Why Islam must be expelled from the West
On the 11th of December 2010, the first-ever suicide bombing in Scandinavia occurred when Taimour Abdulwahab, an Iraqi-born Muslim and Swedish citizen with a wife and children in Luton, Britain, was carrying explosives and mistakenly set off an explosion near a busy Christmas shopping street in Stockholm just before he could murder dozens of people.
Black widow is a victim too, sez grandfather:
Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly’s wife Mona on her graduation day
The widow and three children of the Stockholm bomber are victims of his attempt to cause mass murder because they will “live with the stigma” for the rest of their lives, relations said. Her family said she had been brought up a “good Christian” but reluctantly converted to Islam “under pressure” from Abdulwahab before she married him in 2004. (Telegraph)
Back to Fjordman:
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt <http://www.thelocal.se/30824/> , who is a passionate promoter of having Turkey as a full member of the European Union and Islam as an established part of European culture, stated that “We were extremely lucky… I mean minutes and just a couple of hundred metres from where it would have been very catastrophic.” Sweden’s intelligence agency and a news agency received an email with audio files in which a man called on “all hidden mujahedeen [Islamic holy warriors] in Europe, and especially in Sweden, it is now the time to fight back.” He criticized Sweden for its military presence in Afghanistan and its acceptance of the artist Lars Vilks, who had made some cartoons mocking Muhammad. The message warned that “now <http://www.thelocal.se/30810/> your children, daughters and sisters die like our brothers’ and sisters’ children die.”
We’ve been told for years that suicide bombers who blow themselves up in civilian areas in Israel are “freedom fighters struggling against Israeli occupation.” Does that mean that this Muslim blew himself up to protest against the Swedish occupation of Stockholm?
Sweden has no colonial history, at least not outside of northern Europe. It is a self-appointed champion of Third World countries and has virtually surrendered its third-largest city to immigrant mobs and substantial chunks of other cities, too. Swedish authorities are using the most extreme methods imaginable to suppress any dissent among the native people, who are being ethnically cleansed from their own land. The authorities always side with immigrants against the natives in the case of conflict. Muslims in Sweden can harass the natives as much as they want to and have access to all kinds of welfare goodies and a much higher standard of living than they would have in their own countries. In short, they have no imaginable, rational reason to complain, yet they still blow themselves up. In Sweden, all the traditional excuses employed by Multiculturalists and Leftists throughout the Western world, fail. This leaves just one possible explanation, the only one never mentioned in Western mainstream media: That Muslims and their culture are fundamentally incompatible with our values and societies.
Hassan Moussa, who has worked as an imam at the largest mosque <http://fjordman.blogspot.com/2005/09/ ... uslim-or-islamist-in.html> in the city of Stockholm, has earlier been accused of spreading double messages. What he said in his harsh speeches in Arabic didn’t match the text as translated in Swedish. A journalist warned that “Sweden’s <http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/1479.htm> mosques are slowly but surely being taken over” by the Muslim Brotherhood. Following the 2010 suicide bombing, Moussa’s recommendations for how to prevent similar events in the future involved giving more power to imams and having a “zero <http://www.newsmill.se/artikel/2010/1 ... am-sanningens-stund-r-h-r> tolerance for Islamophobia.”
Prohibiting all forms of criticism or mockery of Islam and its Prophet is an essential part of sharia, Islamic religious law. According to Islamic historical sources, individuals such as the poetess Asma bint Marwan <http://muftisays.com/qa/question/2144/asma-bint-marwan.html> were killed by the followers of Muhammad for having done nothing other than mocking Islam. This then became a part of the Sunna, the personal example of Muhammad and his companions, which is the most authoritative source of Islamic law next to the Koran itself. It was for the same reason that Theo van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam in 2004. Yes, mainstream, traditional Islam today stipulates that those who mock Islam deserve to be murdered. No other major religion on this planet dictates anything similar.
It sounds nearly unbelievable to the average person that one of the largest religions on Earth, which is “respected” by the United Nations and political leaders worldwide, can be that bad, but this is unfortunately true. Not only is this the case, but the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the largest voting bloc at the UN, is teaming up with other dictatorships and African nations as we speak to ban “Islamophobia” across the world, also in the West.
Islam is more totalitarian than the most totalitarian ideologies that have ever existed in the Western world. Even Der Führer or Comrade Stalin never expected or demanded that every single man should copy all of their personal habits and their silly little mustaches, for which we should be eternally grateful. Islam, on the other hand, stipulates that all men everywhere and for all times should copy Muhammad’s personal habits and example in minute detail.
Islam is a creed which says that men should urinate like Muhammad and that Muslims should wage a war against all other men on the planet until they, too, urinate like their Prophet. This is a provocative way of putting things, yes, but theologically speaking it is not incorrect. While Muhammad was not divine he was, as some Muslims say, the “living Koran.” John L. Esposito in Islam: The Straight Path, one of the most pro-Islamic books in existence, states:
“Muslims look to Muhammad’s example for guidance in all aspects of life: how to treat friends as well as enemies, what to eat and drink, how to make love and war. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the growth of Prophetic traditions….His impact on Muslim life cannot be overestimated, since he served as both religious and political head of Medina: prophet of God, ruler, military commander, chief judge, lawgiver. As a result, the practice of the Prophet, his Sunna or example, became the norm for community life. Muslims observed and remembered stories about what the Prophet said and did. These reports or traditions (hadith) were preserved and passed on in oral and written form. The corpus of hadith literature reveals the comprehensive scope of Muhammad’s example; he is the ideal religiopolitical leader as well as the exemplary husband and father. Thus when many Muslims pray five times each day or make the pilgrimage to Mecca, they seek to pray as the Prophet prayed, without adding or subtracting from the way Muhammad is reported to have worshipped. Traditions of the Prophet provide guidance for personal hygiene, dress, eating, marriage, treatment of wives, diplomacy, and warfare.”
According to sharia, non-Muslim dhimmis can on certain conditions be allowed to retain their lives under Islamic rule, provided that they remain totally submissive to Muslims at all times. Any perceived “insult,” however slight, could immediately trigger violent reactions. In practice, a mere rumor that anybody has done something which displeases Muslims can cause retaliations and murders. This is how Christians in Pakistan or elsewhere live on a daily basis, constantly fearful of Jihadist attacks, and this is how many Muslims want us to live as well. Meanwhile, our authorities, intellectuals and mass media continue to import people who are plotting to murder us while we have our genetalia screened and checked at our airports.
If a single non-Muslim says anything critical about Islam, his entire community can in principle be punished for this. Basically, this means that if one cartoonist in Germany, the USA or Denmark makes a cartoon mocking Muhammad, this could potentially trigger Jihadist terrorist attacks against his entire country for “waging a war against Islam,” because his “tribe” is held collectively responsible for his actions. This was exactly the Islamic logic behind Taimour Abdulwahab’s terror attack in Stockholm. There is no such thing as an individual in this culture; the tribe is everything. Muslims, being good hypocrites, are always the first following an Islamic terrorist attack to state that all Muslims should not be punished for the actions of a few, yet this is precisely what their own laws prescribe for non-Muslims.
Before the general elections in 2006 <http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/200 ... blackmail-of-swedish.html> the Swedish Muslim League, the largest Islamic organization in the country, published a long list where they not merely requested, but essentially demanded, separate family laws <http://svt.se/svt/jsp/Crosslink.jsp?d ... ff_401860&lpos=lasMer> for Muslims; that public schools should employ imams to teach homogeneous classes of Muslims children in the language of their original homeland. (The Swedish city of Malmö already has pre-school classes where all teaching is conducted in Arabic. This is “good for integration.”); a “mosque in every municipality,” built through interest-free loans made available by local municipalities to demonstrate “Islam’s right to exist in Sweden” and to “heighten the status of and respect for” Muslims; separation between boys and girls in gymnastics and swimming education; and laws instating Islamic holidays as public holidays for Muslims. Swedes should also ensure that all Muslims get two hours off from work during the congregational Friday prayer every week and an Islamic burial ground available in every municipality in which there are Muslims. Last, but not least, they demanded that the authorities and the already heavily censored, pro-Multicultural mass media should take even stronger steps to combat “Islamophobia” in the general public.
These demands were rejected back then, but they will be repeated, not just in Sweden but throughout the Western world. As long as we have sizeable Muslim communities here this is inevitable. Muslims are not here to live in peace as equals; they are here to colonize, subjugate, harass and dominate us. Their holy book, the Koran, demands nothing less.
But if all of this is true, how can we coexist peacefully with Muslims in our countries? The short answer is that we cannot. No matter how much you appease them, it will never be enough. As a matter of fact, since they come from a culture which respects only brute force they will despise you as weak and become more aggressive if you try to reason with them.
Their religion also states that Muslims are the “best of peoples” – the true master race – and that they are destined by Allah to rule all mankind. They are filled with illusions of grandeur and superiority, yet the harsh reality is that their societies are lagging behind those of others. This constitutes an inversion of the natural order which can only have been caused by demonic actions and must be reversed at all costs. As long as they remain in our countries, they will work to subvert and destroy us. It is quite literally a religious duty for them to do so.
So why don’t you hear this from most Western political leaders or mass media? Because they are lying to you, plain and simple. The truth is that there is no such thing as a moderate Islam; that nobody has yet managed to come up with a credible theoretical way to reform Islam; and that there are no practical indications of any softening or modernization of Islam actually taking place. Since the adherents of this creed in its present form are waging a war of annihilation against us and the civilization we have created, this leaves only one possible conclusion if we wish to retain our culture and freedom: Physical separation. Islam and those who practice it must be totally and permanently removed from all Western nations.
Potential objections can be raised to this solution. One is that it might provoke Muslims and trigger a world war. To this I will say that our mere existence as free and self-ruled peoples constitutes a provocation to them. Besides, we are already in a world war. Technically speaking, it started 1400 years ago, the mother of all wars. Against European civilization it has witnessed two main phases, the first one with the Arabs in early medieval times, and the second one with the Turks in early modern times. This is the third Islamic Jihad, and it has penetrated deeper into Europe than ever before because we don’t fight back. If the other guy walks up to you and starts punching you in the face then you are already in a fight, whether you want this or not. If you do not defend yourself properly then you have already lost.
Another objection is that expelling Muslims from the West would not end the war. They would merely continue from their original home countries, aided by missiles and modern technology. This could well be true. The separationist strategy does not imply that removing Islam from the West alone is all that will ever be required, only that this is the bare minimum that is acceptable. If Muslims remain aggressive, we retain the option of further actions, including directly targeting their holy cities of Mecca and Medina using conventional or non-conventional weapons. Having large numbers of Muslims in our societies is anyway very costly, and the aggressive fifth column in our midst will severely limit our freedom of action.
Finally, one could claim that the overall problem with the modern West is the general mass immigration and Multiculturalism promoted by our treasonous elites and that Islam merely constitutes a secondary infection. This is also partly true. No, just because Muslim immigration is especially bad does not mean that all other forms of immigration are unproblematic. Nevertheless, Muslims top the list over hostile aliens who do not belong in European or European-derived nations. The Islamic threat is real and needs to be dealt with.
The Serbian-American writer Serge Trifkovic, author of the book Defeating Jihad, has stated that the ongoing failure by their entrusted leaders to demographically protect European and European-derived nations constitutes the greatest betrayal in history. I am tempted to agree with him. In the end, the traitors and fifth columnists we have in our media and academia must be removed from power and replaced with people who are loyal to us and our nations.
Stockholm jihadist was not on list of 200 known “extremists”
There may be 200 that they know of now, but it was number 201 of the Tiny Minority of Extremists that very nearly succeeded in committing mass murder. More on this story. “Suicide bomber in Sweden not on security list,” by Louise Nordstrom for the Associated Press, December 15 (thanks to JW):
Report: “About 200 Islamic extremists” in Sweden
Adding a few zeros would be closer to reality, but this is the age of spin. Apart from that, there is a much bigger problem:
where strength and tactical capabilities for overt jihad are lacking, there are the many means of stealth jihad, and slow demographic conquest enabled by a welfare state insufficiently shielded from outright abuse. Then there are the Muslim-dominated “no-go” zones of Malmo where police and ambulances are afraid to enter.
