From the desk of Fjordman on Sun, 2008-02-24 14:32
Muslim reformist Irshad Manji has asked in her book The Trouble with Islam what caused the earlier "golden age" of Islam, and concludes, with a few reservations, that "tolerance served as the best way to build and maintain the Islamic empire." In light of the evidence quoted above I disagree with her, and even more so with David Levering Lewis. Islam's much-vaunted "golden age" was in reality the twilight of the conquered pre-Islamic cultures, an echo of times passed. The brief cultural blossoming during the first centuries of Islamic rule owed its existence almost entirely to the pre-Islamic heritage in a region that was still, for a while, majority non-Muslim.
Comment: The last sentence above makes a very important point. Once the non-Muslims had been driven into insignificance the retrograde barbarity of Islam manifested as a back water civilization.