Gifts From The East

Coffee

If you've ever paid by check for a three-course meal you capped with a cup of coffee, you enjoyed three contributions from Islamic innovators.

With a Washington post/ABC News poll this week finding nearly half (46 percent) of Americans hold negative views of Islam - a less favorable attitude than found in the months after Sept. 11, 2001 - and some newspaper columnists fanning the flames, it's heartening to see others in the media busy building bridges:

The Independent newspaper presents 20 Islamic inventions that changed our world.

Sundays piece, and this one from the Guardian, spring from an exhibit called 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage of Our World at a Manchester, England museum.

Among the religion's other gifts are chess, quilts, carpets, fountain pens and vaccines.

Tacony Lou
Posted 03/13/2006 07:45:39 AM

It is extraordinarily difficult to build bridges when they are burned repeatedly by people who are hysterical that you have not accepted their god or prophet, and, if you question that emotional imbalance, issue death threats. Name another religion whose adherents justify that behavior. Islamic science -- or, more accurately, Arabic science -- was indeed the vanguard of human understanding at one time, but, alas, some Muslim leaders also torched the texts that scholars had translated from Alexandria's libraries. Their guidebook for this behavior was the Koran.

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