Monday, May 9, 2011


Daily News Online Thursday, 28 April 2011

Think on these things Dear President Sarkozy

Europe is literally the creation of the Third World’ Frantz Fanon - Wretched of the Earth

Your decision to explore Islam and Muslims’ contribution to France is, for once, the right decision you have made though your motive, in your xenophobic madness is to denigrate Islam and demonise Muslims.
But after the announcement you seem to have become a tad too quiet on the subject. Probably some guy would have whispered in your ear that the whole thing can boomerang on you.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy
But let’s keep the investigation going. For starters, you might ask yourself where you got your short hairstyle. And when you ask around you might get to know today’s ‘men’s hairdo’ came from Muslims who came over from Baghdad to Europe to find cures to diseases that afflicted Europe. If you are stacking US dollars somewhere like your friend ‘brother leader’ in Libya you might notice the gentleman in the note has long hair. That was the hairstyle for men then. And when you take a wash just try to figure out where the soap you use came from. Soap was one of the many things Europeans brought from the Arabs during the Crusades. And while Christian Knights were butchering ‘infidels’ (Muslims) in Jerusalem enlightened Christians were sitting at the feet of Muslim scholars in Spain.

French Constitution

And if you take a stroll down a street in Paris and you see a cathedral you might wonder where the elegant exotic architecture came from. The answer - Muslims.

It is believed that Napoleon was keen on introducing Islamic law in his empire and some aspects of the Shari’ah do currently exist in the French Constitution under the ‘Code Napoleone’, which is taken from the ‘Shari’ah Law of Imam Malik’. You may find a detailed account of this in the book ‘Bonaparte et Islam’ by Christian Cherfils.

Let’s move over to other things. Take, for example, numerals that we use in our day-to-day life. Where did they come from? The Muslim Arabs, of course. Even you will know that. If it were not for the convenience these figures provide you might be counting on your fingers and if we were to take Saif Al Islam’s word you might have to use your toes to count the ‘donation’ his dad gave you for your election campaign.
In the field of medicine the name of Avicenna figures prominently in European literature. His ‘The Canon of Medicine’ was used as a standard text at Montpellier in France and Louvain in Belgium as late as 1650 CE. Avicenna’s actual name was Abd Allah Ibn Sina and he was a Muslim, Mr. President. But you Europeans latinised his name so as to give the impression ‘he was one of ours’ and not an ‘infidel’.

European Renaissance

Then there was Averroes who was a pre-eminent European philosopher. For all intents he was a ‘European’ born as he was Cordova in Spain when that country was under Muslim rule, though he died in Morocco. He was a master of Aristotelian philosophy among many other disciplines. He was a Muslim and his name was Ibn Rushd.

Once again you Europeans latinised his name so as to disguise his faith. So in a sense we cannot find fault with you for not knowing the contributions of Islam and Muslims to the development of Europe in general and France in particular because the facts are covered from you by your historians. The European Renaissance is a direct result of Muslim scholarship.

There is much the Arabs and Muslims of other regions have done for Europe in the disciplines of Mathematics, Medicine, Astronomy, etc. but it will take too much of space.
But let me state one object that you politicians cannot do without. And that is the ubiquitous camera. Ever wonder where it came from, sir? Credit for the modern camera is due to Alhazen. His contribution to optics led to the modern camera.

The word camera, though of Latin/Greek origin is used to this day to describe a room in Arabic and with slight variation in other Asian languages like, Urdu, Sinhala or Tamil. Alhazen made a small hole in a dark ‘qamara’ and realised that, contrary to popular belief at that time, light came into the eyes and not vice versa.

Thus the word camera is derived from the word ‘qamara’ and Alhazen, Mr. President, was not a European but an Arab Muslim from Basra, Iraq. His real name, sir? Ibn-alHaitham.

And when you sit on a sofa you might wonder where it came from. May I suggest that when next you ask for coffee you ask your handlers where the brew came from?

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