NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told Al Jazeera TV that his "foremost" mission was to improve relations with the Muslim world. Since when has a US science organization been asked to massage Muslim egos?
“Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Obama Administration Enterprise. Its four-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Okay, not the way you exactly remember it, but you get the point.
Al Arabiya Network has the honor of being the first network to have the first formal interview with President Obama after his inauguration.
Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator was in the Middle East last month marking the one year anniversary of Obamas speech to the Muslim world and was interviewed by Al Jazeera Network on June 30th. When asked by the interviewer “Why are you here?” he stated the following:
“I am here in the region; it’s sort of the first anniversary of President Barak Obama’s visit to Cairo and his speech there when he gave what has now become known as Obama’s Cairo initiative, where he announced that he wanted this to be the new beginning of the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering.”
You can watch the interview on Al Jazeera with Bolden here:
There are so many things wrong with Bolden’s statement that it is hard to know where to begin. “To help them feel good”? When did it become our job as a country or for NASA for that matter, to make others feel good about their own inadequacies? Can someone show me anywhere in the Constitution where that is covered? I looked and couldn’t find it.
“Their historic contribution”? Okay, wait… Let me look here through my “Big Book of Muslim Scientists and their Accomplishments”…. Hmm, that book has nothing but blank pages, what the -? Okay, okay, that was a cheap shot. Let’s just see how many of 1.4 billion Muslims (20 per cent of the world's population) have won a Nobel Prize related to the sciences:
1999 Chemistry - Ahmed Zewail,
1979 Physics - Abdus Salam
Not bad, 2 Muslim Nobel Prize winners for science.
Now, just for comparison, let’s see how many scientific Nobel Prize winners were Jews (who number 12 million, 0.2% of the world's population - 2 out of every 1,000 people):
I’m sorry, but due to editorial constraints I cannot post all their names. Here is a list by number:
1905-2009 Chemistry – 30
1908-2006 Physiology /Medicine – 58
1907-2005 Physics – 48
136 Jewish Nobel Prize winners. Quite a large discrepancy between the Islamic population's contribution to the world and that of the Jews, wouldn’t you say?
According to President Obama at his speech to the Muslim World in Cairo last year he was a “student of history”:
“As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
He must not have been a very good student since he got all four Muslims’ historical contributions wrong. Algebra is from Diophantus, a Greek who some historians say should share the prestige of being the father of algebra with al-Khwarizmi. “Sharing” that title would be odd, since Diophantus lived between 200 and 298 A.D., some 500 years before al-Khwarizmi, and certainly more than 300 years before Islam was invented.
Don’t tell the Chinese that the Muslims invented the compass, since that just happens to be one of the “Four great inventions of ancient China”, along with, oh yes, printing.
Ancient Indians were the first to use the pen. According to ancient text the earliest of pens made in India used bird feathers, bamboo sticks etc. The old literature of Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharta used this kind of pen roughly 500 BC according to Wikipedia, though at this time scribes in Ancient Egypt had been using pens to write on papyrus scrolls for thousands of years.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the Greeks influenced healing practices in the Islamic world.
So what, if anything, have the Muslims actually given us? Perhaps Obama knows his history and was making the suggestion to Charles Bolden to make them feel good; “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering” because he knows there is no real contribution to speak of?
There is a very simple reason as to why the Muslims have given so little when it comes to the sciences; science is not compatible with Sharia. We are talking about people that still believe that the Prophet Mohammed split the moon in to two parts with his finger and then re-sealed it. This is according to both the Koran (Sura 54) and the Hadith (Chapter 8, book 39, 6724-26).
Today’s Islam has maintained that Islam is a complete philosophy and therefore cannot be improved upon. This again is the reason for the lack of Muslim science. For the most part Muslims are anti-education except when it comes to study of the Koran. During Taliban rule in Afghanistan, schools were burned and teachers killed. Women are denied education all together. How can any culture contribute anything when they won’t even educate themselves?
What concerns me more here is the not so obvious. First, do we really want the Muslim world to have the technology of space travel? That same technology is what is used for ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles). If you can send something in to space, you then have the same technology to send a missile from the Middle East to the U.S. Do I need to remind anyone of Iran’s Ahmadinejad’s aspiration to bomb the “Big Devil”? Do we really want to invite Muslim countries into NASA with open arms? We might as well have our arms raised above our heads instead.
I could go on and on with all the things that Obama has done to push forward the Muslim agenda, but that would end up being a 4 part series rather than one article. Personally I couldn’t care less what culture or country he instructed Charles Bolden to “help them feel good about” themselves, I would be writing the same thing if he were trying to include Israel in NASA if they had nothing to offer.
We have problems here at home: the economy, the unemployment, the border, the gulf oil spill which is now at day 83 and millions of gallons hitting our shores, so why are we trying to make the Muslim countries “feel good”? I have a novel idea. Why not ask Charles Bolden to take all those great minds at NASA and make us here in America feel good? Why not instruct him to use NASA resources to stop the oil leak? We could put a man on the moon in 1969 but we can stop a leak 5000 feet down in 2010?
Unless the Muslims want to invent dehydrated humus for our astronauts to take in to space I don’t see where they can contribute a whole heck of a lot to NASA. We saw on 9/11 what some can do with a 757; does anyone really want their more extreme members in the cockpit of the shuttle?
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