Iran Bans Teenage Girl Chess Player From Competition For Not Covering Hair . . . Then Bans Her Brother For Playing Chess With An Israeli

Football_Federation_Islamic_Republic_of_IranIran is again showing the world the face of religious extremism.  Previously, we discussed how chess officials were under fire for cooperating in the championship in Iran, which imposes dress codes and religious restrictions on visitors (particularly women).  Now Iran has barred Dorsa Derakhshani, 18, from competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2017, because she appeared without an  Islamic head scarf.  Her brother, Borna Derakhshani, 15, was the banned for playing against an Israeli opponent.  This follows a horrific account of a girl beaten by religious police for simply wearing jeans with holes in them.  The brother and sister were also barred from the national team for their transgressions.

The Iranian National Chess Team the siblings this week  with an announcement from  the head of the Iranian Chess Federation, Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh.  The question is whether the international chess bodies will ignore such abuses of players.

Pahlevanzadeh denounced the sibling as harming Iran by their actions. Ominously, Pahlevanzadeh promised that “We’re considering measures that will prevent similar incidents from taking place in future tournaments.” Notably, while Borna lives in Iran, Dorse lives in Spain.

In the meantime, the religious police were also busy on the streets this week.  A fourteen-year-old girl and her friends has reported that she was snatched off the street by the morality police for  wearing ripped jeans.   She was out celebrating her birthday at the time.  They were forced into a van where male officers pulled their hair and female officers attacked them.  After the beatings, the girls were set free after written pledges saying they would not wear the ripped trousers again to follow Iranian religious dress code.

Another victory for religious orthodoxy in countries like Iran.

55 thoughts on “Iran Bans Teenage Girl Chess Player From Competition For Not Covering Hair . . . Then Bans Her Brother For Playing Chess With An Israeli”

  1. “Notably, while Borna lives in Iran, Dorse lives in Spain.”

    She should just play for the Spanish team. When it’s not playing in a tournament in Iran.

  2. Alotta foolish and ignorant comments on this thread.

    Typical of Turley’s commenters.

    1. Joe, I see you are working overtime trying to demonstrate that Muslims are not inherently anti-Jewish, and you post this news item that “Muslims unite to repair Jewish Cemetery,” as though to support your argument. But nobody is saying that the Muslims aren’t clever in their anti-Jewish activities or that Muslims don’t know how to market themselves as “good” people. In fact, I would be the last person to say that and would, in fact, argue that Muslims are exceptional at marketing and deception.

      There’s a great line from Macbeth that explains the strategy that the Muslims are using in the Jewish cemetery repair deception:

      “And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
      The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
      Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s
      In deepest consequence.”
      –Macbeth, Act I, Scene 3, Banquo speaking.

      If you don’t understand this line, read it several times. It is magnificently conceived and well worth fully understanding and appreciating.

      To understand the deception which you post, you must first know who was orchestrating the “campaign.” The key person was Linda Sarsour. executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.

      Next, you will need to know some facts about Sarsour. She refused to stand with the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack — and even condemned them as bigots and racists (she claimed that they vilified Islam by publishing cartoons). And she heatedly rejected any cooperation or dialogue with anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim alike, who supports Israel’s existence. Sarsour has excused Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women, and her family ties to Hamas. While constantly attacking Israel claiming that Israel commits human rightrs abuses (because Israel is a Jewish State), Sarsour has no problem with Saudi human rights abuses, including against Raif Badawi, an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience sentenced to 10-years in prison and 1,000 lashes. His crime? “Insulting Islam through electronic channels” by creating a website called ‘Free Saudi Liberals’ and writing critically about religion and Saudi institutions.

      Finally, even the relatively small sum of money raised, about $30,000, did not necessarily come from Muslims, and probably didn’t. For example, leftist billionaire J.K. Rowling fgave a plug for the fundraising effort because she more than most understands the power of deception and the need for deception when promoting the leftist agenda. https://twitter.com/lsarsour?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

      So, to sum up, anti-Jewish, anti-Israel leftist Muslim Linda Sarsour and company developed a great PR campaign funded by wealthy leftists promoting the leftist anti-Jewish, anti-Israel agenda. That’s the “honest triffle” in the Shakespeare quotation. But the real campaign; the real agenda–to destroy the Jewish homeland, to eliminate the Jews remains the same, and to ultimately destroy America and all that it stands for. For there is no question that these “instruments of darkness” are out to “betray [u]s in deepest consequence.”