Norway: Security chief said jihadist was a threat only when single and depressed
It’s time to provide jihadists with taxpayer-funded girlfriends and anti-depressants! This will solve everything! Here is a translation of portions of “Bhatti ingen trussel så lenge han er blid og sammen med kjæresten,” by Kari Tone Sperstad, Hans Henrik Torgersen, Erlend Skevik, Alf Bjarne Johnsen, Ingar Johnsrud, Gunn Karin Hegvik and Lars M. Glomnes for the Associated Press, December 15 (thanks to JW):
Bhatti no threat as long as he is happy and with his girlfriend
Book Review: “The Perils of Diversity”
Inspired by Eurabia by Bat Ye’or, the only book to appear in print so far based on my material is Defeating Eurabia, part of which is available online in German. For Scandinavian readers, I have contributed a chapter in Norwegian to the book Selvmordsparadigmet (“The Suicide Paradigm”), published in 2010 by Ole J. Anfindsen, who runs the website Honest Thinking. Anfindsen believes that the Western world is in the process of committing suicide, and that the ruling ideology after the Second World War, especially from the 1960s on, has been suicidal. His main emphasis is not on Islam but on Politically Correct censorship and the Multiculturalism of Western oligarchs. The same is true of my contribution to his book.
Perils of Diversity by Byron RothThe following quotes with page references are taken from the recent book The Perils of Diversity: Immigration and Human Nature by Byron M. Roth, a Professor Emeritus of Psychology from the USA. [For the conservative who has everything, this would make an excellent Christmas gift. — Dymphna] He argues that the debate over immigration policy in the Western world is critically uninformed by the sciences of evolutionary biology and psychology. In his work he examines the intersection between culture, genetics, IQ and society. Prominent among the fundamental features of human nature is a natural bias toward one’s own kind, making harmony in multi-ethnic societies problematic at best. All historical evidence indicates that “diversity” is not a strength, and that blood is thicker than water. Ignoring such biological realities leads to failed social experiments that may cause great human suffering.
Roth addresses the disturbingly undemocratic nature of the regime of mass immigration imposed by authorities on the citizens of all Western nations in defiance of their expressed wishes, and shows that the chasm between elite views and public opinion is so deep that current policies can only be maintained by an increasingly totalitarian suppression of dissent.
There is a consensus of opinion accepted by the vast majority of leaders in business, industry and academia. Billionaire George Soros has established and funded the Open Society Institute (OSI), which operates over thirty branches worldwide and promotes Multiculturalism. Soros was also a major financial backer of Barack Obama for US President. There are numerous organizations, academic programs, religious groups and labor organizations that support our current immigration policies. Many business and industry organizations spend vast sums in lobbying efforts to oppose any limitation of immigration, legal or illegal. Combined, these groups have created a convergence of opinion among Western elites, a consensus that popular resistance to mass immigration is caused by ignorant xenophobia that should be ignored in setting public policy. Opposing all these powerful forces are the average citizens of all Western countries.
Roger ScrutonFrancis Fukuyama explains that “Postmodern elites, particularly in Europe, feel that they have evolved beyond identities defined by religion and nation and have arrived at a superior place.” Esteemed English philosopher Roger Scruton observes that such elites dominate European national parliaments and the bureaucracy of the European Union. A typical member of this elite class repudiates national loyalties, defines his goals and ideals against his own nation and sees himself “as a defender of enlightened universalism” against local chauvinism.
Byron M. Roth, page 52:
“Not surprisingly, the multicultural program these elites promote is, by its very nature, profoundly undemocratic, in that it imposes changes on society that citizens most assuredly do not want and which they resist when given the opportunity to do so. Hence the extraordinary repression of dissent in the immigration debate and the totalitarian imposition of political correctness wherever elites have power, such as in American universities and in most European political parties. Nobel Prize winning novelist Doris Lessing, no enemy of the left, argued in a 1992 article that political correctness is ‘immediately evident as a legacy of Communism… a continuation of that old bully, the Party line.’ She argues: ‘millions of people, the rug of Communism pulled out from under them, are searching frantically, and perhaps not even knowing it, for another dogma.’ They are rabble-rousers are using the ‘most dirty and often cruel tactics’ and are ‘no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.’ It is difficult to disagree with Lessing that the totalitarian methods and utopian ambitions of multiculturalism clearly have their roots in Communist ideology. The multicultural program is, to be sure, spectacularly utopian.”
The ruling oligarchs of the West seem unwilling to ask what the consequences will be if their vision is flawed. Many left-leaning Western intellectuals defended the barbarities of Communism for years because they viewed its end goals as noble. The same intellectuals now excuse the excesses of their governments in promoting large-scale immigration. After all, the goal of world harmony and universal justice is as noble as the goal of economic equality.
“Many today call the tactics of European multiculturalists a ‘soft’ totalitarianism. However, the willingness of governments to put people in jail or deprive them of their livelihoods for disagreeing with government policies can hardly be characterized as soft. It should be recalled that in its last years, the Soviet Union rarely murdered opponents, but used tactics similar to the ones being used today in Europe. A world without borders would be one without refuge from despotic rule. Despotic governance was the rule throughout most of recorded history, and it is still the rule for the majority of the world’s citizens… Whether people would be better off without independent nation states, living under the rule of a world government, or in large supernational blocs such as the EU is by no means clear. In fact, history and reason suggest that just the opposite would be the case. Most utopian dreams when implemented have, in fact, been real-life nightmares for the vast majority. One is hard-pressed to think of an exception.”
Srdja TrifkovicSerge Trifkovic, the Serbian-American author of the book Defeating Jihad: How the War on Terrorism Can Be Won — in Spite of Ourselves, agrees with this analysis. The ruling elite insist that Western countries belong to the whole world and that our societies should be “colorblind.” These ideas have become tools of European demographic suicide. “No other race subscribes to these moral principles,” Jean Raspail wrote a generation ago, “because they are weapons of self-annihilation.” The permitted consensus opinion promotes de facto open borders. The West is hamstrung by guilt-ridden haters and appeasers “whose hold on the political power, the media, and the academe is undemocratic, unnatural, and obscene.” Trifkovic describes the “treason” of the elite class or traitor class, who despite their self-image as enlightened and rational are rootless, arrogant and cynically manipulative fifth columnists:
"By 1999 then-Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott felt ready to declare that the United States may not exist ‘in its current form’ in the 21st century, because the very concept of nationhood — here and throughout the world — will have been rendered obsolete… The ideological foundation for Talbott’s beliefs was stated bluntly: ‘All countries are basically social arrangements, accommodations to changing circumstances. No matter how permanent and even sacred they may seem at any one time, in fact they are all artificial and temporary.’ To the members of his class, all countries are but transient, virtual-reality entities. Owing emotional allegiance to any one of them is irrational, and risking one’s life for its sake is absurd. The refusal of the Western elite class to protect their nations from jihadist infiltration is the biggest betrayal in history… Those Americans and Europeans who love their lands and nations more than any others, and who put their families and their neighborhoods before all others, are normal people. Those who tell them that their attachments should be global and that their lands and neighborhoods belong to the whole world are sick and evil.”
Roth again, page 439:
Immigrant boat“The elimination of border and passport checks within Europe meant that EU residents and authorized visitors could freely move between EU countries unimpeded. But it also meant that illegal entrants could also move about without hindrance. This meant that securing the external borders of the EU was critical for immigration and security purposes. However, the EU member states have not agreed on EU-wide measures to do so. As a consequence, countries bordering on the Mediterranean — and especially those with island possessions close to Africa, such as Spain and Italy — became magnets for African migrants seeking illegal entrance into the EU. Once a migrant gains access to an island of an EU nation, he cannot be simply sent home, but has to be individually processed for deportation, a time-consuming and costly process. In many cases individuals simply leave shelters and detention centers and spread out into the countryside, and many travel to the mainland of other European states.”
Byron M. Roth further believes (page 31) that “Immigration policy is remarkably similar in all Western countries in its encouragement of large-scale Third-World immigration, while at the same time, in all countries, the native population, by wide majorities, opposes those policies.” He speaks about a convergence of the so-called political Left and Right when it comes to promoting non-European mass immigration, which has essentially crippled the democratic system and rendered it nearly meaningless in these and other crucial issues. Those on the Left are international Socialists while those on the Right channel the business lobby, with its desire for unlimited access to markets as well as cheap labor. These two groups, allegedly adversaries, are in fact allies in the project of breaking down Western nation-states.
“In the case of the doctrine of multiculturalism and mass immigration, however, the political leaders of both the left and the right, and virtually all academicians, are unanimous in their support. The consequence is that the members of the general public, who are most affected by immigration, have no parties to represent their interests and are left with a powerful sense of disenfranchisement for the simple reason that on issues of immigration they are, in fact, disenfranchised. A case in point is the 2008 United States Presidential elections, where both nominees favored even more liberalized immigration policies than those then in existence, and this in spite of the overwhelming opposition to these policies by the electorate.”
Mexicans heading for El Norte
He claims (page 440) that “On both sides of the Atlantic, public officials, no matter what they say to their electorates, are quite simply unwilling to stem the flow of immigration. That the vast majority of EU citizens oppose this massive migration seems beside the point. As Craig Parsons and Timothy Smeeding aptly put it, this result was the product of ‘non-majoritarian institutions — constitutional guarantees of human rights and courts — that protected this movement against restrictions by elected officials.’ But this begs the question why the elected officials of all European countries who, after all, design and implement EU policies and who still control the scope of the EU, have acquiesced in these widely unpopular developments. Given the above findings and the data dealing with education, employment, welfare dependency, and crime, it is hardly surprising that large majorities of Europeans have grave misgivings about the current level of immigration from Third World countries. Migration Watch, a United Kingdom policy think tank, commissioned a poll conducted in 2007 by the international organization YouGov to sample the attitudes of the British Public. Overall, 81% thought immigration should be substantially reduced, with 57% agreeing ‘strongly’ and 24% tending to agree. Only 14% disagreed.”
The gap between rich and poor in the USA is wider than ever and the middle class is slowly disappearing. While 90 percent of Americans have seen only modest gains in their incomes since 1973, incomes have almost tripled for people at the upper end of the scale. In 1979, one third of the profits the country produced went to the richest 1 percent of society. In 2010 it was almost 60 percent. In 1950, the average corporate CEO earned 30 times as much as an ordinary worker. Sixty years later it was 300 times as much. These figures indicate that the wealthy elites are not being irrational. So far, globalization has indeed been beneficial — for them personally in the short run, but not necessarily for the country as a whole in the long run.
As I’ve indicated before, there is only one major party in the West today: the Transnational Post-European Party for Multiculturalism and Mass Immigration. You retain, for the time being, the privilege of voting for who should be its figurehead at any given moment, but you do not get to have a say about which policy the Party should follow. That is reserved for the oligarchs. The peasants — that means you — can be distracted by breasts, football and reality TV. Those who still protest can be labeled “Nazis” and dragged in front of a court of law. The establishment Right is little different from the Left, rendering these terms nearly meaningless.
Geert Wilders as Galileo
All Leftist parties are in favor of dismantling the West in its traditional form; Socialists have always been opposed to nation-states. Whatever opposition there is can be found on the political Right, but it is fragmented, and those who pose a genuine challenge to the oligarchs and the status quo will be ruthlessly demonized; assassinated like Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands, put on trial like Geert Wilders, banned by law as was the Vlaams Blok when it was the largest party in Belgium, or assaulted in their private homes by thugs with the quiet approval of the authorities, as is the case with the Sweden Democrats. Individuals are legally prosecuted for telling the truth about Third World immigration in general and Islamic immigration in particular, among them Jussi Halla-aho in Finland and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria. All of this takes place in the supposedly “free and democratic West.”
The modern West has become an ideological dictatorship, a “one-idea society” where a self-appointed elite of Multicultural oligarchs impose censorship from above. The same basic mechanisms exist in North America, too, but they have become formalized in the EU. I would personally estimate that “the Left” in the widest possible sense is the cause of 65% of our current troubles. The “Right,” including its Big Business backers, is responsible for 30% through their support of globalization and mass immigration, and an additional 5% just for general cowardice and uselessness in confronting Leftist aggression.
Neither side of the spectrum views a nation as an organic unit of related people with a shared history, mythology and mentality. Marxists want to get rid of all nation-states, starting with Western ones. Big Business interests see the nation-state as no different from a multinational corporation, a tool for maximizing short-term profits, where one employs people to do a job for a limited period of time, and after that leave them to their own devices. Those Europeans who view their nation as a natural unit of historically and biologically related people are branded “right-wing extremists” by both these groups, who together largely control Western politics. Nobody supports the interests of the white middle class, who are being bled dry financially.
Minaret ban 2Western oligarchs reacted in the same manner to the democratic rejection of minarets in Switzerland: They immediately, from Washington to London, attacked the Swiss and issued thinly veiled threats, apparently fearful that “dangerous” ideas might spread to their own countries. We often hear talk about “cultural suicide,” but in this case the Swiss people clearly did not want to commit national suicide; the transnational Western Multicultural elite wanted to force them to do so. This Globalist agenda is deliberate and well-organized, not accidental.
