17 June 2016
When Muslim minds aren’t challenged by “dangerous” ideas they cannot develop the sophistication needed to articulate their own.
So true, and I would argue the same for all minds, regardless of faith, ethnicity and background. Perhaps the only hopeful way forward for the world is less ignorance and a willingness to engage “the other”.
I guess that’s why I’m so interested in education; to me, it’s the key to opening up minds and broadening horizons. The ability to read and think allows you to consider other perspectives instead of always being told what to believe. Though I realise that’s my idealised notion of education, because of course people can be “educated” into becoming narrow minded bigots.
I also found this bit especially interesting because I did not know this:
This willful closed-mindedness is not an inherent feature of Islam. A thousand years ago, Muslim societies were open and curious, while Christian Europe was insular and fearful of “blasphemy.” Aristotle’s books were translated and studied in Baghdad and Córdoba, and banned in Paris and Rome. No wonder the Muslim world was then the home to groundbreaking discoveries in science, medicine and mathematics. In theology, too, Muslim thinkers like Ibn Rushd, also known as Averroës, developed sophisticated arguments that would inspire Christian thinkers like Thomas Aquinas — thanks to the Muslim engagement with Greek philosophy.