    1. Nonsense, only Jewish communities need to be on alert. The attacks on Jewish communities dwarf the miniscule attacks on Muslims. The Muslims and their fellow leftists are largely responsible for the attacks on Jews.

      1. And I would not be surprised if 99% of the miniscule attacks on Muslims are really false flags (i.e., executed by Muslims themselves) to fool the leftist dummies into believing the false narrative that Muslims are being oppressed in the US.

    1. That is a false “togetherness.” The “Jews” together with the Muslims do not hold Jewish values and are, in truth, leftists, promoting the typical leftist agenda, the objective of which is the subjugation of all people to the leftist agenda. The leftist agenda is inherently anti-Israel and anti-America, and real Jews could never thrive in such an environment as envisioned by the leftists.

      That’s why, as GingerBaker points out, “there is not a peep about boycotting the [Iranian] tournament because of its official anti semitic position.”

      And to honor his valid point, I offer the following:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrN6zwL2lfs

      PS: Although Ginger notes that he didn’t practice (same as Buddy Rich), that was only because he played so much on the road that he didn’t need to (also like Rich).

    2. Surah 3:28

      “Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah , except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the [final] destination.”

      Surah 3:110

      “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah . If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.”

      Surah 98:6

      “Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures.”

      In the US nearly all of what are presented as “mainstream” Muslim groups are in fact simply fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood. Since the government conclusively proved during the Holy Land Foundation trial (and others) that the Muslim Brotherhood operates these front groups in both the US and Canada (North American Islamic Trust, Muslim Student’s Association, Islamic Society of North America, etc.) the situation is much the same in Canada. You always must be suspicious of their motives. Because we know what their motives are. Some of these motives are discussed in their published works, and others are discussed in documents that they never intended to be made public, but have been due to evidence presented at terror trials such as the “Explanatory Memorandum for the Strategic Goals of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.” These “interfaith” activities are always done for ulterior motives. First, it gives the MB front groups political cover and legitimacy. Second, it gives them leverage over those other groups (the Explanatory Memorandum makes it very clear that churches and Jewish groups were prime targets from the start, because if they can silence criticism from those quarters their stealth jihad can proceed without much interference; see the Pope who must know better when he talks about the tenets of Islam but his precious “interfaith dialogue” is so important to him he’ll gladly sacrifice Christian lives in the Muslim world to keep it going even though it has never done any good for anyone). Third, they do it for purposes of Dawa, or proselytizing to non-Muslims. Sayyid Qutb, who laid the intellectual foundation for the brotherhood and consequently is the godfather of the philosophy of all Sunni jihadist groups, said in his book “Milestones” that the chasm between the believers and non-believers (including Christians and Jews) is so vast that no bridge can span it. As the Quran puts it, it’s the difference between the best people ever raised up among mankind and the worst of created beings. In fact, he said, there is only one reason to even reach out to non-believers. To bring them to Islam.

  3. Well, this underlines the concerns when people immigrate from regions like this were this type of behavior is normal, as well as the rampant anti-Semitism. It’s never made any sense why the hard Left shows no concern about the possibility of importing anti-Semitism. Although, the hard Left is increasingly becoming anti-Semitic itself, so perhaps this is not a concern.

    Western chess players have absolutely no business participating, or cooperating with, chess tournaments that take place in any country that is unsafe for its players of any gender, religion, or ethnicity. They put their players in danger. I suppose the argument can be made that it is sad that the players in the birthplace of chess get left out if we won’t play in the ME, but nothing is worth the safety of our players. I wouldn’t send them into a country with an outbreak of plague, either.

    There is this hyper fixation in the Middle East on forcing females to be perfect – what are they wearing, where are they going, what are they saying, are they obeying men, and how do their actions reflect upon the family? Their intense obsession on controlling females is neurotic. That, and anti-semitism, move the countries with the implacability of a glacier. And those who’ve bought into that don’t leave it behind when they come here. And they teach their kids to hate Jews just like any Neo Nazi parents do.

  4. Clearly, the leaders of Iran feel threatened and are deeply frightened of anyone or anything that may make them recognize that they are inferior subhumans. As a result, they must constantly monitor, oppress, punish, and (if feasible) kill anyone who will expose this ineluctable truth.

    It takes some character to admit to one’s limitations, and Iranian leaders have zero character, consistent with nearly all inferior subhumans.

