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Archive for June 7th, 2009

Obama has, once again, shown off his ignorance.

On June 4th, 2009, in Cairo, Egypt he gives the world a “history lesson”. Unfortunately, not only is he terribly wrong in his assertions, he has also become a revisionist — and not for the first time, nor for the last.

Here’s what he had to say regarding Islam’s contributions to civilization:

As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam at places like Al-Azhar that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s renaissance and enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra, our magnetic compass and tools of navigation, our mastery of pens and printing, our understanding of how disease spreads and how it could be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires,timeless poetry and cherished music, elegant calligraphy, and places of peaceful contemplation – and throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.

Ancient Egyptian algebra dealt mainly with linear equations while the Babylonians found these equations too elementary and developed mathematics to a higher level than the Egyptians.

The Rhind Papyrus, also known as the Ahmes Papyrus, is an ancient Egyptian papyrus written circa 1650 B.C. by Ahmes, who transcribed it from an earlier work that he dated to between 2000 and 1800 B.C. It is the most extensive ancient Egyptian mathematical document known to historians.

In  Unknown Quantity, published in 2006, author John Derbyshire is introducing us to algebra through the ages and it promises to be just what his die-hard fans have been waiting for. Here is the story of algebra. With this deceptively simple introduction, we begin our journey. Flanked by formulae, shadowed by roots and radicals, escorted by an expert who navigates unerringly on our behalf, we are guaranteed safe passage through even the most treacherous mathematical terrain. Our first encounter with algebraic arithmetic takes us back 38 centuries to the time of Abraham and Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, Ur and Haran, Sodom and Gomorrah.

The magnetic compass is an old Chinese invention, probably first made in China during the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Chinese fortune tellers used lodestones (a mineral composed of an iron oxide which aligns itself in a north-south direction) to construct their fortune telling boards. Further, there is some recent evidence that suggests that the compass may have been discovered by the Central Americans – but either way, it debunks the “theory” that Islam had any part in their part in inventing the compass.

Regarding the advent of printing. We’ve all heard, except perhaps Obama, of Gutenberg? Didn’t know that he was a Muslim.

The first printing of any kind was done by the Chinese and Japanese in the fifth century, which predates the advent of Islam. At that time and for hundreds of years afterwards, books were so scarce and so hard to make, that few people could read or had books from which to learn. The first printers used blocks of wood as the printing forms. Pictures were carved into their faces. The blocks were then inked and printed on the crude presses of the day. Later,words were added to the pictures, but these, too had to be carefully carved into the wood.

As far as diseases go – well, Obama really stuck his foot in his mouth – again. I know of no Muslims who have won any Nobel Peace Prizes for Medicine. And regarding “Islamic has given us majestic arches and soaring spires”. Anybody ever seen the Roman aqueducts? Ever heard of the Tower of Babel?

He also talked about the great gift,  “timeless poetry and cherished music.”  The only problem there is that music — and musical instruments especially — are forbidden in most Islamic traditions.  And it should be unnecessary to have to note Islam’s “religious tolerance” has been demonstrated.

Wonder when Obama would give a speech on the contributions that America has given to the world? It would be an uplifting thing to do – might even do our country some good. But, I’m afraid, that we shouldn’t hold our breath.

Obama. A true follower Islam.


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