Arab Cultural Influence

جامعة الدول العربية
Jāmaʻat ad-Duwwal al-ʻArabiyya Arab League Flag


While the Western world tends to downplay Arabic contributions to culture, most historians realize that it was the Arab world that essentially preserved and expanded science during the Middle Ages.  Here are three short reports:

While Europe languished in the Dark Ages, Arab scholars were pioneering developments in algebra and the study of modern astronomy” Nature magazine, March 14, 2002

“While the rest of Europe was in the midnight of the Dark Ages, the Moorish universities of Spain were the beacon of the revival of learning. The Christian teacher was still manipulating the bones of the saints when the Arab physician was practising surgery. The monachal schools and monasteries in Italy, France, and Germany were still grappling with poor scholastic knowledge when Arab scholars were well advanced in the study of Aristotle and Plato. Stimulated by their acquaintance with the works of Ptolemy and Euclid, Galenus and Hippocrates, they extended their researches into the dominions of astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.”  page 7, History of Egypt from 330 B.C. to the Present Time by Angelo Solomon Rappoport, Published by Grolier Society, 1904

“Schools and universities flourished in Moslem lands when Christian Europe was still in the “Dark Ages.”” page 383, Early European History by Hutton Webster, Published by D.C. Heath & Co., 1917

This week, the Arab world seemed to be the only voice of nations who would oppose a statement on the worldwide legalization and essential condoning of homosexuality as a right:

U.N. divided over gay rights declaration
Reuters – Dec 18, 2008

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. General Assembly split over the issue of gay rights on Thursday after a European-drafted statement calling for decriminalization of homosexuality prompted an Arab-backed one opposing it.

Diplomats said a joint statement initiated by France and the Netherlands gathered 66 signatures in the 192-nation assembly after it was read out by Argentina at a plenary session. A rival statement, read out by Syria, gathered some 60.

The two statements remained open for further signatures, the diplomats said. No resolution was drafted on the issue and there was no voting, they added.

The division in the General Assembly reflected conflicting laws in the world at large. According to sponsors of the Franco-Dutch text, homosexuality is illegal in 77 countries, seven of which punish it by death.

The European Union-backed document, noting that the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was marked this month, said those rights applied equally to all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

It urged states “to take all the necessary measures, in particular legislative or administrative, to ensure that sexual orientation or gender identity may under no circumstances be the basis for criminal penalties, in particular executions, arrests or detention.”

But the opposing document said the statement “delves into matters which fall essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of states” and could lead to “the social normalization, and possibly the legitimization, of many deplorable acts including pedophilia.”

“We note with concern the attempts to create ‘new rights’ or ‘new standards,’ by misinterpreting the Universal Declaration and international treaties to include such notions that were never articulated nor agreed by the general membership,” it added.

This, it said, could “seriously jeopardize the entire international human rights framework.”

Muslim countries have for years opposed international attempts to legalize homosexuality.

U.S. officials said the United States had not signed either document. They said the broad framing of the language in the statement supporting decriminalization created conflicts with U.S. law, but gave no further details…

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told reporters sponsors of the statement had “cornered” other members by springing the declaration on them.

It was astounding to see on the news last night (CNN) how many view homosexual marriage as a civil right and who consider that allowing a Protestant who opposes such “marriages” to give a prayer at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration as a massive betrayal–times have certainly changed in the USA.

And while there are many problems (moral, political, religious, social, and economic) in the Arab lands, it is nice to see that as a group, there are some sound doctrines that they are not backing away from in order to simply please those who seem to be set on the moral decline of the world.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

CT: What God Has Not Joined What does the Bible say about marriage?  Is it supposed to be between a man and a woman?
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?
The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?
Prophecies of Barack Obama? Are there biblical and non-biblical prophecies about Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist?  Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shi’ite prophecy suggests.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”, based up an early 20th century writing.
Barack Obama in Islamic Prophecy? There is actually a 17th century Shi’ite prophecy that some believe that Barack Obama will fulfill that will lead to a rising up of Islam.

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