    Even Bill Gates, with his colossal and fragile ego, at least has sufficient character to be willing to admit some of his limitations. Here, Gates attempts to match wits with Magnus Carlsen, who is amused by Gates and makes quick work of him:

  5. These attacks in Iran are nothing to be concerned about. There was a rally in New York this weekend supporting the rights and civil liberties of the Muslim female chess player and her brother. The entire leftist community stands behind them in total solidarity! Through their magnificent, heroic, and courageous efforts and their commitment to peace and prosperity for all through social justice, we can at last look forward to a brave new world with comfort and total acceptance.

    1. Sad how there is not a peep about boycotting the tournament because of its official anti semitic position. Imagine if Israel banned players for having matches with Muslims, or any player from an Islamic country.

      Amazed at the restraint by Israel to have not turned the Iranian nuclear fuel purification facilities into molten glass.

  6. Let more Iranians obtain visas and green cards to attend school and work in the US. It can only help in the long run.

  7. Iran has the largest population of Jews in the Middle East aside from Turkey – whatever the hell THAT country is. The Mullahs do NOT reflect the attitudes of the people, much like the Nastyyahoo does NOT reflect how ordinary Israel citizens think as the government extends border into Palestine.

    Persions have an entirely different culture than the nomadic brethren (sistren?) they share space with in the ME

    1. There are about 10,000 Jews in Iran per the Jewish Virtual Library, or 1/8th the number there were in 1977. Hungary, which had during the inter-war period a mean-assed anti-semitic political culture (of which remnants survive), has 48,000 Jews resident.

    2. Well, although you are right that Persians view the Saudis as backwoods hicks, and despise female genital mutilation, anti-Semitism is actually quite common. They start their school day, beginning in elementary school, chanting “death to America! Death to Israel!” (That’s also why the crowds extemporaneously broke out into that chant when Khomeini gave a speech in which he pointed out that America rejects their way of life. And he answered, “Yes, of course, death to America!” That was after the Iran Nuclear Deal of which Obama is so inexplicably proud and which had all its teeth pulled when Iran renegotiated. You will recall that we have ignored their repeated ballistic missile tests, in defiance of the deal, with the words “Death to Israel” scrawled in Hebrew on the missiles. We gave a terrorist nation access to millions of dollars, and we might as well built their centrifuges for them.

      Anyway, anti-Semitism was rather common among the Persians that I have known. The most violently anti-Semitic man I ever met was a Persian who illegally immigrated here by flying out of Turkey to Mexico, and making the arduous trek across the Mexican border. He told me he’d been later caught but became legalized because his Persian wife had citizenship. Anti-Semitic jokes were rather common at parties. You wouldn’t know if from many of them, because they didn’t just blurt that stuff out. But when you got to know the families and hung out with them at home, it was pretty shocking what would pop out. And I recall that one man was absolutely convinced that the Jews knew about 9/11 and stayed home without warning anyone else, and he complained that Jews only like to give their money to other Jews and shop only at Jewish restaurants. I gave him a list of 9/11 victims with plenty of Jews on it, told him to watch for SOD necklaces next time he was at the grocery store, and pointed out that his Turkish tea set, tea, rose water candies, and other food stuffs came from the local Middle Eastern store. But there was not getting through to him. He’d been thoroughly brainwashed since birth.

      I will say that the younger generation is more enamored of the West than the religious authority wants them to be. They like our clothes, makeup, shoes, hair styles, music, alcohol, etc. They are more prone to like America than to like Israel. But the extremists are always more organized and more in control.

  8. This is Iran, after all. How are these relatively tame occurrences–given what we know transpires daily in this particular country–even a story? The MSM remains mostly mute as to the atrocities occurring in this forbidding place, yet that doesn’t change the reality of the inhumane brutality and barbarism prevalent in this God-forsaken land. Are we supposed to clutch our pearls and act surprised or alarmed at this article? When are we going to get it–these throwbacks don’t possess the same values and belief system as those shared by the rest of the civilized world. Please, no lectures about the great and mighty history of ancient Persia. Let’s stop the farce of pretending to be a bunch of Pollyannas, aghast at the notion that some girl was roughed up, in a van, and then released, for the grievous sin of having torn jeans. I’d say that she fared quite well, by Iranian standards, as she could’ve easily have been imprisoned, raped and flogged for such a transgression. These mullahs don’t play–they are barbarians, yet we consistently react with surprise at their behavior. Time to stop feigning surprise. I’m only surprised when these savages behave with any degree or modicum of decency and normalcy. If anyone had a clue as to what actually transpires in this hell hole of a country, under the rule of the mullahs, he would grasp that far more brutal and barbaric episodes are the norm. What happened to this girl was akin to a fraternity prank given what could’ve been her fate. Get with the program. Being appalled by this non-issue makes light of the true atrocities that fly under the radar.

