Let me tell you a little bit about the House of Wisdom.
It was founded in the 8th century, eventually becoming based in Baghdad, and was a major intellectual centre during the Islamic Golden Age. Scholars there made it their business to collect as much information as they could, from all corners of the known world. They would collect books and texts and return them home for translation. It made the people of the Islamic world among the most culturally advanced on the planet.
They constructed astronomical observatories, they forwarded the science of medicine, mathematics, chemistry, zoology, geography and cartography. They drew upon the work of both those who had come before, and their contemporaries, and then advanced it. Many inventions from the Islamic Golden Age have had a legacy that lasts up until this very day:
So, what happened? If the House of Wisdom was such a fountain of knowledge and invention, we should be flying around in starships by now, right?
Well, if the Golden Age had lasted, we might have been.
In the 9th century a new Caliph came to power, one who had no interest in science or rationalism, and who demanded a more literal interpretation of the Quran. The spread of Greek philosophy was seen as anti-Islamic and the House of Wisdom fell into decline.
What remained of it was destroyed in the 13th century when the Mongols rolled in from the East.
Religion ruins everything once again.
Aaaaand, they’re still at it: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middl…
The killing and the murder that IS are currently engaged in is terrible, but the systematic destruction of past human achievements just seems to cut a lot deeper. Vandalism like this really makes me see red.
The general attitude of IS seems to be one of revenge. They blame the rest of the world for the sorry state in which they find themselves, and fingers can certainly be pointed on some issues.
But if you only ever read one book, if you preach anti-intellectualism, if you don’t study the triumphs and failures of the past: your country will always be a shit-hole.