"There is no dought that science and technology played no role in the development of Islamic countries in last 200 years. Unfortunately, there are marginal or very slim contributions to knowledge and innovations: on other words the output of Islamic countries is negligible and can be ignored as compared to others.
While there are huge human resources! If we go back 30-40 years Sudan, Syria and other Islamic countries were far more developed than Korea !!!!
I think it is a good idea that IDB start a project to analyse current situation in close cooperation with trustful experts and not governmental or official institutions in order to find out barriers preventing science and development in these countries, especially Arab world. In the past, we Moslems were innovative and produce new knowledge and spread it all over the world.
We should work hard, but in an organised way as used to be in the past days where scientists and knowledgeable people were respected and recognised by the state and public. Finally time is flying and we should act, not talk, and work very hard now, seeking power to do so from Allah Almighty alone."
Jamal Othman, PhD
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Al-Balqa' Applied University
"In the Islamic world scientists work as individuals. Even if collaboration occurs, the activity is still individual effort which deserves thanks. The fruits of our scientist works are more used in the developed countries than in their own.
The societies in the Muslim World do not have the the structure that guarantees benefit from science. The design of our countries seems to be in such a way so as to keep our countries only marketplace for others goods. Even when we do research we actually buy our stuff from others.
For science to be productive there should be synergistic collective process between society and scientist to enable society to absorb science. This is not possible if our country structures remains as they are. WE can not advance in science if our country structures remain. History told us that country building precedes science advancement (see early Islamic civilization for instance). Moreover, some countries like Malaysia, Korea, etc. have made pre-structuring in their society before (or parallel with) science advancement.
The West Bank's Al-Najah National University in Nablus,
" In the past Muslim world was pioneer in the field of science and technology. However, Muslim society has suffered an extreme decline. Islam was there when science flourished. Islam remained while science, learning, knowledge and creativity declined to their present awful state.
The potentials of Muslim world not only in the field of science & technology are trifling but also in the field of human resources are unfolded. Is it lack of resources or something else? Muslim world is much richer in human resources. However, resource and achievement in the Muslim world does not match. Is it true that they are not good in science – because they are Muslim! In fact, there is a great deal of gap in the Muslim world between potential and reality.
Unfortunately, today's Muslim states barely register on indices of research spending, patents and publications, probably the conditions is not just awful; it is set to get worse. In reality, contemporary Islamic science needs to continue reinstatement of old ways of scientific thinking while making them relevant to contemporary times.
Knowledge and consensus, central concepts in Islam, have narrowed over time. Regrettably, the most common stance is simply to blame Islam itself. Science in Islam is not just a forerunner, something strangely distinct and distant, from science today but an integral part of modern science. We have to understand that science never emerges in a vacuum; it always has a cultural context.
We love to blame West for our backwardness. It is true that we are backward due to western colonial powers. Islamic science was appropriated once at a time. However due to colonial powers Muslim world had suffered a lot. Colonial powers closed colleges and universities, banned research and outlawed the practice of indigenous science and medicine. Colonialism suppressed and displaced the scientific culture of Muslim society.
Again colonial powers left from the Muslim countries plus-minus about half
century ago. By this time once humiliated and devastated Japan emerged as an economic super power. Asian tigers have emerged within less period of this time using science & technology and human resources at the optimum level. Is there any significant progress has been made in the Muslim world except Malaysia? What advancement are going on in Dubai and the rest of the Arab world? How much they are investing in the hotel, entertainment and how much in the universities, research & development in the field of science & technology?
Interestingly the West has taken many good parts of Islam and Muslims had taken bad features of the West. It may be noted here that the great Islamic scholar of the 19th century, Muhammad Abdo wrote that when he visited the West he found Islam but no Muslims and upon his return to the Arab world he countenanced many Muslims but no Islam.
Muslim scientists are not achieving in their own countries. But they are contributing a lot in the Western world. They proved their worth and perform excellent in most of the places. On the other hand while in Muslim countries their aspirations limited within a pretty higher official, bureaucrat not contribution in the field of science and technology or in the humanity. Basically, Muslim countries yet gain sovereignty. Sovereignty not only in political it’s also intellectual.