    As far as a ban against playing against Israeli opponents in a chess game, I suspect that the mullahs fear that a defeat, suffered by one of their countrymen, at the hands of someone Jewish, would be incomprehensible. We tend to believe that the chants of DEATH TO AMERICA and DEATH TO ISRAEL are mere slogans, with no need to take such utterances literally. Time to start listening to what these primitive beings say, not what we want them to say.

  9. I wonder what the “religious” police would do with Madona, Judd and those woman wearing those stupid pink hats?

    1. They’d likely not have to do anything with them. Those women are accustomed to a world where being an ass is a career move. If they had to play for keeps, they wouldn’t. Playing for keeps is for women who have principles.

  10. Another victory for religious orthodoxy in countries like Iran.

    I don’t think ‘religious orthodoxy’ prevents playing board games with Jews. That particular stricture is a witless display of political animus.

  11. I’d suggest you expend your capacity for worry on Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons, it’s revanchist politics in the international sphere, and its genocidal ambitions vis a vis Israel. If you don’t like how indecent exposure in Iran is defined by law, stay home and tell your wife and daughter not to visit the place.

  12. When they say that some person or some thing is between Iraq and a hard place. What do they mean by “hard place”? And when one hears the word Iran there is some interpretation that some guy said: “I ran”. If I was in Iran or between Iraq and a hard place then I would run. Not for office. No I would run to some sea side, steal a boat and head out for Greece. Then make my way to Britain before they Brexit and close their border. Or, go to Mexico and walk across the border there to Texas. When they try to throw me out I will say: “All my ex’s live in Texas.” A man who gets divorces should have a right of return. And if Texas won’t take me I will ask Washington State to take me in. They are dumber than Iran. And right now the State of Washington is between Canada and a harder place.

    1. The responsible parties will never be named and shamed. It always seems to work that way.

  13. Very sad — those power hungry Mullahs attacking the youth. But still Iranians are holding their own and still producing great movies and other works of art. They are harking back to their DNA roots – Persians are NOT Islamists.

    1. Perhaps the young individuals, who made a video, singing and dancing to the song HAPPY, who were imprisoned in Iran for doing so, will take great solace and comfort in your allegation that the movie and film business are bustling in that country. Someone should have mentioned that to them, to console them, as they sat in a dank and dark Iranian prison for singing and dancing to the song HAPPY.

      1. BB – I am saying despite the crackdown there are Iranians who are defying the regime by producing art. Too bad the US and the effin’ Brits decided to take out Mossadegh to install the Shah. It would have been a wholly (holy??) different world for Iranians. I respect their culture and the fact they have survived surrounded by the bloody Sunnis.

        1. Those who manage to produce or distribute art or film are not defying the regime. To the contrary, they are simply learning to work and survive within the rigid confines of such a repressive system and submitting what passes the stringent rules of the authorities. That’s a far cry from your false assertion that anyone is bucking up against the system. Not happening, unless, of course, the person doing so has some unresolved death wish. As I described before, even the most innocent of videos, such as the one in which Iranians are singing and moving to the song, HAPPY, resulted in the participants being jailed. You are, for whatever reason, attempting to paint a picture of Iranian society which doesn’t exist.

          1. Many artists have been jailed (and/or are in jail) knowing full that was a possibility and others are forbidden to create any more works. Yet they still continue to produce films, videos, modern clothing for women, download US and European music and movies, etc. I have not see any other ME country produce as many incredible works. Can’t think of any films or music from SA, Qatar, UAE, etc.

            So yes,I think some Iranians are doing their part to show resistance. It is the unwashed masses who obey the Mullahs which prop up the regime. I get the sense that rebellion is growing within the young in their society. Maybe they can wrest themselves free.

        2. I think you need to do a little reading on the incident and that period of history.

          http://nationalinterest.org/feature/six-myths-about-the-coup-against-irans-mossadegh-11173

          Whatever that coup was about it couldn’t have been to “install” the Shah. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had been Shah since 1941, and in fact the way the system worked then he had nominated Mossadegh for the job.

          “While Mossadegh was elected to the Majles (the Iranian Parliament) by democratic means (Iran at the time was not a democracy by any means, though some aspects of it were democratic in nature), the office of Prime Minister was nominated from amongst the Majles deputies by the Shah.