Mass immigration is being forced down the throats of Westerners even when they don’t want it. They are victims of an evil policy; perhaps victims who don’t put up enough resistance, but victims nonetheless. Eurabia, the deliberate merger of Europe with the Middle East, is not a “conspiracy theory” but a well-documented fact, despite what the media might tell you. This is being done on such a grand scale that it is difficult for the ordinary person, certainly if he relies only on the heavily censored mainstream media, to fully grasp the magnitude of what’s going on. If he is at the same time culturally broken down and constantly harassed with “anti-racism”, then the average European citizen can to a large extent be neutralized as potential opposition to the oligarchs and their schemes, which was no doubt the intention to begin with.
Byron M. Roth mentions that rising crime has become a serious problem in recent years, very often committed by non-European minorities. He documents a vastly disproportionate representation of Muslims and blacks in Western European prisons. Riots and gang rape by young Muslim men have been and are still being purposefully downplayed by Western authorities and mass media in order to hide the real truth about “cultural diversity.” He also mentions that low IQ correlates very highly with rates of criminality and antisocial behavior, and wonders what consequences the mass importation of low-IQ peoples to the West will have. Is a certain minimum average IQ necessary to develop and maintain a complex society?
The Perils of Diversity again, page 60-61:
“Are the autocratic societies of North Africa the natural byproduct of societies where an insufficient fraction of the population has the intellectual wherewithal to deal with political and economic complexity? If people from North Africa and Southwest Asia replace European people, will European civilization, including its democracy and wealth, be replaced by some new civilization with very different dynamics and values? Will America be the same if it becomes a confederation of different ethnic groups with different values and aptitudes? Given current immigration policies these are the most important questions the Western world must attempt to assess. Such a demographic realignment would be epochal in nature and would have ramifications in every corner of the globe. When coupled with the rise of China and India as world superpowers, it heralds a new chapter in world history that will shape the destiny of mankind for centuries to come. Thoughtful people would not hesitate to consider what these epochal changes portend for their progeny. Neither would they hesitate to openly consider the full consequences of the current immigration policies which, if left on their present course, will prove to be irreversible and quite possibly tragic.”
Roth speculates whether what may emerge from these demographic patterns is that the USA will move in the direction of countries such as Mexico, dysfunctional states with oligarchic politics. A primary thesis of his book is that societies are mainly the product of the genetic nature of the human beings who make them up, not geography as Jared Diamond claims.
“Put another way, a people living in an environment rich in natural resources may not be able to exploit those resources if they lack the human capital to do so. On the other hand, societies with greater human capital can prosper in places with only meager natural resources. An important element of this thesis is the recognition that culture-gene interaction is a two-way street; genes affect cultures, but cultures, in turn, affect genes. It is important, however, to recognize that the effect of genes on culture is likely to operate quite quickly, while the effects of culture on genes require a much longer time to take place. In other words, changes in the demographic makeup of a population will have almost immediate effects, whereas the evolutionary impact of a society on its inhabitants will take centuries, at the least, to take effect… it follows that current immigration patterns are likely to change quite quickly the societies to which immigrants go. It will also change those countries, especially those with small populations, from which immigrants come. The nature of these changes is likely to be wide-ranging and is, without exaggeration, of world-historical significance that will affect future generations for centuries to come.”
Roth talks quite candidly about the significance of IQ. The population of the USA is expected to reach at least 400 million by 2050. By then China’s more homogeneous population may be about 1.4 billion while India’s population is expected to reach 1.6 billion.
The Perils of Diversity, page 473:
“In China, with an average estimated IQ of 105, approximately 37% of population will exceed the IQ threshold of 110, as compared to about 16% of the population in the U. S. Based on the current population estimates, this means that 520 million Chinese will be college-capable compared to 64 million Americans, or a ratio of about 8 to 1. Even if we use Lynn and Vanhanen’s lowest sample IQ from the 10 samples reported for the Chinese, which was an IQ of 102, some 30% of China’s population, or about 420 million people, will exceed the 110 threshold, or about 6.5 times the number of Americans exceeding that threshold. Put another way, China will have more people in this high IQ group, even using the lowest estimate of China’s IQ, than the total projected population of the entire United States. Of course, China may not be able to provide advanced training for those many millions in the next four decades, but they will certainly be able to provide it in ever greater numbers, especially if they make it a high state priority, as appears to be the case.”
The mean IQ of India is much lower than that of China which, coupled with its large Muslim population, means that India probably won’t be able to compete with China in the long run. However, with a projected population of 1600 million people, this would give a total of about 50 million people exceeding the 110 threshold, not much fewer than the number in the USA.
The elites in all Western societies have wholeheartedly adopted an extreme form of Multiculturalism. Page 444:
“It denies historical and scientific evidence that people differ in important biological and cultural ways that makes their assimilation into host countries problematic. It is also extreme in the viciousness with which it attacks those who differ on this issue. These attacks are accompanied by a very generalized and one-sided denigration of Western traditions and Western accomplishments, and claims that a collective guilt should be assumed by all Europeans (whites) for the sins of their forebears. In the United States those sins include the displacement and destruction of the indigenous cultures of the Americas, the evils of American slavery, and its continued discrimination against blacks and other minority groups. In Europe those sins include the excesses of colonialism and, perhaps even more, the acquiescence of Europeans in the Holocaust. In the semireligious formulation of this view, expiation of these sins can only come through an absolute benevolence toward the poor of the world whose suffering is claimed to be the result of the white race and its depredations. In practical terms this can only be accomplished through aid to Third World peoples and generous immigration policies that allow large numbers of people to escape the poverty of the Third World.”
Brussels riotsAs Roth says on page 445, if current trends continue much longer, the final outcome of these policies is predictable, and “by the end of the 21st century, in virtually all Western societies, white Europeans will find themselves minorities in their ancestral homelands. The motivations that drive these ideas and policies will be examined in the concluding section, but there can be no doubt as to the power of this elite ideology. This multicultural ideology is based on a huge distortion of history and is alien to the vast majority of citizens. It can only be maintained by ignoring the wishes of the majority and by increasingly coercive means to silence dissent. This coercion takes the form of insult and social ostracism in the United States, and in Europe it is supplemented by civil and criminal sanction against dissenters. This distinction may well evaporate if the United States Supreme Court comes to be dominated by people who accept the multicultural doctrine, an outcome that seems likely given the near unanimous liberal ideology of the major law schools and of the profession in general.”
He comments on how the EU suffers from a democratic deficit, since much of EU policy is determined by unelected bodies such as the Council of Ministers or the European Court of Justice and the European Commission, none of which are directly elected by the populace.
If the growing and perfectly legitimate demands for autonomy and the preservation of national cultures among European natives are not met, the alternative will be withdrawal from the EU, presaging the dissolution of the EU itself. One possibility is that Fascist-type movements may come to power, especially in those nations where Muslims make increasing demands for autonomy or indeed supremacy. The result may be the sort of ethnic civil strife that took place in Yugoslavia when the multiethnic society there broke down in the 1990s, only this time across much of the European continent. Why do European political leaders fail to anticipate these potentially catastrophic possibilities and respond by limiting immigration?
The Perils of Diversity, page 494-495:
“One possible explanation for these perverse policies that has been put forward by highly regarded scholars, such as Samuel Huntington, is that the current leadership of the EU is composed of left-wing authoritarians who are enemies of the Western liberal tradition. According to Huntington, ‘Multiculturalism is in its essence anti-European…’ and opposes its civilization. The official repression of dissent and pursuance of unpopular policies by undemocratic means suggests that such ideologues wish to turn the EU into a centrally controlled empire similar to the Soviet Union. If that is the case, then their current policies make a good deal of sense, in that they flood the continent with people who have lived under autocratic regimes and never lived in democratic republics. Such people may well be willing to tolerate repressive regimes provided they can maintain a moderate standard of living and their own traditional religious practices. As Huntington points out, imperial regimes often promote ethnic conflict among their minority citizens to strengthen the power of the central authority, with the not unrealistic claim that a powerful central authority is essential to maintain civil order.”
If this trend continues, much of Europe could be “transformed into an authoritarian and illiberal multiethnic empire, undemocratic, economically crippled and culturally retrograde.”
The Flemish journalist Paul Belien in 2006 interviewed the Russian-born intellectual Vladimir Bukovksy for the online magazine The Brussels Journal. Belien is also the author of A Throne in Brussels, in which he argues that the artificial state called Belgium has served as an inspiration for the EU itself. Bukovksy, a former Soviet dissident, fears that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union, the Communist dictatorship that enslaved half of Europe before it imploded. In a speech he called the EU a “monster” that must be destroyed before it develops into a totalitarian state. As a young man he exposed the use of psychiatric imprisonment against political prisoners in the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1917-1991) and spent twelve years in Soviet jails and labor camps.
The ultimate purpose of the Soviet Union was to create a new people and a new man. The same is true of the EU. Bukovksy states that “those who object to uncontrolled immigration from the Third World will be regarded as racist and those who oppose further European integration will be regarded as xenophobes.” When such artificial entities invariably collapse under the weight of their flawed, Utopian ideas, suppressed feelings of national identity may come bouncing back with a vengeance. “You can press a spring only that much, and the human psyche is very resilient you know. You can press it, you can press it, but don’t forget it is still accumulating a power to rebound. It is like a spring and it always goes to overshoot.”
EUSSRIn the EU, the European Parliament reminds Bukovksy of the Supreme Soviet, the largely powerless “parliament” which functioned as a rubber stamp for the Politburo. He thinks it looks like the Supreme Soviet because it was designed like it. Similarly, the European Commission looks like the Politburo, the unaccountable and unelected government that held the real power in the Soviet Union. In the EU the Commission — which, despite its boring and bureaucratic-sounding name, is an immensely powerful entity and the de facto government for half a billion people — is also unaccountable to anyone. EU corruption, in the same manner as its Soviet counterpart, flows from top to bottom rather than going from bottom to top.
Bukovksy warns that “There will be a collapse of the European Union pretty much like the Soviet Union collapsed. But do not forget that when these things collapse they leave such devastation that it takes a generation to recover. Just think what will happen if it comes to an economic crisis. The recrimination between nations will be huge. It might come to blows. Look to the huge number of immigrants from Third World countries now living in Europe. This was promoted by the European Union. What will happen with them if there is an economic collapse? We will probably have, like in the Soviet Union at the end, so much ethnic strife that the mind boggles. In no other country were there such ethnic tensions as in the Soviet Union, except probably in Yugoslavia. So that is exactly what will happen here, too. We have to be prepared for that. This huge edifice of bureaucracy is going to collapse on our heads.”
I could add here that as bad as the Communist countries were — and to get a glimpse of how bad it was there one can read The Gulag Archipelago by the Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from the 1960s — they didn’t normally promote mass immigration of culturally alien peoples such as Africans or Muslims to their countries. The concept of championing non-European mass immigration as a matter of ideological principle first became official state policy in the USA in 1965, before the same thing happened in Western Europe. Many Multicultural ideas of “whiteness studies” or “white privilege,” where people of European origins are indoctrinated to hate themselves, or busing of non-whites to white schools, were initially developed in North America and then exported from there to Europe and Australia.
The phrase “Political Correctness” first came into use under Communism and meant simply that all ideas must conform to and support the agenda of the Communist movement. History and philosophy were the first to be forced into line, but as is clear from the career of the biologist Trofim Lysenko, science was also made to conform. Those who dissented from the ideas of the Communist doctrine were judged to be psychologically imbalanced and confined to mental institutions. Today the ruling ideology of the intellectuals is an absolute egalitarianism which recognizes no idea, art or historical analysis as better than any other.
Roth again, page 507:
“It argues that all histories are narratives fabricated for some class or race advantage. Many argue that even science is corrupted by its patriarchal and European roots and serves to justify the subjugation of one group by another. This all-encompassing egalitarianism gives rise to a nihilistic relativism in which no cultural value or practice is better or worse than any other, and to suggest otherwise is to be intolerant of human difference and demonstrate an unwillingness to show due respect to the other, to illegitimately privilege certain groups, ideas, and artistic works above others… The greatest sin in this prevailing orthodoxy is to question the absolute equality of all humans and human groups. From the noble idea that all men are equal in the eyes of God and should therefore be treated as equals under the laws of man, the modern multiculturalist insists that all men are, in fact, equal in all ways, and all cultures equally worthy in all respects. This, of course, was the fatal error that Aristotle saw would undermine democracy, namely: that since men are equal in some regard, they are therefore equal in all regards.”
This prevailing extreme egalitarianism also induces a profound nihilism; if all things are equal then no value, moral code or standard of behavior is better than any other. Page 508:
“This is, of course, the foundation upon which the cult of multiculturalism is based. It explains the paralyzing ambivalence of Western societies about immigrant assimilation and tolerance of the maintenance of alien traditions. A specific problem for Europe is that it welcomes Muslim immigrants, and Muslims categorically reject this view, correctly recognizing its nihilism, and see it as far inferior to their own faith and the way of life it prescribes. Whether Western elites really believe these things is less important than the benefit they gain from its promulgation. The primary benefit is that it paralyses the popular preferences for national preservation by characterizing opposition to elite doctrines as immoral, indecent, and inhumane. It allows unelected elites to aggrandize their own power by obliterating national sovereignty and nullifying democratic accountability. Many are, without exaggeration, true totalitarians that have no regard for the well-being of those they control, since the only way they can consolidate their dystopian plans is through brute state power. While there is no doubt that many well-meaning individuals join their efforts, they are the sort of ‘useful idiots’ who excused and covered up Communist atrocities during most of the 20th century.”