Sorry to say in our parts of the world science now becomes a fashion. To be a fashionable it is necessary to use the word ‘science’ or ‘scientific’. Muslim countries need their own planning, innovation and it is challenges. “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Even, in the recent time we have seen that if there is a real challenge, taken it seriously, it can be accomplish. Pakistan is the best example. It becomes successful in its nuclear programme. Because they took it as challenge and acquire nuclear deterrence within limited resources.
Now the decisive part of our discussion - is Islam and Islamic challenges are contradictory to science? Muslims are backward worldwide due to their religion? Or is it lack of sense of challenge? "
Mir Lutful Kabir Saadi
Bangladesh Science Writers & Journalists Forum
"At present, the Islamic world is facing huge challenges: most of the Islamic countries are developing countries, with a lack of proper infrastructures, lack of proper sanitation, lack of access to clean water and poor education system. Above of all that, the countries are still mostly dependent in term of food and energy.
Actually, the Muslim countries are also experiencing an extraordinary growth of its population and if the actual trend of the growth of the population without a proper sustainable development, the future will be full of uncertainties.
Today, the Muslim world needs a transfer of Technology, a real use of science in order to improve people way of life and fulfill a socio-economic development. But how can we promote the Science and Technology?
First, we have to focus on investing in quantitative and qualitative education of both men and women without any segregation and creating conditions which will maintain highly educated people and scientist in their own countries.
Many Islamic institutions Like the Islamic Developing Bank are already doing an excellent job for the promotion of Science and Technology in the Muslim world but as longer as the local government will not solve the problem of emigration of engineers and scientists, the problem will remain critical.
But we have hope that In Cha Allah, the situation will improve as awareness is growing and there is no other choice than seeking for the better life of the Muslim World."
Mamadou Billo Cherif Diallo, PhD.
Ministère des Mines, Geologie et d'environnement,
Innevble OFAB-CBG Street, BP 205, Conakry,
"Except for Malaysia and Indonesia, science and technology played no role in the development of Islamic countries in the recent past. That is why we see that contributions to knowledge in the world is an activity of others, and additionsby Islamic countries are minimal or negligible. This we must admit to in order to begin a self analysis to find out the reasons and then forge ahead along a better road. The ability of islamic societies people to innovate and create is no less that that of any nation; Islamic countries are able to contribute significantly if their populations are properly prepared and trained to do the job, and the time is NOW.”
Prof. Farouk El-BazDirector
Center for Remote Sensing
725 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215-1401Telephone: (617) 353-9709
Direct line: (617) 353-5081
Fax: (617) 353-3200
"Islamic world needs modern agriculture, industrial systems and educations. It should not necessary follow the research model that led to the scientific enterprise of United States and elsewhere.
Islamic countries need to adopt and develop technologies appropriate to their own socio-economic conditions. In my opinion, Islamic countries must adopt:
- An education model inspired by its spirit in the early glorious years
- A policy that prevent brain drain offering for their scientists necessary financial support
- A linkage between its universities and its national industrial system."
Professor ,Genetics, Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil
"I see millions and billions spent on Science development in many countries that have little relevance to the problems facing those countries and the Member States of the IDB.
We need to identify researchable problems that are directly relevant to economic
development of these nations. For example the hydrocarbons, the drought and salinity, the lack of proper Human resource, deforestation, land erosion, lack of water resources and their wasteful utilization, industry relevant to local natural resources, historical events/developments bringing the Muslim states to the> present predicament, lack of dove-tailing research with economic development, etc etc."
Former head of Pakistan’s Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology
" As I understand Islam is a religion of learning yet it starts with the word READ .It is obvious that future belongs to knowledgeable people. Within 20 years from now the scientific achievements will double within each 2-3 months .Then only the learned societies will survive .Can we people effort not to involve .The Islamic world requires a Jihad in this path."
Prof of Medical Biotech
Tarbiat Modares University