn't know the difference between pure distillation and impure distillation, and I suspect you probably didn't know the difference either.

8 & 9. Quilting & Poined Arch - I couldn't find any evidence for the alleged Egyptian or Assyrian origin of quilting or pointed arches. There doesn't really seem to be any evidence of these before the Middle Ages.

10. Surgical Instruments - How is Sushruta's achievements even relevant to the article? That doesn't really change the fact that Abulcasis did invent numerous surgicial instruments of his own.

12. Smallpox Vaccine - The article was not just referring to inoculation, but also to the use of cowpox as a smallpox vaccine: "Children in Turkey were vaccinated with cowpox to fight the deadly smallpox at least 50 years before the West discovered it."

14. Arabic numerals - I'll have to agree with this point. The "Arabic numerals" were indeed invented by the Indians. What Muslim mathematicians did was introduce a decimal point notation to the numerals.

15. Crystal Glass - Vallely was probably referring to quartz glass. According to the medievalist historian Lynn White, Abbas Ibn Firnas was the first to produce glass from quartz.

19. Gunpowder - Vallely just didn't explain this one properly. What the Muslims did was fully purify saltpetre and produce the correct composition for explosive gunpowder (75% saltpetre, 10% sulfur, 15% carbon). Muslim armies were using rockets, cannons, guns and torpedoes by the 13th century, not the 15th century.

3, 16, 17, 18, 20. Chess, Carpets, Cheques, Spherical Earth, Gardens - I'll have to agree with you on these five inventions/discoveries. They do indeed date back to ancient times, and don't belong on any list of greatest Muslim inventions. There are numerous other actual Muslim inventions he could have chosen instead of these ones.

Anonymous said...

Screw all of you. You guys just can't handle the fact that Arabs did something in the world. You actually take the time out to write this whole stupid thing, get a life seriously! You're pathetic. Stop hating off Arabs & just accept the fact that they're good people.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

what kind of random sources do you get your facts from?
though Chess, Carpets, Cheques, Spherical Earth, Gardens as jagger said were NOT invented by Muslims but perhaps improved or widely used.
your approach to Muslim achievements is disgusting because of the amount of bias you hold against them, comparing the achievements of other civilizations doesn't make the Muslim or there achievements any less significant. There is NO denying that Muslims vastly improved the world

watch this and put a sock in it =D

Anonymous said...

This is the most stupidest thing i have ever seen in my life. The person who had even made the webstie is descriminating against muslims.That person or thing is just another hater on muslims.That person just can't bare the fact that muslims are really smar and she or he should take this so called fact to court.I mean if you think muslims did not make whatever you said on your rediculous site then you should keep your stinking comment and your fake information to your ugly self.You don't see muslims go off and say stupid rude inconsiterate things about chtistien pgilosophies.You are a racial, narrow minded,ugly person inside and ouT.

Anonymous said...

jaymac...You are the most narrow minded person I have ever seen..
You have to have some kind of intelligence to critisise an independant article..
Stop wasting your time copying and pasting from wiki.

Jay.Mac said...

Thanks for stopping by. Would you care to explain how pointing out that history is not only being re-written but taught in British museums is being narrow minded?

Is it open minded to ignore established history, for example, of ancient Babylonian gardens and to instead attribute them to Islamic culture?

Anonymous said...

Well I think the dude who posted it cant face the dact that there were some Islamic inventions.

The problem with today's inventions is that it comes from a secular society not a christian society. remember everyone when Christianity ruled Europe it was called the dark ages. But when Islam ruled it was completely different situation, a period of enlightenment.

Every civilization got knowledge from the past.
Civillization started in middle east in Babylonia,Persia and India.

What the writer is doing is showing some ancient inventions as a basis for all Arab inventions.
Well then you have to be consistent about the inventions done today are an imitation of ancient discoveries, just improved.

And india has about 300 to 400 million muslims there

Anonymous said...

well even if islam or Arabs before Islam invented or developed any of these things they didnt do much with them did they??
How else can you explain a proportedly sophisticated people ) a greek word by the way) still being in the dark ages 1500 yaers later while the so called westerners especially the British and their offspring the Americans seemed to have invented almost everything in the last 400 years

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Anonymous said...

Wow!!! The writer of this article is doing the same thing as those before him/her who had so readily and hatefuly discredited other people's contributions to the World. Be just and give credit to to where it is belongs.

Jay.Mac said...

The whole intent of the article is to give credit where it's due- not to simply regurgitate propaganda that ignores actual historical facts.

I have no problem with an exhibition which highlights Islamic contributions to history so long as it is based on facts. Telling school children that the three course meal to name but one example, is an Islamic invention when even the most cursory research will prove otherwise is simply preposterous.

Anonymous said...

You are ridiculous. Please, do study some history first.

Anonymous said...

they are probably attributed to muslim golden age because they were perfected by them and made available on a larger scale......mentioned in the article by the way.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Islam is a faith, not a people. The Persians could be said to have innovated windmills, but not the Muslims. Because not only did windmills predate Islam, but not all Muslims are Persian.

The microchip was invented in a country where the largest religion was Christianity, does that mean we should credit Christianity with the creation of microchips?

cell455 said...


Kaz said...

The article above misses the whole point:

It doesn't matter who ORIGINALLY invented those things. If someone claimed they were Arab inventions, specifically, that would be wrong.

But the fact is that the only reason we, in the West, had those things is that we brought them back in the Crusades.

During the Dark Ages, during which the only literacy not seen as questionable was the rote recitation of the Bible, and only in Latin, the West lost most of the knowledge IT created, for example in Greece and Rome.

Sure, Aristotle and Pliny both knew about distillation, but Dark Ages Europe thought that mists was ghosts and demons, not liquid in vapor form.

People no longer read Aristotle and Pliny, or any other Greco-Roman philosopher. They mostly didn't even own copies.

The cold historic fact is that Aristotle became a huge deal among men translating the Muslim documents back into Latin or vulgar languages, from Arabic translations of the originals...and this triggered a fascination with the classical era of Greece and Rome.

The West was rediscovering its OWN civilization, lost because of Christendom, and recovered from the far more civilized Islamic world, who had retained it.

Nowhere in that article is it actually denied that WE got the entire list of knowledge from the Islamic world.

It's just a bunch of nit-picking about the ultimate origins of those ideas, which we either lost, or only got from our plundering of the civilized Islamic world, through the Moors or in the Middle East.

To be fair, some of it was because of the ridiculous way the West actually plundered the CHRISTIAN world, in its one civilized area...Byzantium, which had retained its civilization in part from trade with the non-Christian Middle East.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if "Jagger" is that immoral Muslim who was exposed miquoting sources and blatantly lying in thousands of articles on Wikipedia

And here's another myth buster:

Anonymous said...


I don't think it misses the point. Paul Vallely's piece claims those inventions changed the world, but all great inventions build on a prior discovery/invention. To claim those attributed to "Muslims" are somehow unique is ridiculous. If they changed the world, then so did "Jewish" "Christian" and "Hindu" inventions before/after Islam. Paul is also very liberal with the truth. He lies throughout his article. One such example is the claim that a Muslim introduced shampoo to the UK. Paul fails to mention that Sake Dean Mahomed converted to Christianity DECADES before opening Mahomed's Indian Vapour Baths

Anonymous said...

"fabi ayyi allla e rabbiku ma tukazziban"


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Anonymous said...

Islam can be definitely credited with inventing disingenuousness and mendacity. These 'virtues' were bequeathed to Islam by its self-proclaimed delusional 'Prophet and Messenger of the mythical Allah.

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