Multicultural JoyIn the author’s view, the only possible way to avoid the extremely negative outcomes outlined above is an immediate and complete moratorium on any further mass immigration to the West, yet he thinks that this currently constitutes a remote possibility. It would not be remote if modern democracies truly reflected the wishes of their citizens regarding immigration, since such a change of policy would be supported by overwhelming majorities in Western nations. It would also be extremely beneficial in both economic and cultural terms. Roth, page 509:
“However, a major limitation of immigration is a remote possibility because the elites and the special interests that control all the major institutions in Western societies would strongly resist any such change. The history of the past three decades makes it clear that they will not be moved by popular sentiment unless faced by a very unlikely set of circumstances which threaten their own positions of power. It would require a popular revolt of enormous proportions against the existing order. Under present circumstances the problems outlined above are unlikely to create such a revolt, for the simple reason that the population is intentionally denied, by the government and all the major media, the knowledge and information that would enable them to fully comprehend the inevitable long-term consequence of current policies. This ignorance is reinforced by the legal and social repression of any individual willing to voice opposition to those policies. The only way the public could be moved to a major reaction against current policies would be events of such a catastrophic nature that they would force an increase in the saliency of the costs of current policies to almost everyone and demonstrate the need for immediate action.”
Perhaps the most likely threat to the elites’ grip on power would be a serious financial meltdown causing a severe economic depression throughout the Western world. The near-panicked response between 2008 and 2010 of most governments in the West to the financial crisis indicates to Byron M. Roth that many of them recognize the dangers they face if this situation should grow much worse than it is today. “The massive spending and government intervention in response to the 2008 downturn is unprecedented and suggests that the characterization of governmental responses as panicked is not unreasonable.” Page 512:
“That such a nightmare might be necessary to reverse Western immigration policies that, in the long run, promise the demise of Western civilization, is a great tragedy. All of which would be unnecessary if elites adopted more sensible approaches to immigration and more prudent fiscal policies. It is difficult to decide, on reflection, whether the enormous human pain of such a depression would be worth the advantage of a reversal of current policies. The dilemma is moot, since such a nightmare scenario seems very unlikely, and the current downturn will probably be turned around without major unrest. In that case, things will continue on their current course with all the negative consequences outlined above. Sometime during the last half of the 21st century the world will be very different from it is today. China will undoubtedly be the world’s dominant power and will likely bring all of Asia into its orbit. Islam will become the most common religion in the world with considerably more adherents than Christianity or any other religion. Relations between Europe and the Muslim Middle East may be one of fairly constant low-level conflict, especially, as is likely, if Muslim countries develop nuclear arms and mass immigration to Europe continues.”
This is one of the few instances where I seriously disagree with Mr. Roth. The French writer Guillaume Faye predicts a real collapse at some point between 2010 and 2020. I am tempted to agree with him. I don’t think the current political and economic order in the Western world is stable at all. On the contrary, I suspect we are fast approaching a serious historical discontinuity that will sweep aside today’s suicidal liberalism. It’s a house of cards that will collapse as soon as the geopolitical tectonic plates make a sudden shift, which they will.
My personal opinion is that the euro as a currency probably won’t exist a few years from now, and may well take the European Union down with it. I view this as a desirable outcome since the EU constitutes a primary engine behind the ongoing destruction of European civilization and the peoples who created it. I also cannot see how the escalating debt crisis in the USA can be resolved without social unrest of some kind. Frankly, I will not be surprised at all if the rising tensions we are witnessing, and episodes such as the Muhammad cartoon Jihad in 2006, will by future historians be viewed as early skirmishes in an impending world war, triggered by the implosion of the Western world order. If we are lucky, out of the ashes will emerge a new generation of European civilization, with a different mythology and concept of morality.
Explaining the Cold Climate Theory for the Evolution of High IQ
Following rapid advances in our understanding of genetics a new branch of biohistory — history informed by genetics and human evolution — has emerged. For my essay Why Did Europeans Create the Modern World? I included it as one of the aspects explaining different levels of accomplishment, inspired by the great 2007 book Understanding Human History by the American Jewish astrophysicist Michael H. Hart, which is available online as a pdf file. Some readers have stated that this subject was interesting but my essay a bit too long. I will try to shorten the text here, although this essay may still be too long for some people’s taste.
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondProfessor Jared Diamond in his bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies from 1997 shows that the Near East had access to a wealth of useful local plants and animals. Four species of big mammals — the goat, sheep, pig and cow — were domesticated very early in the Fertile Crescent, possibly earlier than any other animal anywhere else in the world except the dog. Agriculture was launched in the Fertile Crescent by the domestication of eight “founder crops,” the cereals emmer wheat, einkorn wheat and barley; the pulses lentil, pea, chickpea, and bitter vetch and the fiber crop flax. He maintains that writing arose independently in the Near East, Mexico and possibly China because those were the first areas where food production emerged in their respective hemispheres, a plausible theory.
Being an evolutionary biologist, he doesn’t reject the possibility that there could be unequal levels of intelligence among ethnic groups, but insists that if there are, Europeans are inferior and that “in mental ability New Guineans are probably genetically superior to Westerners.”
Cannibals in New GuineaMr. Diamond also states that many New Guineans have widely practiced cannibalism until nearly the present day. He says this matter-of-factly but does not clearly indicate that he disapproves of this. In fact, in his writings he appears to be more critical of television than he is of cannibalism. Moreover, he thinks it is morally loathsome if those denounced as “white supremacists” should believe that people of European origins might have higher intelligence than, say, Australian Aborigines, but he apparently thinks it is fine to say that New Guineans have higher intelligence than Europeans. Does that make him a New Guinean supremacist?
Diamond accepts the possibility that there could have been major genetic changes until about 50,000 BC, but considers it “loathsome” and “racist” to suggest that genetic changes between various human groups could have happened after this. Yet humans who settled in Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and finally the Americas lived in different natural environments for tens of thousands of years after this date and must have adapted to their local environments.
The West at the turn of the twenty-first century is dominated by Darwinists who don’t believe in the theory of evolution. If you think that sounds like a contradiction in terms, consider the message of Guns, Germs, and Steel. The essence of Diamond’s beliefs is that evolution has been going on for billions of years, creating elephants out of single-celled organisms, but it miraculously stopped 50,000 years ago. This is, rationally speaking, completely absurd, yet it has nevertheless become the unquestioned ruling orthodoxy in Western media and academia.
DNA strandWhat happened in the decade after Diamond first published GGS is that the human genome was mapped shortly after the year 2000. New insights have completely shattered the myth that human evolution more or less came to a halt 40-50,000 years ago, except for some supposedly superficial traits such as skin color. As I write these words, every week a new study is presented showing evidence of recent natural selection for specific traits. Many of these are related to teeth, bones, etc., and don’t necessarily have implications for mentality, but it is likely that a few of them do. The new paradigm can be called recent accelerated human evolution. It is outlined in the fine 2009 book The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by US scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending.
Evolution proceeds by changing the frequency of genetic variants known as “alleles”, one of two or more versions of the same gene. The advent of agriculture vastly increased the total amount of food available. The larger and more permanent settlements associated with agriculture gave birth to new infectious crowd diseases, as a critical mass of humans lived in close contact with each other and with domesticated animals and their germs. The bodies of those who practiced it also had to adapt to a new diet consisting of foods that had previously been of little or no importance. Food production allowed for the accumulation of wealth, trade specialization, and the rise of non-productive elites, who ruled others because they could.
Understanding Human HistoryMichael H. Hart in Understanding Human History supports the “cold climate” theory for the evolution of high genetic intelligence measured in IQ. Essentially, it predicts that as certain humans moved into regions with a cooler climate they had to develop higher intelligence to cope with a harsh natural environment, cooperate and plan ahead to survive the cold winters.
Several objections can be raised against using IQ as a measurement. By far the most common one is that it is immoral because it implicitly suggests that not all human beings are equally intelligent. This is an entirely anti-scientific argument and should be dismissed as such.
The second objection is that because IQ-measurements were initially developed by Europeans they are by nature “Eurocentric” and therefore biased. This is a silly argument. Almost all modern measurements of everything from electric charge to air pressure were invented by Europeans. All temperature scales in use in the industrialized world were developed by men from Western Europe. As far as we know, Europeans were the only ones to create the barometer and to develop a method for measuring atmospheric pressure. In order to be logically consistent you would have to reject the meteorological terms “high pressure” and “low pressure” along with IQ since these concepts, too, were developed exclusively by Europeans. I wish those individuals good luck in creating a non-Eurocentric weather forecast.
Intelligence is a complex entity which cannot easily be measured by a simple two- or three-digit number, but there is much empirical evidence suggesting that IQ is a reasonably good indicator of general intelligence. Several studies have shown that people with higher IQs make wiser economic choices. There is a strong correlation between IQ and economic level, for individuals as well as for nations. It may be an imperfect measure of general intelligence, but it is far from useless. Until somebody comes up with a better yardstick, IQ can be used.
The Pleistocene from roughly 2.6 million to 10,000 years BC was punctuated by a series of “ice ages” when glaciation was far more extensive than it is now. These periods, and the last Ice Age in particular, may have had a significant impact on human evolution. Like Hart I will use the mainstream “out-of-Africa” theory as my starting point. Even in sub-Saharan Africa the climate was somewhat cooler during the ice ages than it is today. It was never outright cold as it could be in Eurasia, and food was probably plentiful, but even this moderate cooling may have been sufficient to trigger certain evolutionary pressures. Still, early humans who left Africa would have encountered entirely different natural conditions, and they had to adapt to them.
Lascaux: huntersSomething momentous took place in the capabilities of early humans 100,000-50,000 years ago. Around 40,000 years ago the Cro-Magnons moved into Europe. At about the same time we find the first evidence of human colonization of New Guinea and Australia via Southeast Asia, and a bit later the Americas. The Upper Paleolithic is the final subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age, from ca. 40,000-10,000 BC. The period from 12,000-8,000 BC marked the end of the last Ice Age and the gradual establishment of a climate similar to ours.
Genetic changes allowed important human cultural and technological developments after 40,000 BC that hadn’t been possible in 100,000 BC. The archaeological record clearly stands out from anything seen for hundreds of thousands of years prior to this. Burial with associated rituals, a distinctly human activity, became much more common than before. At Dolni Vestonice, located in what is now the Czech Republic, archaeologists have found the remains of five structures marked by mammoth bones, blocks of limestone and postholes. In Russia and the Ukraine, where natural shelters such as limestone caves were rare, we see dwellings that used many mammoth bones and must have required considerable planning and effort.
The most visible aspect of the Upper Paleolithic is the creation of the first real sculptures and the first elaborate cave paintings, made with carbon black or ochre. This is when we encounter the so-called Venus figurines in northwestern Eurasia, small statuettes of naked women with exaggerated hips and breasts. The most famous of these is the 11.5 cm high Venus of Willendorf from about 23,000 BC, discovered near Willendorf in Austria.
The oldest Venus figurine found so far in Europe is the Venus of Hohle Fels from ca. 34,000 BC, unearthed in southwestern Germany, carved out of the tusk of a woolly mammoth. This figurine may be the first example of figurative art, meaning art that is supposed to resemble a real person or object. A bone flute made from the radius of a griffon vulture found at the Hohle Fels Cave dates from the same time period. Music and sculpture — different expressions of artistic creativity — apparently emerged in tandem among early modern humans in Europe.
The jump from abstract art to representative art might reflect a leap in the cognitive capacity of the human brain itself. The oldest traces of man-made symbolic objects, presumably created by anatomically modern humans before they left Africa, date back to 75,000 or 100,000 years ago in places like the Blombos Cave in South Africa. However, this art was abstract and consisted of geometrical designs engraved on pieces of red iron oxide. It is sometimes cited in support of the hypothesis that there was no “Great Leap Forward” after 50,000 BC, merely gradual change, yet these early examples are nowhere near as complex as those seen from 40,000-10,000 BC, made by Cro-Magnons (anatomically modern humans and the ancestors of modern Europeans) in some of the non-glaciated regions of Europe.
Stone tools made hundreds of thousands of years ago by early humanoids were crude and can barely be recognized as man-made objects. In contrast to this painfully slow rate of progress, much more rapid changes occurred during the Upper Paleolithic with the introduction of such innovations as sewing needles, early ceramics, bow and arrow, harpoons, fishhooks, flutes for music etc. Archaeological evidence indicates that few of these inventions were made in the tropical regions; they were predominantly made by humans living in cooler climates.
