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SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FAILED TO FACT CHECK PROPAGANDA IT COPIED FROM “1001 INVENTIONS”
David Biello wrote the March 2, 2011 article “The Forgotten History of Muslim Scientists” for Scientific American, praising the 1001 Inventions exhibition and stretching the truth about Alhazen (ibn al-Haytham).
Actually, Alhazen was not the first person to describe the camera obscura, was not the first person to prove that light travels in a straight line, and most of his experiments repeated Greek experiments he had read about.
Alhazen did not write that refraction caused sunsets to be red but instead wrote an incorrect explanation that at sunset light travels through more air, causing the light to weaken and turn red.
The article also falsely claimed that Muslims invented algorithms and algebra. Actually, Muslims borrowed them from the Hindus and Jains.
Its claim that a Muslim university is the oldest continually operating university is not correct, it was a school that taught only the Quran and sharia law and did not become a university until about a century ago. Muslims destroyed true full universities in the lands they conquered.
The oldest continuously operating school that eventually became a university was the Ez-Zitouna University, which began as a 737 in Tunis to educate Quran scholars. [A cathedral school for educating Catholic clergy in Toledo Spain in 527 was older but no longer exists, and the University of Paris having been founded in 794 to educate Catholic clergy, is almost as old as the oldest Muslim school, taught a wide range of subjects in addition to religion, and came under new management when it broke its ties to Notre Dame Cathedral, and was closed during the French Revolution.]
All early Muslim “universities” taught only the Quran and Sharia law, and did not become full universities until about a century ago.
[David Biello is an associate editor at Scientific American and the environmental reporter for Public Radio International, which is owned by National Public Radio station WGBH and sells some of its programs to the BBC.]
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frmer Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
PRAISING THE “1001 INVENTIONS” EXHIBIT
Barack Hussein Obama (when he was president),, Nancy Pelosi (the leader of the Democratic Party in the United States House of Representatives) and Hillary Clinton (when she was Secretary of State) have spoken favorably of “1001 Inventions”.
HILLARY CLINTON’S SPEECH
In her 2011 speech officially opening the Los Angeles visit of the “1001 inventions” traveling exhibition, Hillary Clinton falsely claimed Fatima Al-Fihri founded the world’s first modern university. Actually, Fatima Al-Fihri provided money she inherited from her father, but she was not a scholar. This and other Muslim “universities” (which were not “modern”; they taught only the Quran and sharia law) were founded after the Byzantines had founded true modern universities that taught many subjects.
However, the school financed by Fatima Al-Fihri still exists and in modern times became an actual university, but the Byzantine universities were destroyed by the Muslims, and no longer exist.
A school in Christian Spain that taught religion and the Greek classics to the Catholic clergy was founded centuries before the school financed by Fatima Al-Fihri, but no longer exists.
In the same speech, Hillary Clinton misleadingly claimed al-Jazari developed suction pumps. Actually, al-Jazari’s suction pump copied the piston suction pump written about by Ctesibius 1400 years earlier. The only significant difference was that al-Jazari’s design used only one cylinder but the Ctesibius design used two cylinders).
Image is official United States government portrait, via Wikimedia Commons.
image credit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop.jpg