Monday, September 16, 2013
The Myth of the "Golden Age" of Islam
Back in the early part of this year, I had a discussion in the comments section of an essay on my blog here with an anti-Islam analyst (a "civilian" like me, but that shouldn't be relevant to my point) who was defending another anti-Islam analyst (not a "civilian" but somehow more "legit"), Robert Reilly. I've had my suspicions of Reilly's thesis of the diremption of medieval Islam, implying that Islam was relatively hunky-dory before it took some inexplicable turn at some point in the Middle Ages toward "extremism" (as though it wasn't extremist from the moment Muhammad began his mischief).
It turns out my suspicions were correct; and the civilian analyst who defended Reilly should have known better, but I suspect his asymptotic tendencies lead him to need to believe that Islam is not through and through starkly totally utterly, monolithically evil and dangerous.
Two fairly recent articles by Andrew Bostom definitively demolish Robert Reilly's thesis about the "Mutazilites". Read them and weep -- and wise up:
Mutazilite Fantasies: Dross in Islam's "Golden Age of Reason"
Robert Reilly's Dilettantism and Played-Out Impressionism