The Venus of Dolni Vestonice from around 27,000 BC currently constitutes arguably the oldest known piece of ceramics (fired clay) in the world. Two kilns were found on the site surrounded by fired ceramic fragments, but most of the recovered objects show thermal cracks, and ceramics at this date apparently served no purpose besides art. The first pottery vessels for practical use have been found in northeast Asia, in northern China and Japan, starting from about 16,000 BC, thousands of years before we see evidence of agriculture here.
Solutrean pointsAuthor Michael H. Hart suggests that “The main reason why the rate of progress increased during the Upper Paleolithic was simply that humans living then were more intelligent than their distant ancestors had been. (One aspect of that greater intelligence, of course, was their greater linguistic ability.) Similarly, an important reason why the rate of progress has been even higher in recent millennia than in the Upper Paleolithic is that human intelligence has continued to grow, and is higher today than it was then.”
Technological progress continued to accelerate further in the Neolithic Era, or New Stone Age. In the Neolithic Revolution, agriculture arose more or less independently in at least half a dozen separate regions around the world, which brings us to a couple of intriguing questions: Why did this development not begin until after about 10,000 BC, and why did it then occur in widely separated regions within a few thousand years?
In Michael Hart’s view, useful plants and animals were a necessary factor for the rise of agriculture, but not a sufficient one; a population with a minimum level of intelligence was needed, too. The reason why agriculture wasn’t invented by early humans forty thousand years ago is that none of them had yet developed the necessary intelligence to successfully make the huge conceptual leap that was required to start growing food. Hart believes that the “threshold” level required to originate agriculture even in a region with suitable climate, plants and animals was a mean IQ in the 80s. Following tens of thousands of years of evolutionary pressures, the IQ of some human groups had finally become high enough, but agriculture was nevertheless not introduced first in the most challenging northern climates.
Neolithic figurineHe considers the alternative model for the development of civilization presented by Professor Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel, who suggests that the comparative backwardness of for instance pre-colonial Australia compared to major Eurasian civilizations was entirely due to geographic factors. Surprisingly, he is willing to consider the possibility that there could be a genetic component to intelligence as long as this reflects poorly on whites, which is so intellectually dishonest that it very seriously undermines his general conclusions. Diamond himself indicates that he wrote the book specifically in order to undermine “Eurocentrism.”
The ancient Near East really did have a favorable climate as well as a far greater local supply of useful and easily domesticable plants and animals than any other region. This is in all likelihood an important reason why agriculture and urban civilization emerged so early there. However, according to Hart sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) enjoyed an advantage over Mesoamerica as it was not completely cut off from other civilizations. Some aspects of Eurasian technology such as ironworking reached SSA, as did domesticated camels and goats:
Mesoamerica was far more advanced than SSA was, or ever had been. For example, Mesoamericans had originated writing on their own, had constructed many large stone structures, and had built large cities (rivaling any existing in Europe, and far larger than any in sub-Saharan Africa). Furthermore, the Mayan achievements in mathematics and astronomy dwarf any intellectual achievements in SSA. We must therefore conclude that, although Guns, Germs, and Steel is an informative book, the obvious superiority of Mesoamerican technology to that of sub-Saharan Africa appears to be a fatal blow to the main arguments presented in it.
The Maya built cities in the tropical rainforest. Doesn’t this disprove the cold climate theory? That is a fair question, but the answer is no, it does not. Exactly when the first peoples entered the American continent remains a hotly debated topic. They were present at least by 12,000 BC, but possibly several thousand years before that date. It is conceivable that the New World was settled in several waves, but the main thrust appears to have come with hunters crossing the Bering Strait between Eurasia and Alaska in North America over a land bridge during the last Ice Age. This presumably means that they had undergone thousands of years of natural selection in cold regions of northern Eurasia before they settled in Mesoamerica or elsewhere.
Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending don’t write specifically about genetic intelligence or IQ the way Hart does, but they do state in their book that “There were at least two streams out of Africa 50,000 years ago, one northward into Europe and central Asia, and another eastward around the Indian Ocean to Australia, New Guinea, and parts of Oceania. There is no trace of any creative explosion in populations derived from the southern Indian Ocean movement, who brought and retained Neanderthal-grade technology and culture.”
Socrates mosaicMichael H. Hart evaluates the accomplishments of various civilizations, from Egypt to India and China. Why did the ancient Greeks achieve so much in the arts and sciences? Possibly the geography of Greece made them a seafaring nation and led them to engage in exploration. Yet many other peoples enjoyed a similar geographic advantage, and the Phoenicians, while being great seafarers and traders, did not create anything approaching the scientific achievements of the Greeks. Hart believes that while other Europeans had at least as high IQ as the Greeks, science is above all the creation of urban, literate cultures, and in this crucial aspect the Greeks benefited from early contact with the literate civilizations of the Middle East:
The best explanation for the Greek phenomenon lies in a combination of genetic and geographic factors. The peoples living in the cold regions of Europe had, over a period of many millennia, evolved higher average intelligence than the peoples living in the Middle East. However, because of the mild climate in the Middle East, and the availability of a large assortment of useful domesticable plants and animals, the inhabitants of the Middle East developed agriculture long before the peoples of northern Europe. The early advent of agriculture and cities in the Middle East enabled them to make major progress during the Neolithic Era and the early historic era, and to get a big jump on the rest of the world in technology and in intellectual matters. In time, the superior genetic endowment of the Europeans would enable them to overcome that head start. However, between European groups, the one most likely to advance first was the one which had the earliest opportunity of learning from the civilizations of the Middle East and Egypt.
Hart says, correctly, that non-Muslim dhimmis under Islamic rule were barely even second-rate citizens, but rather non-citizens who lacked many of the most basic civil rights. For example, they could not testify in court against a Muslim. He disputes whether conversions to Islam were always “voluntary,” given the various humiliations, pressures and taxes non-Muslims continuously had to face merely for the sake of being non-Muslims.
Regarding cultural achievements, he mentions some noteworthy scholars and figures and says that Alhazen was “probably the greatest” of the scholars in the Islamic world, which I agree with. In his view, Middle Eastern scholars made few major discoveries in science or technology; nothing comparable to printing and gunpowder in China or spectacles and mechanical clocks in Western Europe. While they did produce a limited number of scholars who made minor contributions and a handful who made medium-level ones, they never produced truly great geniuses such as Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler or Newton.
Hart attributes this to their lower genetic intelligence compared to Europeans, with a mean IQ in the 80s, whereas many European nations, at least north of the Alps, have a mean IQ of about 100 or slightly more. This meant that there were fewer Middle Easterners at the lower and medium levels in science, and virtually none at all at the highest levels of achievement. This is plausible, although I would personally add the repressive atmosphere created by Islamic orthodoxy as a significant contributing factor as well. Ideas have consequences.
Hart rates Chinese civilization as the only one that could rival European civilization. For those who take IQ seriously, by far the most challenging thing to explain is why East Asians didn’t originate the Scientific Revolution instead of Europeans. With around 104-107 they have a slightly higher mean IQ than northern Europeans and significantly higher than southern Europeans. This is a very interesting subject, but it has to be dealt with in a separate essay.
I could briefly mention that the cold climate theory also predicts that there could be minor differences between northern and southern Europe. These will be much smaller than between Europe and Africa, but not necessarily statistically insignificant. Swedes have for instance made many contributions to modern science and technology, whereas Albanians in the Balkans have made very few. Some of this discrepancy might be attributed to IQ differences.
Hart, like myself, supports the theory which suggests that the Indo-European expansion started before 3000 BC north of the Black Sea in northeastern Europe. The first phases of it may well have been aided by the recent introduction of wheeled vehicles, but the Indo-European languages have by now been spreading in wave after wave for more than five thousand years, and continue to this day with the use of English as an international language. Clearly, all of this cannot be attributed to wheeled vehicles, as this advantage would have been lost millennia ago when other peoples adopted this innovation. The author attributes the tremendous long-term success of the Indo-Europeans to the high IQ of the northern peoples.
Throughout history, most of the instances where people from one region have conquered another have involved “northerners” invading lands to the south. China has never been conquered by the nations south of it but has been repeatedly attacked from the north. Within China itself, the northerners created a unified country by conquering southern China. The same goes for India, which has been invaded several times by people from the north. The first civilizations there, too, developed in the north. As Hart says, “The obvious — and, I believe, the correct — explanation for the military superiority of the northerly peoples is the higher average intelligence of those peoples compared with the inhabitants of more tropical regions.”
He admits that the Muslim conquests constitute a major counterexample to this general rule, and the Romans also conquered some lands to the north of Italy. Historically speaking, the greatest external military threats to Europe have often come from the east, from the cooler regions of Central Asia with the Huns, the Mongols and for that matter the Turks, not from Africa or the south. It is true that Muslims at the end of the day didn’t manage to establish lasting control over Europe, as they did in North Africa and the Middle East, but the impact of Islamic Jihad over many centuries on the nations of southern Europe was far from marginal.
Immigrant boatSome would claim that the mass immigration of low-IQ peoples to white majority Western nations at the turn of the twenty-first century is another exception, but this development constitutes such a large anomaly in world history that it must be treated as a special case. Western nations have not been military defeated. These immigrants/colonists would not have been able to settle in these countries if they couldn’t exploit the deranged altruism and political-ideological flaws of the modern West. They have always received substantial aid from high-IQ groups within the West itself, chief among them white Marxists, business leaders who desire unlimited access to markets and cheap labor, and occasionally Jewish Multicultural ideologues, of which Jared Diamond himself might be counted as one.
High IQ is always an advantage in warfare, first of all by providing greater ability for strategic thought, for developing and executing plans and for exploiting an opponent’s weaknesses, but perhaps primarily by enabling a society with a strong economic and technological foundation. However, you have to actually be willing to fight, otherwise high IQ will be of little use.
One of the reasons why Islam expanded as much as it did is because it promotes constant mental readiness for war. Muslims harbor no doubt over the justice of going to war against others, and no guilt when doing so. High-IQ peoples face the potential problem of getting lost in the maze of their own abstract ideas and ideals. They can lose to lower-IQ peoples if they are not willing or able to properly defend themselves, a condition technically known as “decadence.”
Camp of the SaintsThe Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail from the early 1970s is a parable about the Third World invasion of the West, condensed in time so that what might take fifty years in real life takes fifty days in the novel. It describes how millions of poor people from India set sail to France to live in the West, the land of milk and honey. The natives have the physical and military means to repel the invaders, but their willpower has been so weakened by doubt and self-loathing that they are unable to put up any resistance at all. As the author says, “For the West is empty, even if it has not yet become really aware of it. An extraordinarily inventive civilization, surely the only one capable of meeting the challenges of the third millennium, the West has no soul left. At every level — nations, races, cultures, as well as individuals — it is always the soul that wins the decisive battles. It is only the soul that forms the weave of gold and brass from which the shields that save the strong are fashioned. I can hardly discern any soul in us.” The book reminds us that “…ideas are the stuff that keeps man alive.”
There are admittedly a few cases that do not fit easily into the mold of the cold climate theory. For example, those living consistently at very high altitudes, such as Tibetans, have to deal with cold, but the most pressing issue in this environment is the lack of oxygen. Consequently, this is where you will see the strongest evolutionary pressures. Tibetans have reasonably high IQs, but not higher than those who live in the densely populated Chinese lowlands.
Early types of humans, starting with Homo erectus, spread from Africa all the way to China (but apparently not Australia or the Americas) 1.5 million years ago. The Neanderthals were one of the later subspecies who lived in northwestern Eurasia. Anatomically modern humans would have encountered pockets of them. A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany led by Svante Pääbo from Sweden, in 2010 demonstrated that between 1 and 4 percent of the DNA of non-Africans today came from Neanderthals. Perhaps later studies will show that we picked up beneficial genes from other kinds of archaic humans, for instance evolved Homo erectus in Asia, while displacing them.
We don’t yet know for sure why Homo sapiens sapiens — we modern humans — displaced the Neanderthals in Europe, where they had successfully managed to survive in the difficult climate for tens of thousands of years and had evolved brains that rivaled our own in size. Whatever the cause, we did eventually replace them so we must have enjoyed some crucial advantage over them.
Another challenge to the cold climate theory is presented by the Eskimos, or Inuit peoples. In Arctic North America and Greenland they certainly live in some of the coldest places on Earth, which should accordingly have made them into some of the smartest people on Earth. They do have above average intelligence by global standards, which they must have to survive in such a harsh environment, but there is nothing that indicates that they have a higher mean IQ than northern Europeans or northeast Asians. This requires a different explanation.
