Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"The Closing Of The Muslim Mind": A Book Review

REILLY, Robert R.
The Closing Of The Muslim Mind; How Intellectual Suicide
Created the Modern Islamist Crisis
ISI Books; Wilmington, DE, USA; 2010
ISBN 1-933859-91-1

I must confess that I lacked that sound knowledge of philosophy/theology to fully understand the fullness of the first chapters in this notable book. However, my avocational interest in history allowed me to plow through to the "practical" chapters and content. Although I have provided you with some other reviews far below, my own comments follow here.

1. There was an Islamic "golden age" when many Muslims took the best that other cultures, in their world, to develop Islamic thought. The author noted that the influence of "Athens" (ie Logic and critical thinking) allowed some Muslims to look to "cause and effect", one of the bases of the scientific method, and to use logic in an effort to understand anything, including the nature of God/Allah. Much of what had been lost in the West of "Athens" (And other intellectual treasures in lands conquered by Islam) was saved and sent back to the West. During this time much of what some of today's Muslims present (Perhaps as "disinformation") to non-Muslims as evidence of the flexibility and openness of Muslims.
2. During that era some Muslims used the above methods to develop critical-and-scientific thinking and began the development of physical science in the Muslim world.
3. To the detriment of the Islamic world, Muslims and all others in this world The persons controlling policy and teachings in Islam attacked the intellectual methods noted above and condemned all such thinking as shirk (ie Heresy) and harram (Forbidden), to the extent that the possibility of the death-penalty was a possible-probable fate for any Muslims who wished to use the noted and rational approaches to knowledge and thinking.The focus became blind obedience (Of course as guided by the legalistic "thinkers" of the newer and retrograde Islam), It was maintained that nothing could occur without the direct intervention of Allah, even to the extent that Hydrogen and Oxygen could not become water without His allowing such. This newer Islam eliminated any NATURAL LAW, in the physical or moral worlds.
4. I do note that Mr. Reilly did declare that the above came out of the Sunni branch of Islam; But, also noted that today's use of the Internet and the influence of the extremist Islam supported by the oil-rich Saudis has been spreading this view to other Islamic communities/sects.
5, This blind obedience and lack of moral Natural Law has led to a wide-spread:Lack of consideration of any "unbelievers" or outsiders as real human beings; And, a willingness to put into active effect those Koran-based teachings which allow or encourage, and often command, the use of murder, rape and enslavement, genocide, and the other horrors presented by Mohammed as the actual and unalterable (Since Mohammed's death) words of Allah. There is also an expressed preference for the "use of the sword" to "spread the word".
6. Some years ago I forced myself to read Hitler's Mein Kampf. After reading the Koran I found too many parallels (Hatred of Jews, Anti-Intellectualism, desire to destroy all other ideologies/religions, a glorification of violence, Etc.) to be willing to accept either as a guideline for human-humane behaviors and society.

My hope is that all teachers whose classes touch on Islam, all non-Muslim religious leaders, all elected and policy setting appointed officials, editors-and-publishers, TV "talking heads", senior military and diplomatic staff and all other "thought leaders" become aware of Mr.Reilly's work and thoughts AND integrate them into their policies, teachings, commentary, editorials, sermons, etc.. As to Christian leaders who become aware of this book, failure to read, understand and apply its lessons could well be considered a sin against that religion or treason against its daughter, Western Civilization (Or, such of it as is left to us). The same treason could be assigned to the other noted persons who do the same as well as "misconduct in office" or very unprofessional conduct.

Of course, it would be best if the like Muslim officials, teachers, etc. took this book's lessons to heart and returned Islam to a rational and golden age.

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