Remember my friend Ahmad? We have another gathering last Thursday in Starbucks in Balm Beach Hotel. What was interesting in that meeting is the first thing i saw laying on the table. It was a book titled “What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East By Bernard Lewis”
As Ahmed went to order drinks from the counter i started flipping through the book pages. It seemed interesting, my eyes came upon a letter that was sent from an ambassador in the Ottoman empire to his king describing the Athan and Islamic traditions with other facts that seemed wears to the western world in 1558.
Ahmad came back with the orders and smiled as he saw me smiling at what i read. According to Ahmad this book is not allowed in Kuwait and you have to buy it from outside Kuwait. The book summarize why the great Islamic Nation failed back and couldn’t cope and follow the steps of the west. and to conclude it to, It’s because they didn’t use modern technology.
From here a discussion started about how great was the Ottman empire back then and what happened back then and what is happening now and what is expected to happen in the future. Reasons and effects were also mentioned. What was the role of the west in destructing the Ottman Empire as it was big threat to Europe. How the Ottman Empire was so busy at late stages with internal problems and it was falling hard and not coping with the rest of the world because of mentality of the people back then that thought every thing new is Haram.
Here i remind P.Mumtaz students when he was explained how printing was Haram at first in the Islamic world, among other Haram’s that were only new technologies.
Bernard Lewis is the West’s greatest historian and interpreter of the Near East. Books such as The Middle East and The Arabs in History are required reading for anybody who hopes to understand the region and its people. Now Lewis offers What Went Wrong?, a concise and timely survey of how Islamic civilization fell from worldwide leadership in almost every frontier of human knowledge five or six centuries ago to a “poor, weak, and ignorant” backwater that is today dominated by “shabby tyrannies … modern only in their apparatus of repression and terror.” He offers no easy answers, but does provide an engaging chronicle of the Arab encounter with Europe in all its military, economic, and cultural dimensions. The most dramatic reversal, he says, may have occurred in the sciences: “Those who had been disciples now became teachers; those who had been masters became pupils, often reluctant and resentful pupils.” Today’s Arab governments have blamed their plight on any number of external culprits, from Western imperialism to the Jews. Lewis believes they must instead commit to putting their own houses in order: “If the peoples of Middle East continue on their present path, the suicide bomber may become a metaphor for the whole region, and there will be no escape from a downward spiral of hate and spite, rage and self-pity, [and] poverty and oppression.” Anybody who wants to understand the historical backdrop to September 11 would do well to look for it on these pages. –John Miller –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.