Authors Cochran and Harpending in The 10,000 Year Explosion suggest that a larger population mass and growing population density during the Stone Age in itself became a major factor in human evolution by increasing the number of potentially beneficial mutations:
10,000 Year ExplosionHuman numbers had already been on the increase since the advent of behavioral modernity, partly as the result of migration into the far northern regions of Asia, over the sea into Australia, and across a land bridge into the Americas — all places that archaic humans had been unable to settle — and partly because of improvements in food production technology (such as nets and bows). An educated guess puts the total population of the world 100,000 years ago at half a million, counting both anatomically modern humans in Africa and archaic humans (Neanderthals and evolved erectus) in Eurasia. By the end of the Ice Age some 12,000 years ago, there may have been as many as 6 million modern humans — still hunter-gatherers, but far more sophisticated and effective hunter-gatherers than ever before. Farming, which produces 10 to 100 times more calories per acre than foraging, carried this trend further. Over the period from 10,000 BC to AD 1, the world population increased approximately a hundredfold (estimates range from 40 to 170 times). That growth in itself transformed society — sometimes, quantity has a quality all its own.
In other words: evolution in large populations may be faster than in small ones. If we postulate that cold winters triggered evolutionary pressures for high IQ, but this effect could be modified by total population mass, then the most favorable combination would be a place with cold winters, but good enough natural conditions to support a relatively large population.
This hypothesis predicts two peaks of high IQ: north-central Europe and northeast Asia. This would explain why the Germans and Dutch have at least as high IQs as people living in Lapland in far northern Scandinavia, and why the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese have higher IQs than the Eskimos, who for thousands of years lived in very cold and sparsely populated regions. If we combine these two factors then the correlation with observed IQ realities becomes very strong, so strong that in my view it is unlikely to be entirely coincidental.
For tens of thousands of years, climate may have been the single most important driving force behind human evolution, though not necessarily the only one. In more recent millennia, after the rise of agriculture and cities, other forces came into play as well. Human beings themselves increasingly shape the environment they live in and can now enjoy electric heating in near-Arctic areas and air-condition in tropical ones. One of the most fascinating tales of human evolution apparently had little to do with cold weather, that of Ashkenazi Jews.
According to a hypothesis presented by Gregory Cochran, Jason Hardy and Henry Harpending in 2005, which is largely supported by Hart, the very high average IQ of modern Ashkenazi Jews is an example of Darwinian evolution in response to external social pressures, as European Jews for many centuries had to occupy a very narrow and unusual economic niche as merchants, tax collectors and moneylenders, occupations which placed great practical value on high intelligence. The Christian majority population was forbidden from taking interest, and many occupations were closed to Jews. Only those with very high IQs managed to flourish in this cultural climate and pass on their genes. This situation prevailed from the Early Middle Ages until legal emancipation after the Enlightenment and created a social environment which substantially raised the average IQ of an entire people.
The Jewish evolutionary strategy was very efficient if you measure IQ points per millennium, but it had a few serious drawbacks. The “climatic” evolution of Europeans and East Asians may have been somewhat slower, but it eventually raised the IQ of the entire population living in these regions. The Jewish strategy raised the IQ of a small and demographically vulnerable minority. Jews paid a heavy price for this in the twentieth century in particular.
In our time, speaking about IQ differences has become one of the greatest social taboos in the Western world. In 2010 Thilo Sarrazin, a German central banker and politician, was forced to resign from his position due to certain statements about German immigration policy. He has suggested that many Arab and Turkish immigrants are unwilling to integrate, that Muslims rely much more on social services and that their intelligence is lower than that of native Germans. While being demonized by the political and media elites, his book Deutschland schafft sich ab (“Germany Does Away With Itself”) quickly sold more than a million copies.
Professor Helmuth Nyborg at Aarhus University in Denmark did research which revealed that there are differences between the sexes when it comes to intelligence. This triggered massive resistance from his colleagues. He states that “Within the realm of psychology you are not allowed to talk about intelligence. You cannot measure intelligence and you cannot rank people according to intelligence. The entire field of intelligence is a so-called ‘no-go area.’“ If you look at differences between ethnic groups then you are immoral and a “Nazi.” Nyborg warns that Western authorities, the United Nations and human rights organizations are playing a dangerous game with globalization and open borders Multiculturalism. Worst case scenario: their policies of mass importing low-IQ peoples with dysfunctional cultures could turn all Western countries into backward “banana republics” — without benefiting developing nations.
While Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs, and Steel contains some worthwhile parts, the overall conclusion is almost certainly wrong. You can just look at the state of California to disprove it. By the 1960s and ‘70s California was the economic engine of the USA, and by the extension the world. By 2010 it is close to bankruptcy. The reason for this is not that the geography of California changed, nor its plants or animals to any significant degree. What changed was the demographic make-up of California. As long as it was predominantly inhabited by whites it was a dynamic region. As soon as it became inhabited by mestizo Mexicans and other lower-IQ peoples it came increasingly to resemble a Third World region. Diamond is currently a Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which means that he can see clearly that his theories are flawed just by looking out the window.
Jared Diamond is a poor and dishonest scientist for failing to seriously consider alternative hypotheses which sometimes explain observed reality better than his own. So why has he become so popular and influential? Because he gave the Western Multicultural elites exactly what they wanted to hear: people are genetically equal; what matters is geography. This is an ideological green light for unlimited mass immigration of peoples from failed countries and cultures to the West, and the continued dispossession of whites in all Western countries.
Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff: Target of Western Shariah
Many have followed the “hate speech” case against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria and become increasingly appalled at the naked ideological censorship it represents. Any censorship of important issues is problematic, but what is especially serious about this case is that what is at stake here is nothing less than the survival of Western civilization.
While Muslim leaders openly brag about infiltrating the West to subdue and destroy it, Western citizens are being harassed by their own authorities for telling the truth about Islam.
And while Muslims are free to colonize our countries as they see fit, native Europeans are literally banned by their own governments from protesting against this in any way, shape or form.
According to sharia, Islamic law, non-Muslims have a diminished status as second-rate citizens in their own countries. This is precisely the position that native Europeans de facto have under Multiculturalism, which essentially means that Western authorities are already partly implementing sharia law. In Western Europe, the authorities both on the national level and on the European Union level are not only passively accepting Islamization but are actively promoting and enforcing this.
This is the main thesis of Bat Ye’or’s pioneering work Eurabia as well as my own book Defeating Eurabia. What we are witnessing in the ridiculous trial against Geert Wilders in the Netherlands is the practical implementation of Eurabia.
That is what the case against Sabaditsch-Wolff is about. She has found herself at the frontline of the battle against the ongoing destruction of the West, and we are all next in line. For that reason, we should give her our full support, morally as well as financially, and we should put Austrian authorities to shame for their betrayal and blatant submission to Muslim bullying.
Medieval Muslim Scholars -- Their Contributions and Shortcomings
Those who have read my essays know that I can hardly be called an apologist for Islam. I don't like Islam at all and make no attempt to hide this fact, but I also don't like dishonesty. I believe the so-called "Golden Age of medieval Islamic science" is absurdly overblown these days. Nevertheless, if you read history closely there is still room for granting some respect to a small number of scholars from a Muslim background who did decent work for their time.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due and have therefore, after spending years reading extensively about scientific history, prepared a list of the top dozen Muslim scholars before the Industrial Revolution who in my view deserve some respect for their work. I have only considered individuals who were at least nominally Muslims, not Christians, Jews or others who happened to live under Islamic rule. This means, for instance, that I have evaluated al-Razi, who came from a Muslim background although he wasn't personally a believing Muslim at all, but not Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), a Jewish rabbi and physician.
The indisputable number 1 on my list is Ibn al-Haytham (ca. 965-1039), known under the Latinized name Alhazen in Western literature. He was born in Basra in present-day Iraq but spent many years in Cairo, Egypt. He was a prolific writer on many aspects of science and natural philosophy. His multivolume Book of Optics (Arabic: Kitab al-Manazir) was the single most important work on optics to appear anywhere between Greco-Roman Antiquity and the Scientific Revolution in Europe. His treatise contained a substantially correct model of vision: the passive reception of light reflected from other objects, not an active emanation of light rays from the eyes, and he combined mathematical reasoning with some forms of experimental verification. He provided the best model of human vision before Kepler in the early 1600s developed the first recognizably modern understanding of the retinal image.
David C. Lindberg indicates in the book Theories of vision - From al-Kindi to Kepler that although he relied heavily on scholarly contributions made by the ancient Greeks, his synthesis was nevertheless fresh and original: "Alhazen was neither Euclidean nor Galenist nor Aristotelian - or else he was all of them. Employing physical and physiological argument, he convincingly demolished the extramission theory; but the intromission theory he erected in its place, while satisfying physical and physiological criteria, also incorporated the entire mathematical framework of Euclid, Ptolemy, and al-Kindi. Alhazen thus drew together the mathematical, medical, and physical traditions and created a single comprehensive theory."
Deciding who should be ranked as number 2 was slightly trickier, but in the end my vote goes to the Persian physician and alchemist Muhammad ibn Zakariya Razi (ca. AD 860-925). He certainly belongs among the top five. Al-Razi, or Rhazes in Latin, came from present-day Iran. He was a freethinker in all things who never uncritically accepted the conclusions of any alleged scholarly or religious authority, past or present. He was a capable physician for his time, recognized the need for sanitation in hospitals and has been credited with being the first to clearly distinguish between the highly contagious viral diseases smallpox and measles.
Number 3 is Muhammad al-Khwarizmi (ca. AD 780-850), who authored the most significant works on algebra to appear between Greco-Roman Antiquity and Renaissance Europe. Al-Khwarizmi helped introduce Indian or Hindu-Arabic numerals from India to the Middle East and later to Europe. Latinized translations of his name and one of his book titles live on as the terms algorithm and algebra. According to David C. Lindberg, his Algebra "contains no equations or algebraic symbols, but only geometrical figures and Arabic prose, and it would not be recognized as algebra by a mathematics student of the twenty-first century. Its achievement was to deploy Euclidean geometry for the purpose of solving problems that we would now state in algebraic terms (including quadratic equations)." The work circulated in Europe and contributed in the long run to the development of a truly modern algebra there.
Number 4 is Abu Musa Jabir ibn Hayyan (ca. AD 721-815), or Geber in Latin, probably the most gifted Middle Eastern alchemist/practical chemist of the Middle Ages. He has been credited with a number of advances and was perhaps the first person to prepare nitric acid.
Number 5 is Ulugh Beg (ca. 1394-1449), a grandson of the brutal and influential Islamic conqueror Timur, often known as Tamerlane (1336-1405). His father had captured the city of Samarkand in Central Asia where Ulugh Beg proceeded to build an astronomical observatory. With improved instruments and careful observations, he made a new star catalogue with unprecedented accuracy for its time and even corrected some errors in Ptolemy's calculations.
Number 6 is the Persian scholar Omar Khayyam (1048-1131), also renowned for the Rubaiyat poems attributed to him. He compiled astronomical tables and contributed to reform of the Persian calendar by introducing ideas from the Hindu one. The result was superior to the Julian calendar and at least comparable in accuracy to the Gregorian one. Khayyam was the first to solve some cubic equations and to see the equivalence between algebra and geometry. Further progress in this field did not take place in the Islamic world, only in Western Europe.
Number 7 is the Persian polymath Abu Rayhan Biruni, or al-Biruni (973-ca. 1050), "perhaps the most far-ranging scientific writer of the Islamic world." Highly unusual for a Muslim scholar he knew several non-Muslim languages well and wrote about another society, India, with rare objectivity by Islamic standards. Al-Biruni "hadvarying degrees of proficiency in a number of languages, including Khwarezmian (an eastern Middle Iranian language), Persian, Sanskrit, Hebrew, and Syriac, in addition to the Arabic in which he wrote."
Number 8 is the Persian physician and philosopher Ibn Sina (ca. 980-1037), or Avicenna as he was called in Latin translations. He wrote widely on many topics, from physics to Aristotelian philosophy, and composed the Book of the Cure, an encyclopedia of general and natural philosophy. While not very original he was a competent physician for his time, and his Canon of Medicine was used as a medical textbook for centuries in the Middle East and Europe.
Number 9 is the North African historian Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), generally considered to be a forerunner of a number of disciplines in the social sciences. He developed one of the earliest nonreligious philosophies of history, contained in his work the Muqaddimah ("Introduction") where he sought to explain the basic factors in the historical development of the Islamic countries. Yet he was limited by his traditional Islamic contempt for non-Muslim cultures.
Number 10 is al-Kindi (ca. AD 801-870), the first notable Muslim philosopher, although his reputation in the Middle East was eventually eclipsed by that of al-Farabi (ca. AD 878-950). Al-Kindi flourished in Baghdad in the ninth century where he wrote on many subjects ranging from medicine, optics, mathematics, Indian arithmetic and basic cryptography to the manufacture of swords. The attempt to reconcile Islam with Greek philosophy was to last for several centuries, but ultimately proved unsuccessful due to persistent religious resistance.
