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What did we expect when we chose to pay for a madrasah?
The Irish Independent on the deficiencies of the North Dublin Muslim School, President Obama and Islamic achievment generally.
Was anyone in the Department of Education even remotely surprised by the virtual failure of the Muslim school in Cabra to achieve even minimal standards of education? It was effectively established as a madrasah, which would produce good little Muslims. That, I have no doubt, is what it has achieved. To be sure, they might not be well-educated little Muslims, and their career prospects are probably poor. But at least they are Muslims, the production of which was the intended function of the school.
However, we are not alone in such cultural folly. In his truly wretched speech in Cairo on June 4, Barack Obama created a Muslim world which simply doesn't exist, and never has. He accordingly reimagined history to credit Islam with the invention of the compass, of algebra, of pens and of printing. Sorry, Barack, old fellow, but the Chinese got to most of those first; and the greatest mathematic concept of all -- the notion of zero, with a digit to represent it (a truly staggering intellectual advance), was the creation of Hindu civilisation.
But that's what Western commentators always do when talking about the glories of Islam: they go back a thousand years or more and talk of Alhambra and how Islam cherished the great works of Ancient Greece, while Christian Europe had forgotten them. Blah blah blah. And President Obama indulged in another stereotype when he added western imperialism had denied "rights and opportunities to many Muslims".
Obama fatuously boasted in Cairo that the US government had gone to court to defend the right of Muslim women to wear the hijab "and to punish those who would deny it" (his words). Well, for a US President to be proud of American legal measures to intensify gender-apartheid tells us how far down the road of cultural-appeasement the West has gone. And believe me, when the legal triumph of the hijab leads to the full facial veil -- as it inevitably will, as part of the great Islamic imperial project -- that legal victory is one that the US government will come to regret, and sooner or later, have to undo.
History aside, what is the Islamic world achieving today? The Islamic School at Cabra might be seen as a template for the triumphs of Greater Arabia. Not one of its universities is in the top 200 universities of the world. It has no great institutions of research. No branch of science or technology prospers in any Muslim country. No electronic or medical discoveries are ever made in a Muslim society. No Islamic country has its own indigenous aircraft factory or computer industry.
But let Cabra, which of course is funded by the taxpayer, speak for itself. Over an hour every day is spent in rote-learning of Arabic and the Koran, and in ritual cleansing. That is perhaps one fifth of the available teaching time, so educational standards are bound to suffer.
But, at least the school is mass producing devout little Muslims, which will be just fine and dandy, if Cabra ever becomes Cabrabia.