Sunday, January 23, 2011

West Is Best?

"In the Middle Ages, the Middle East was at the forefront of optics, metallurgy, and mathematics. Its largest cities, libraries, and marketplaces dwarfed those in Europe. Subsequently, over the next half millennium, the Middle East slipped behind Europe in many realms, including science and medicine, finance and business, and literacy and living standards. But just as Confucianism and Taoism could not explain China's failures, Islam, often blamed for the Middle East's shortcomings, raises more questions than it answers. If Islam's supposedly retrograde system of beliefs explains the Middle East's recent failures, what accounts for its earlier successes?"

West Is Best? | Foreign Affairs

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