Number 11 is Ibn Rushd (1126-1198), or Averroes, an Andalusian Muslim who was born in Córdoba in modern-day Spain and died in Marrakesh in Morocco. His attempts to integrate Islamic traditions with ancient Greek thought and Aristotelian philosophy were largely ignored in the Islamic world but were ironically studied in Latin Christian Europe. He faced trouble for his freethinking ways and is today hailed as a beacon of "tolerance," yet he was also an orthodox jurist of sharia law and served as an Islamic judge in Seville. He approved, without reservation, the killing of heretics in a work that was entirely philosophical in nature.
Number 12 on my list is the Egyptian astronomer Ibn Yunus (ca. 950-1009). "In many respects his astronomical works have a modern appearance; many of the parameters which he used in his Zij are much superior to those of his predecessors and he is also known for his meticulous calculations and attention to detail. . . . His observations are considered so reliable that some of the thirty eclipses reported by him were used by Simon Newcomb in the nineteenth century, in determining the secular acceleration of the moon."
A lunar crater has been named in Ibn Yunus' honor and another one in honor of Ibn al-Zarqali, Latinized as Arzachel, an eleventh-century Andalusian astronomer who was partly responsible for the so-called Toledan Tables. These were accurate for their time and were later translated into Latin and used in Europe. The mathematician al-Battani (ca. AD 850-929) made measurements of the stars and planets, and the Persian astronomer and mathematician Abul Wafa (AD 940-998) did some notable work in trigonometry, to name just a few others.
Those mentioned above would constitute my personal choice for the top dozen. Their relative ranking can be debated and a few other possible contenders might be considered, for instance the Syrian-born physician Ibn al-Nafis (1213-1288) who worked in hospitals in Damascus and Cairo. He was the first person we know of to describe the pulmonary, or lesser, circulation of the blood between the heart and lungs, but the significance of his insight was overlooked and he avoided the practice of human dissection because of the sharia, the Islamic religious law.
Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahrawi (ca. 936-1013), known in the West as Abulcasis or Albucasis, was an Andalusian physician born near the city of Córdoba in what was then Islamic-ruled Spain. He combined Middle Eastern and Greco-Roman Classical teachings with his own innovations and became "Islam's greatest medieval surgeon." As a matter of fact he was "virtually the only significant physician in the Islamic world who had practical experience with surgery. Surgery was neglected also by Rhazes and Avicenna."
What kind of conclusions can we draw from this list? The first one is the disproportionate number of Persians as well as the strong presence of freethinkers and highly unorthodox Muslims, sometimes combined in the same person. This was the case with Omar Khayyam, whom author Ibn Warraq in the book Leaving Islam calls the "Poet of Doubt." Ibn Khaldun himself admitted that "It is strange that most of the learned among the Muslims who have excelled in the religious or intellectual sciences are non-Arabs with rare exceptions."
It is interesting to notice that virtually all rationalists within the Islamic world were at odds with Islamic orthodoxy and frequently harassed for this. Whatever contributions they made were more in spite of Islam than because of it. While some, like Ibn Khaldun, were orthodox Muslims who supported violent Jihad against others to establish Islamic global supremacy, al-Razi apparently didn't believe a single word of the Islamic faith. Indeed, he was so hostile to all revealed religions that it is remarkable that he wasn't killed as an apostate from Islam.
In a few cases the ethnic identity of the individual is somewhat unclear from the historical sources. Geber's personal life is shrouded in mystery, but according to the Encyclopædia Britannica he was born in Iran and died in Iraq, well within the reach of Persian cultural impulses. It is a fair guess that he was a Persian, but his ethnic background is not beyond dispute. Al-Khwarizmi's ancestors presumably came from the Khwarizm region south of the Aral Sea in Central Asia. Although he spent years in Baghdad he probably wasn't an Arab.
It is striking to notice that not a single notable scholar throughout all of Islamic history ever lived and worked in the Arabian Peninsula, the cradle of Islam. Even those who, like Alhazen, were fluent in Arabic or had Arabic as their first language lived in far older centers of urban civilization such as Mesopotamia (Iraq), the Levant and Egypt. It is possible that al-Kindi's ancestors came from the Peninsula, but he himself was born in Iraq. He is called "the philosopher of the Arabs" precisely because the Arabs didn't produce many philosophers. The Arabian Peninsula has consistently been one of the least creative regions on the entire planet for as long as Islam has existed, despite the fact that it enjoys a favorable location in the middle of Eurasia and annually receives numerous pilgrims from different parts of the world.
Another notable feature is the total absence of any Turks among the top scholars. There is a persistent myth that the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions happened only because Europeans "plundered" other continents. This is easily disproved since there is little correlation between which countries had extensive colonial empires and which developed sophisticated scientific-industrial economies. Portugal held quite large colonies and participated extensively in the transatlantic slave trade, yet it is one of the poorest countries in Western Europe, in sharp contrast to Switzerland or Finland which have no colonial histories.
The Spanish brought much silver back to Eurasia from their colonies in Latin America, which had admittedly often been extracted by the natives under harsh conditions, but Spain never developed a leading role in science. Italian scientists were much more prominent than Spanish ones from the 1200s to the 1800s although "Italy" as a state did not exist until the 1860s. Arguably the greatest astronomical revolution in recorded history took place in Western Europe from the 1500s to the 1700s, and this wasn't caused by "European colonialism."
Copernicus was born in Poland, which did not then nor later have any significant military presence outside of Europe. Tycho Brahe came from tiny Denmark and ended his life in the city of Prague in what is today the Czech Republic. Kepler was from Germany, which did not exist as a state until centuries later and even then held rather marginal colonies. When Galileo was born, the Ottoman Empire ruled much of the Mediterranean, and Turkish and North African pirates regularly raided the Italian Peninsula. England did eventually gain a vast empire, but it did not yet have this when Newton was a student. All of these men were greater scholars than any of those who have existed in the Islamic world at any point in its history.
If plundering other peoples had been the key to making scientific advances then Turkish Muslims should have been among the leading lights of science for many centuries, yet throughout its entire existence the Ottoman Empire contributed next to nothing to mathematics, science or practical engineering. If conquering distant lands was what triggered the Scientific Revolution then the world would now watch in awe as advanced Mongolian space probes explored the outer reaches of our Solar System. This clearly isn't the case.
The most extreme proof that wealth isn't a sufficient cause to generate scientific advances is oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which since the mid-twentieth century has received enormous sums from Westerners and Asians due to a simple geological accident. Yet despite what may amount to the greatest transfer of unearned wealth in human history the country hasn't given mankind a single useful invention, nor any great art or music that uplifts the spirit. The Saudis have used their massive wealth to buy gold-plated toilets and sponsor Jihad terrorism abroad.
Another point to emphasize is that the peaks of the European scientific tradition are not only much more numerous, but also much higher than those of the Muslim one. If scientists could be compared to mountains then the European and Western tradition would constitute the Himalayas, by far the highest and most massive mountain range on Earth. Newton, the highest peak in this tradition, would represent Mount Everest; the medieval Middle Eastern tradition might correspond to a regional mountain range and Alhazen a peak of maybe 3,000-4,000 meters. That's respectable, but it still falls far short of the towering size of Mount Everest.
When I checked it, the English-language entry on Alhazen at the popular, Internet-based amateur encyclopedia Wikipedia stated that "The Book of Optics has been ranked alongside Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica as one of the most influential books in the history of physics." This is clearly hyperbole. Isaac Newton's Principia from 1687 is the single most important work ever published in the world history of science; only Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity from 1915 is comparable to it. Yes, Alhazen was good and deserves our respect, but he was not on the level of a Newton, Einstein or Galileo.
In Charles Murray's book Human Accomplishment, Alhazen enjoys a good medium-level ranking in physics with a score in the 20s. This is by far the highest of any scholar from the Islamic world, which is accurate in my view, but that still doesn't bring him to the global top 30 list, which is heavily dominated by European scientists plus some Ashkenazi Jews and is topped by Newton and Einstein, tied for the maximum score of 100. The same is even more true regarding Geber vs. the top-ranking Antoine Lavoisier in chemistry; Rhazes vs. Louis Pasteur in medicine or Charles Darwin and Aristotle in biology; Ulugh Beg vs. Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, William Herschel, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Nicolaus Copernicus, Ptolemy or Tycho Brahe in astronomy; and Muhammad al-Khwarizmi or Omar Khayyam vs. Euler, Newton, Euclid, Gauss, Fermat, Leibniz or Descartes in mathematics. At least one, if not several, orders of magnitude separate these men's respective individual achievements.
It is true that the legacy of ancient Greek scholars in mathematical proof, geometry, logic and the creation of natural philosophy - what we today would call scientific theory - as far as we know exceeded that of any other ancient culture. Nevertheless, the Greeks did not create modern science. Western Europeans did, from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries onward. While Greek logic was one factor contributing to this transformation, Europeans could only make this breakthrough after they exceeded the contributions of the Greeks and left their flawed physical theories behind. A similar transition never took place in the Middle East, nor anywhere else for that matter. As for practical engineering, rather few contributions were made by medieval Muslims that would have surprised the ancient Romans.
The top-ranking individual on my Muslim list, Alhazen, for all practical purposes constituted the culmination of ancient Greek theory. Given that Chinese optical studies stagnated and that East Asians suffered in the sciences by not having easy access to superior Greek geometry, the Middle East had in all likelihood produced the world's leading optical theorist by the eleventh century AD. Yet curiously, very few further advances were made there in that field after his death; almost all of them were made in Europe, from photography to spectroscopy.
Western Europeans by the late 1200s AD employed glass lenses to create the first indisputable eyeglasses for the correction of eyesight. The knowledge of how to combine fine glass lenses was extended around the year 1600 to create the earliest known microscopes and telescopes. Observations in telescopic astronomy were then used to make the first reasonably accurate measurements of the speed of light, which was shown to be very great, but finite.
As Toby E. Huff shows in his 2010 book Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective, although the telescope was transmitted to China, Mughal India and the Ottoman Empire, those civilizations did not respond quite as Europeans had done to the new instrument. In Europe, curiosity fueled a great burst of innovations in microscopy, mechanics, optics, pneumatics and electrical studies. Newton's revolutionary new synthesis, which unified terrestrial and celestial physics (the two were believed by the ancients to be entirely separate) with the law of universal gravitation, had immense implications for modern society.
As late as the year 1800, "light" was thought to consist only of those types of rays visible to the unaided human eye. Then from 1800 to 1900, European scientists successively discovered other kinds of radiation such as infrared, ultraviolet, radio waves, X-rays and gamma rays, all moving at the speed of light. James Clerk Maxwell's equations demonstrated that visible light is just one of many forms of electromagnetic radiation, a conceptual breakthrough far greater than anything ever made by the ancients. With the quantum revolution in the early decades of the 1900s and the emerging dual wave-particle model of light, European scientists had done more in the space of merely five generations to advance our understanding of the basic physical properties of light than all other known civilizations on Earth had done combined during the preceding five thousand years of recorded human history. Essentially all of the astronomical observations and physical insights underlying Einstein's work, from Newton's concept of gravity to increasingly accurate measurements of the speed of light, evolved exclusively within the European scientific tradition, as did the mathematical language needed to describe these new theories with probability theory, calculus and non-Euclidean geometry.
Ibn Warraq in his books is critical of Islam, but at the same time gives proper credit to scholars within the Islamic world who deserve it, a sentiment which I happen to share. One of them is the Persian physician al-Razi. In his modern classic Why I Am Not a Muslim, Ibn Warraq suggests that al-Razi "was perhaps the first true chemist as opposed to an alchemist." He considered the Koran to be an assorted mixture of "absurd and inconsistent fables" and was certainly a freethinker, yet despite his fine qualities he appears to have been a committed alchemist who believed in transmutation and in the possibility of turning base metal into gold.
When speaking of "alchemy" we should not think that all of it was nonsense, only that what we would view as occultism was not clearly separated from real chemical knowledge. Chinese alchemists invented gunpowder, which was an eminently useful practical invention even if nobody at the time could properly explain exactly how it worked. Likewise, practical alchemists from Korea and India to Mesoamerica had been involved in medicine, clothing and cosmetics as well as serious metallurgy for thousands of years. Is it possible, then, to stipulate a specific date for when scientific chemistry was born, clearly distinct from ancient alchemy?