          …Before Mossadegh became Prime Minister, the Iranian public was unhappy with the state of affairs in Iran; Mossadegh with his sincere populism was seen by the Shah as a clever alternative to yet another feudal landowner or military officer.”

          1. I have read extensively about Iran and Iraq. There is no doubt the CIA and Brit MI6 got rid of Mossadegh. The Shah was feared and despised except by the elities where live a life of Riley. He was “our man” and by proppiing him up it allowed the vacuum so the Ayatollah would return. During the Iran-Iraq war we provided Hussein with weapons including biological weapons. It’s a wonder they don’t hate us but I think most citiziens realize that a government often does things that its citizens would not support if they knew. Look at the Iraqi children being born with birth defects due to depleted uranian.

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/19/cia-admits-role-1953-iranian-coup

            Two of my fav books: “All the Shah’s Men: An American coup and the roots of Midde East Terror” by Stephen Kinzer and “The Devil We Know: Dealing with the new Iranian Superpower” by former CIA spook Robert Beher.

            I saw “The Iran Job” some years ago – it’s a documentary that follows one year in the life of American pro basketball player Kevin Sheppard, who signed on to play for the upstart Iranian Super League team A.S. Shiraz. The filmmakers were German and recorded it using hidden cameras. It was interesting watching Sheppard adjust to living there — and all the people he became friends with.

            1. Yes, and the original works on the subject and and the follow-on revisionist histories have a lot of flaws. Actually there is a great deal of doubt that the CIA actually had anything to do with getting rid of Mossadegh because you’re assuming competence on their part that has never been demonstrated. Which is probably why a great many documents (those that haven’t been destroyed) remain classified even after all these years.

              Anyway, I take it you agree that the “coup” couldn’t have been about, how did you put it?

              “Too bad the US and the effin’ Brits decided to take out Mossadegh to install the Shah.”

              Since the Shah had already been the Shah since 1941 it’s difficult to imagine that a “coup” in the early 1950s could have been about installing him.

              And he wasn’t as despised as you’d like to think. There’s currently a joke circulating around Iran.

              A man comes up to the Ayatollah Khameini and says, “I want to die in Jihad so I can be guaranteed paradise. But before I do, can you tell me what it’s like?”

              So the Ayatollah tells him a little about paradise, but the man keeps pressing him for more details. The Ayatollah tells him about the beautiful gardens, the gorgeous women, the rivers of wine, the delicious foods that are provided in never ending abundance. But it’s not enough; the man wants to hear more.

              Finally the exasperated Ayatollah says, “OK, you really want to know what paradise is like? It’s like Iran under the Shah.”

  14. So if the three main religions were the Three Stooges, which would Islam be? Moe perhaps?

    Sometimes I think there are actually 3 main gods and they are all brothers that are really just there to entertain themselves by seeing how being cruel we can be to each other.

    How can worship of a god not be idolatry? Never been able to wrap my brain around that one.

    I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of religious reality.

    1. A real all-powerful god would have no interest in being “worshipped”. However men who create a god in their own image, indeed want to be worshipped by others.

      1. Thanks for your erudite theological scholarship. It’s been an education.

      2. Yes, narcissistic atheist whose god is a government in their own image do want to be worshiped by others. See Barack Obama for a recent example. And he was literally worshiped.

        ” “I cried all night. I’m going to be crying for the next four years,” he said. “What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history. … The event itself is so extraordinary that another chapter could be added to the Bible to chronicle its significance.””

        Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. on Obama’s winning the Democratic presidential nomination (Politico June 5, 2008).

        “In its November 22, 2010 issue, Obama has been shown by Newsweek on its cover page with multiple arms balancing several policy issues while raising his left leg mimicking the cosmic dance of the Hindu deity; considered a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

        … Newsweek has named Obama “god of all things” on its cover.”

        http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/Obama/godofallthings.jpg

        SOURCE: Times of India (November 20, 2010).

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=37B_nOdRTAA

        Atheists have abandoned God but not religious belief. Roscoe P. Coltrane can’t “wrap his brain” around how the worship of a god can’t be idolatry. I can understand that; atheists don’t ever really exercise their brains. They simply assume a smug sense of authority. Worshiping the Creator is not idolatry. Worshiping creation, whether a man, government, money, possessions, science, etc., is idolatry. Idolatry is, in short, the religion of atheists. You simply deny that you have religious beliefs, but they’re easy enough to recognize.

