LETTER TO FINANCIAL TIMES
Professor Coury asks us to believe that Arab Islam is open to outside influences because they once were so. ("Arab Islam has embraced outside influences". Letters 4 February).
He quotes the Arab Muslim philosopher al-Kindi to support his assertion.
The good professor must know but chooses not to tell us, that the environment allowing tolerant views such as those of al-Kindi did not last long after al-Kindi's death in 873.
In the 12th century al-Gazhali and his acolytes routed cosmopolitans like al-Kindi.
Since then it's been the "closing of the Muslim mind".
Only Allah has power. Hence cause and effect are denied. Hence rational science is denied. Hence progress is denied.
I expect that professor Coury will cry "what about the Crusades", next time we decry today's Islamic inspired terrorism.
That makes about as much sense as quoting medieval scholars who embraced "outside influences". In both cases this is the response: that was 1200 years ago, dude.