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The latter, and especially Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, with its entourage of scholars and supplementary mission of knowledge, imposed European power on and brought European science to a Muslim people.

Within years, some rulers -- led by Muhammad `Ali of Egypt -- recruited European technicians and sent students to Europe. An extraordinarily rapid diffusion of Western technologies throughout most of the Middle East took place in the period 1850-1914.

Instead, members of minority communities continued to intermediate by providing clerical and skilled labor.

Minorities also helped to establish the first Western education institutions in the region, such as the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut (founded in 1866) and the Jesuits' St. These schools and others in Istanbul, Tunis, Tehran, Algiers, and elsewhere primarily served minority communities and Europeans, though some elite Muslims also attended.

In a nutshell, the Muslim experience consists of a golden age in the tenth through thirteenth centuries, a subsequent collapse, a modest rebirth in the nineteenth century, and a history of frustration in the twentieth century. Significant progress was made in such areas as medicine, agronomy, botany, mathematics, chemistry, and optics.In numerical terms, forty-one predominantly Muslim countries with about 20 percent of the world's total population generate less than 5 percent of its science.This, for example, is the proportion of citations of articles published in internationally circulating science journals.The deficiency in Muslim science and technology is particularly intriguing given that Muslims were world leaders in science and technology a millennium ago -- something that distinguishes them from, say, the peoples of Latin America or sub-Saharan Africa. As Muslims vied with Chinese for intellectual and scientific leadership, Christian Europe lagged far behind both.This golden age was definitely Muslim in that it took place in predominantly Muslim societies, but was it Islamic, that is, connected to the religion of Islam?

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