While such a dating is admittedly difficult, a major turning point was undoubtedly when chemists/alchemists had evolved something approaching a modern definition of what constitutes a chemical element. In that case it makes little sense to speak of chemistry prior to the mid-eighteenth century. Before that, scholars from China and Japan via the Middle East to Europe had traditionally talked about water, air, earth and fire as "elements." If you believed that gold and iron were not elements in their own right but consisted of more fundamental ones such as earth in different ratios, then thinking that you could turn base metal into gold by changing the ratios of those primary elements was erroneous, but not necessarily stupid.
Chemistry was born when scholars stopped talking about "water" and "air" as elements and instead started talking about "oxygen" and "hydrogen," by showing that water is not by itself an element but a compound of two chemical elements - oxygen and hydrogen - and that the air that we breathe consists of a mixture of different gases, not a single substance. This transition took place in Western Europe in the late 1700s, and only there. We might say that chemistry was born in Europe in the late eighteenth century, enjoyed its childhood and adolescence there during the nineteenth and reached maturity in the West in the twentieth century; claiming that this event happened a thousand years earlier with the relatively modest advances made by medieval Muslims or others at that time cannot be considered correct.
In addition to scientific disciplines, Murray in Human Accomplishment created rankings in Western music and Western art, Indian literature, Japanese literature, Chinese literature, Chinese painting and Japanese art, as well as listings of Indian, Chinese and Western philosophy, respectively, but no ranking for Islamic philosophy. A separate philosophy inventory was not prepared for Korea or Japan because so much of Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese philosophy derives from Chinese sources, or from India in the case of Buddhism.
While Chinese philosophy is in content often quite different from its European counterpart the Chinese certainly have a very extensive and well-developed philosophical tradition. By contrast, much of the philosophical writings in the Islamic world were simply commentaries on ancient Greek works, and even that was frequently considered suspect. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as "Islamic philosophy" in the narrow sense of the word because Muslim scholars concentrated primarily on interpreting the Koran and religious texts. Western scholars read the Bible, yes, but they did many things besides that and created a vast literature of political and economic philosophy that is virtually non-existent in the Islamic world.
In Chinese philosophy, Confucius (551-479 BC) ranks far ahead of anybody else as the single most influential thinker in East Asian history, followed by many later interpreters of Confucian thought such as Zhu Xi, Menciusand Xunzi. The only other individual close to Confucius' level is Laozi or Lao-Tsu ("Old Master"), the shadowy figure who may have been a rough contemporary of Confucius and is traditionally viewed as the first thinker of Daoism. Aristotle comes out on top in Western philosophy, but not as dominant as Confucius in China.
In Indian philosophy, Adi Shankara in the eighth century AD added system to the haphazard insights of the ancient Upanishads, which had been transmitted orally for many centuries. He became the leading exponent of the Advaita Vedanta School of philosophy, whose thoughts still form the mainstream of modern Hinduism. Only in fourth place do we encounter Siddhartha Gautama or Gautama Buddha, who was either a contemporary with Socrates in the fifth century BC or a younger contemporary of Confucius. The Buddha was the founder of a major religion or philosophy whose total influence throughout much of Asia exceeded that of Hinduism (and for that matter Confucianism), but his ideas were secondary within India itself:
"The men at the top - Confucius, Sankara, and Aristotle - are where they are because each, in some important sense, defined what it meant to be Chinese, Indian, or Western. Confucian ethics, aesthetics, and principles of statecraft became China's de facto state religion in -3C and remained so for another two thousand years. As the man who shaped the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism, Sankara has pervasively shaped Indian thought down to the present day. In the West, there is more ambiguity. Plato preceded Aristotle, Aristotelian thought owes extensively to Plato, and it was, after all, Plato rather than Aristotle of whom Alfred North Whitehead famously said that all of Western philosophy is his footnote. And yet in the end Aristotle had had the more profound effect on Western culture. Some of Plato's final conclusions, especially regarding the role of the state, are totalitarian. In contrast, Aristotle's understandings of virtue, the nature of a civilized polity, happiness, and human nature have not only survived but have become so integral a part of Western culture that to be a European or American and hold mainstream values on these issues is to be an Aristotelian."
Only painting had a consistent tradition of named artists in China, which means that valuable contributions in sculpture and ceramics are not included. For the same reason, the only inventory for music is the Western one topped by Beethoven and Mozart, not because good music hasn't been made in other cultures but because only the European one had an extensive tradition of named individual composers. In Chinese painting, the scholar, painter and calligrapher Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322) is tied for first place with the artist and poet Gu Kaizhi (ca. AD 344-406).In Japanese art, the top score of 100 is achieved by Sesshu Toyo (1420-1506), a Zen Buddhist monk inspired by Chinese landscape paintings and a master of the style of monochrome ink painting, although he did use color skillfully later in his career.
In Chinese literature, the leading figure is without question the poet Du Fu(AD 712-770). Murray notes that "Du Fu is barely known in the West. He is not only ranked first here but, according to those who are in a position to evaluate such things, was one of the greatest poets ever, anywhere. The problem for Western readers is that the aesthetic nuances and layers of meaning in great Chinese poetry cannot be retained in even the best translations." After him comes his contemporary Li Bai (AD 701-762) followed by yet another poet, Bai Juyi(AD 772-846). The Tang Dynasty was apparently a particularly strong period for Chinese poetry.
The Japanese literature inventory is characterized by a large number of writers who receive substantial attention rather than by a few dominant figures, as was the case with India. Number one is Basho (1644-1694), "by consensus Japan's greatest poet and the master of haiku; Chikamatsu (1653-1725), by consensus Japan's greatest dramatist, writing mostly for the bunraku (puppet theatre); Murasaki Shikibu (c. 978-1014), author of The Tale of Genji, by consensus Japan's greatest work of literature (and the highest ranking woman in any of the inventories); and Saikaku (1642-1693), writer of brilliant erotic tales and famous for his speed-writing of haikai, humorous linked-verse poems that were the source of haiku."
Charles Murray also prepared a separate inventory for Arabic literature, which includes some individuals who wrote in Persian. Al-Tayyib Ahmad ibn Husayn al-Mutanabbi (AD 915-965), born in present-day Iraq and widely hailed as the greatest poet in the Arabic language, tops ahead of Abu Nuwas (ca. AD 750-814). In addition to Arabic, Abu Nuwasknew Persian from his mother and was admired by Persian poets such as Omar Khayyam and Hafez for his style and for writing about wine, sex and subjects that were frowned upon by orthodox Muslims.
The blind Arab poet al-Ma'arri(973-1057) in third place led a more secluded life, although he, too, was a freethinker who questioned many Islamic dogmas. Number four is Imru' al-Qays, a shadowy figure that may have lived in the fifth or early sixth century AD and was the most famous Arabian poet of pre-Islamic times, remembered for his Mu'allaqat collection. Number five is Abu Tammam(ca. AD 800-845), born in Syria to Christian parents. Just making it to the top twenty list is the Moroccan Berber explorer Ibn Battuta(1304-1369). HisRihlah (Travels) describes his extensive travels from West Africa to Southeast Asia.
As the case of Imru' al-Qays demonstrates, even ethnic Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula admit that poetry has pre-Islamic roots in their culture. Arabic has been praised as a language well-suited for poetry, but the predominance of poetry is also because "Islamic literature operated under two theological constraints. Drama was considered to be a representational art and forbidden. Realistic fiction was considered to be a form of lying, and also forbidden."
By universal acclaim, the greatest poet in Indian history was the Classical Sanskrit dramatist Kalidasa. Little is known about him, but he probably lived in the Gupta period, perhaps in the fifth century AD, and may have been a Brahman (priest). Among the works ascribed to him, many of which are informed by Hindu mythology, is the drama Abhijnanasakuntala ("The Recognition of Sakuntala"), which was admired by Goethe and others when it was translated into European languages in the late 1700s, and the lyric Meghaduta ("Cloud Messenger").
There never was anything resembling "theater" in the Islamic world. Neither is this region renowned known for its artistic traditions. Yes, fine Persian rugs can constitute works of art, but such handicraft traditions often have historical roots that predate the Islamic conquests. Regarding calligraphy, Muslims could make some fine works in this category, but we should remember that East Asians - not just the Chinese, but the Japanese, Koreans and Vietnamese, too - often excelled in this art form simultaneously with creating extremely refined works of painting and sculpture as well as exquisite poetry. On the whole, Islam served to severely restrict most possible forms of artistic expression. It would be accurate to state that Islam inhibited artistic creativity more than any other major religious tradition in the world.
In Western art, Michelangelo tops with no close competitor. As art historian Ernst Gombrich, normally a man of measured words, indicates, Michelangelo's ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome is a masterpiece so astonishing and unique that it is hard to understand how a single person could have made it, especially considering that he was a better sculptor than painter:
"It is very difficult for any ordinary mortal to imagine how it could be possible for one human being to achieve what Michelangelo achieved in four years of lonely work on the scaffolding of the papal chapel. The mere physical exertion of painting this huge fresco . . . is fantastic enough. . . . But the physical performance of one man covering this vast space is as nothing compared to the intellectual and artistic achievement. The wealth of ever-new inventions, the unfailing mastery of execution in every detail, and, above all, the grandeur of the visions which Michelangelo revealed to those who came after him, have given mankind a quite new idea of the power of genius."
Those who have been fortunate enough to visit the Vatican and see the great Church of Saint Peter's in Rome cannot fail to be awed by the beautiful paintings and sculptures it contains. The Roman Catholic Church has received a lot of criticism over the years and has sometimes deserved this, but it should also be given credit for its positive contributions. It is unthinkable in Islam that religious leaders in the centers of Mecca or Medina would hire artists like Michelangelo or Raphael to decorate mosques with sculptures and paintings, as Catholic popes did. Muslim militants no doubt want the Sistine Chapel to suffer the same fate as countless un-Islamic works of art such as the destroyed Buddha status of Central Asia. If the ongoing Islamization of Europe continues, a dark day may come when they have their way.
Likewise, music wasn't widely used for religious services; there is no Islamic equivalent to Johann Sebastian Bach, who filled Lutheran churches in Germany with magnificent compositions designed to uplift the faithful. He gave God credit for his achievements, which included The Art of Fugue and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, one of the most played works in the organ repertoire, The Well-Tempered Clavier and the Brandenburg Concertos.
To sum up, we can make the following points:
Advances made during the Middle Ages in the Islamic-ruled world were relatively modest even at the best of times and declined to almost nothing thereafter. Those contributions that did exist were made primarily by non-Arabs, and often by unorthodox Muslims who were harassed for their freethinking ways. Their scholarly contributions were primarily based on ancient Greek or other non-Islamic works and rarely moved much beyond these conceptually. They were made predominantly during the early centuries of Islamic rule, while large non-Muslim communities still existed in these countries, and normally in centers of urban culture that predated Islam by thousands of years. The Arabian Peninsula, the cradle of Islam, has contributed next to nothing of value to human civilization throughout Islamic history. Persians, who retained a few links with their pre-Islamic heritage after the conquests, produced some decent scholars, whereas Turks, who identified almost entirely with Islam after their conversion, produced practically none of any significance. If we combine these various factors, a very clear picture emerges: The rather modest - now often exaggerated - contributions made by certain Middle Eastern scholars during the Middle Ages were generally made in spite of Islam, not because of it. Orthodox Muslims rejected the Greek heritage.
On the other hand, while some minor advances were made in spite of Islam, tremendous damage was done to pre-existing non-Muslim cultures from India, Central and Southeast Asia to Europe that was directly caused or inspired by core Islamic religious teachings and texts.
A researcher from Denmark, Tina Magaard, spent years analyzing the original texts of different religions, from Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism to Sikhism. On the basis of a straight-forward reading of them she concluded that the Islamic texts are by far the most warlike among the major world religions. They encourage terror to a greater degree than the original texts of other faiths. "The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with," says Magaard. There are many dozens of verses in the Koran explicitly calling for fighting and armed struggle against people of other faiths. "If it is correct that many Muslims view the Koran as the literal words of God, which cannot be interpreted or rephrased, then we have a problem. It is indisputable that the texts encourage terror and violence. Consequently, it must be reasonable to ask Muslims themselves how they relate to the text, if they read it as it is."
At the end of the day it is hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of positive cultural, scholarly or artistic contributions, if any, Islam by itself has brought to mankind. The ancient Greeks borrowed the alphabet from the Phoenicians, medical and artistic ideas from the Egyptians and finally mathematics and planetary astronomy from the Mesopotamians; this was one of the most significant external impulses to the Western scientific tradition throughout its history, more fundamental than anything that came out of the Islamic-ruled Middle East.
Generally speaking, in ancient times it was an advantage for Greeks to be close to the Middle East, which partly explains why they were among the first Europeans to create an urban, literate culture. During the Middle Ages, the Middle East gradually went from being a global center of civilization, which it had been for thousands of years, into the global center of anti-civilization it is today. Suddenly, being close to the Middle East was a serious disadvantage. This massive transformation took place after the Islamic conquest, which is hardly coincidental.