Islamic Science

In The Hindu on February 01, 2008, Jim Al-Khalili published an article titled "Appreciating Arabic science that predates Newton". Jim Al-Khalili is a professor of physics at the University of Surrey. In response I wrote Letter to the Editor in The Hindu on February 07, 2008 (mine is the second one in this link). Below you can read the originally submitted version. Also, this article triggered a further Letter to the Editor a week later, which I include here as well to accurately reflect the responses to that article.

As a fellow physicist I must say that historically interested people are well aware of the large contributions of medieval Islamic scholars on European thought. For even the teachings of Aristotle and Ptolemy would not have reached Europe in the Middle Ages, had it not been for Islamic scholars who preserved their writings. Indeed, the Islamic world can rightfully take pride in this time of flourishing scientific thought that dates back about a thousand years.

But if the Islamic world goes no further than taking pride in this heritage, then it cannot expect the West to see it through new eyes. This it can only achieve by again allowing scientific and critical thought to flourish on its soil. And right now too many parts of the Islamic world do not allow this to happen.