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Return to Religion and Radical Islam.

All Quiet on the Eastern Front? Bangladeshi Reactions. Tower Hamlets Insulation in Isolation. Flying the Flag for England? Citizenship Religion. Pakistanis in Northern Ireland in the Aftermath of September An Afterword on the Situation of British Muslims. It is important to ask how it all started — how Islam and the West came into contact with each other and how the tensions and ambiguities that exist today originated.

For Muslims throughout the world, the life of Prophet Mohammed, who died in , symbolises the origins of Islam. For thirty years after the death of the prophet, the Caliphs spread Islam to the four corners of the world. The speed of this advance was breathtaking. After Ali, Mauwiyah governor of Syria for the previous twenty years took the Caliphate.

Problems with Muslim Communities in Britain

He was the originator of the Umayyed dynasty, and was succeeded by his son, Yazid. Secessionists gathered around Ali's son, Hussain, and rebelled against Yazid. Hussain, his entire family and a small group of loyal followers were tragically slaughtered by Yazid's army in The Umayyed dynasty established Muslim power through conquest and industry. It was five centuries of the Abbasids, succeeding the Umayyeds from onwards, that provided the Golden Age of Islam. Muslims mass-produced books after learning the art of paper making from the Chinese.

This fuelled the generation of knowledge and the dissemination of ideas. Muslims translated all they could find into Arabic — this included what were considered lost Greek texts — the works of Aristotle are known to the Western world because of Muslim endeavour. As a result of these translations, Islamic, and through it much of Greek thought became known to the West, and Western schools of learning began to flourish.

The oldest university in the world, still functioning today after eleven hundred years, is the Islamic University of Fez, Morocco, known as the Qarawiyyin although Alizhar University in Cairo, slightly younger, is a much more robust survivor. The Islamic educational system was emulated in Europe, and to this day a university 'chair' reflects the lineage of the Arabic kursi literally seat upon which a teacher would sit to teach his students in the madrassa school of higher learning.


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Advances in astronomy, mathematics, chemistry, zoology, psychology, botany and veterinary science, to name but a few, were originated by the Muslims. Five hundred years before Galileo discovered the rotation of the earth around its axis, Al-Baruni measured the circumference of the globe. He identified a universal force directed to the centre of the earth.

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Newton's apple allegedly fell on his head years later. Muslims developed hospitals too; there were 60 in Baghdad at one time. These were remarkably advanced and, again, laid the foundations for modern-day practice. They contained pharmacies, libraries, lecture theatres for medical students, separate wards for men and women and out-patient facilities.


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Muslims excelled in surgery, medicine, optics and the human blood system. They travelled extensively; indeed, to every part of the known world. They developed charts and maps, even a postal system. Town planning and natural and wildlife reserves were formalised.

What remains of the architecture of the time speaks for itself Sardar and Malik As European civilisation grew and reached the high Middle Ages, there was hardly a field of learning or form of art, whether it was literature or architecture, where there was not some influence of Islam. Islamic learning became in this way part and parcel of Western civilisation.

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With the advent of the Renaissance, the West not only turned against its own medieval past but also sought to forget the long relation it had had with the Islamic world, one which was based on intellectual respect despite religious opposition. A defining event for the changing relation between Islam and the Western world was the series of Crusades declared by the Pope and supported by various European kings.

The purpose, although political, was outwardly to recapture the 'holy land' and especially Jerusalem for Christianity. Although at the beginning there was some success and local European rule was set up in parts of Syria and Palestine, Muslims finally gained the upper hand and in Saladin, the celebrated Muslim leader, recaptured Jerusalem and defeated the Crusaders. The eighth and last of the great Crusades was in , headed by St. There were no further attempts to recapture the holy lands after All Quiet on the Eastern Front?

Bangladeshi Reactions in Tower. Tower Hamlets Insulation in Isolation. Flying the Flag for England?

Muslim Britain :communities under pressure /edited by Tahir Abbas. – National Library

Citizenship Religion and Cultural. Pakistanis in Northern Ireland in the Aftermath of September British Muslims and the State. Reading between the Lines Muslims and the Media.

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