  15. To think of the flowering of mathematics and astronomy which occurred in Persia from 800 CE for hundreds of years, with many of the contributions from women.

    Place has certainly gone to wrack and ruin.

    1. I’m not thinking of that, because it’s almost certainly a fantasy.

        1. Disputes foolish memes = ignoramus.

          Advances of technical and scientific knowledge in the ancient world were fragile and (by today’s standards) exceedingly slow. In the Muslim world, they were building on a foundation of the extant bodies of knowledge generated by the Christian and Zoroastrian societies which preceded them.

      1. There have been several “golden ages” in the Islamic world, but it would be wrong to imagine they had anything to do with Islamic theology other then the Islamic imperative to conquer and subjugate non-Muslims. Islam is not interested in science. Indeed, Boko Haram actually means un-Islamic education is forbidden. The Muslims were not interested in learning from their new subjects. There attitude was if they needed to know it, it’s in the Quran. If it’s not in Quran, they don’t need to know it.

        Muslims like to dispute the fact that they burned the library in Alexandria, even though Muslim historians say the victorious general, Amr ibn al-As, did burn it. Well, there’s no dispute that Muslims did burn the great Zoroastrian library in Ctesiphon and in 1193 they burned the great Buddhist library at what must have been the world’s first true university in Nalanda, India. According to the Persian historian Mihhaj-i-Siraj the general Bakhtiyar Khilji sacked the entire university and killed as many Buddhist monks by fire and sword that he could lay his hands on. Again, when one of his subordinates asked about the library, he asked, “Is there a Quran in this library?” When he was told there was not he ordered the entire place burned.

        Hindus, Christians, and Jews still formed the vast majority of people in the Islamic world. They were far more advanced in the fields of science and math. More importantly, they could actually read the texts. Those texts weren’t written in Arabic. And the Muslims whether Arabs or not weren’t interested in learning Greek or Latin or any of the languages their new subjects used. Much of the advances that came out of the Islamic world actually was the work of the non-Muslim subjects. In the Middle East Christians and Jews dominated fields such as medicine and academia. One prominent Syrian physician, a Christian whose name escapes me, was determined to show the Muslims that there were a great deal of value in those scrolls that they would just as soon destroy. So his sons, who could read Greek and Latin, translated the texts into Syriac (a form of Aramaic) and then he would translate that into Arabic. Some Muslims were interested, but many rulers were more interested in plundering non-Muslim subjects than learning from them. The various “golden ages” typically ended when the impoverished non-Muslims (and eventually all non-Muslims who were given the option of paying the jizya were impoverished) no longer had the time or inclination to try to do anything but survive the political and economic disabilities the Muslims had placed on them.

        This is why the Ottoman empire ended up as the “Sick Man of Europe.” Once the Muslims had impoverished their existing subjects (and if they converted and paid the Muslim zakat the tax rate is far lower and that reduced revenues quite a lot; it’s why many Muslim rulers would often forbid conversion to Islam) and when there were no new populations they could subjugate there were no more “golden ages.”

        Here’s another indicator of the attitude of Islam toward science. We are often told that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. All those Muslims and they have only produced two individuals who have won Nobel prizes in science. Neither one could do their work in the Islamic world. One is an Egyptian-American chemist who did his research in California universities. The other was a Pakistani physicist who arguably wasn’t even Muslim. Many Muslim countries do not consider Ahmadis to be Muslims at all. Mohammad Abdus Salam was an Ahmadi, and in the mid-Seventies the Pakistani parliament passed a constitutional amendment declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims. There are many reasons for this; Ahmadis reject armed jihad against non-Muslims, and because they recognize Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a “messenger” after Muhammad. But one not insignificant factor is that Ahmadis believe in modern Western science. Most Muslims, devout Muslims and in particular the scholars, reject science as it conflicts with so much in the Quran and Muhammad’s commentaries on the Quran. So if the Quran says the earth is “spread out flat,” and Muhammad says the sun sets in a pool of muddy water (and you can walk there, and there are people living around that pool), and that shooting stars are actually stars and Allah uses them as missiles to drive demons away from paradise, and so on, the scholars say Muslims must believe the Quran and Muhammad and not scientists. Because of the discrimination Abdus Salam had to flee to Europe, where he did his research that resulted in him sharing the Nobel prize in Science with two other physicists.

        1. Abstractions aren’t interested in science or anything else. People are interested in them.

          1. Islam isn’t an abstraction when you have to flee your country to avoid a blasphemy conviction.

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