by Giulio Meotti
The Arab world is now publishing only between 15,000 and 18,000 books annually, as many as Penguin Random House produces on its own.
Boris Johnson has just been accused of “islamophobia” for arguing Islam has caused the Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the West.
In an essay unearthed by the Guardian, Johnson wrote that “there must be something about Islam that indeed helps to explain why there was no rise of the bourgeoisie, no liberal capitalism and therefore no spread of democracy in the Muslim world”.
After describing the beauty of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s artistic masterpiece in Rome, Boris Johnson wrote: “There is nothing like it in Muslim art of that or any age, not just because it is beyond the technical accomplishment of Islamic art, but because it is so theologically offensive to Islam”.
Johnson’s lines got the whole point, that is why these points are on the news, again. It is the taboo of our time.
In the world of media, tv, the entire cultural milieu, it is forbidden to claim Western cultural superiority.
A report for the Atlantic Council written by Hossam Abouzahr, the founder of the Living Arabic Project, details the cultural suicide in the Arab world: “The Arab world is now publishing only between 15,000 and 18,000 books annually, as many as Penguin Random House produces on its own. Egypt was once the largest producer of books with an output between 7,000 and 9,000 per year. Although its output was previously on the rise, it dropped by a whopping 70 percent after the 2011 revolution, and as of 2016 was only 'showing signs of recovery'. Greece translates five times as many books into Greek as all 22 Arab nations combined".
According to a report given at the Frankfurt Book Fair, "the Arab world, with its population of over 362 million people in 2012" produced about the same "number of books produced in countries like Romania (with a population of 21.3 million in 2012) and Ukraine (population 45.6 million) in 2012".
Another report by the RAND center also notes that "the number of public libraries in Egypt is about a tenth of those in Germany, which has a comparable population".
Islam does not produce any Nobel Prizes (compare it to Israel’s record).
In the last few years, the Islamic world witnessed the destruction of some of world’s cultural treasures: Afghanistan’s Buddhas, Syria’s Palmyra, Baghdad’s and Cairo’s libraries, ancient churches in Iraq...
And coming to Israel, Islam is officially waging war against Jewish past, Joseph’s Tomb, Hebron’s cave, Rachel’s Tomb, all East Jerusalem’s Jewish past, starting from the biggest treasure: Temple Mount.
What Boris Johnson didn’t say is that if in the past, Islam’s cultural decline was fought hard by the West which was proud of its own superiority, but today the West is helping Islam in this fury toward decline.
At Unesco, the West not only did not prevent Islam from declaring Jerusalem's history Judenrein, it also assisted it. In Europe the Western cultural élites are now Islam’s best friends. The decline is now made to look a major virtue.
Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter and of "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.
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