July 15, 2010

A year ago in Cairo, Barack Hussein Obama addressed the Muslim world with the same buttock-splayed obsequiousness he exhibits toward all of America’s blood enemies. Citing “€œcivilization’s debt to Islam,”€ he credited Mohammedan culture with the development of algebra, the magnetic compass, the writing pen, and basic medical advances in healing. Never mind that the Greeks developed algebra, the Chinese invented the compass, the Egyptians and/or Indians gave us the pen, and most Islamic medical “€œadvances”€ were swiped from the ancient Hellenists.

Last month, former astronaut and current NASA Administrator Charles Bolden toured the Middle East in commemoration of Obama’s speech. He sat down for a televised interview with the Al Jazeera Network. When asked why he was visiting the Islamic world, this was his reply:

When I became the NASA administrator—or before I became the NASA administrator—[Obama] charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering.

Bolden’s statement marks what is perhaps the first instance of this curious notion of “€œthird and foremost”€ in world history, but it’s strangely apt. In claiming that a PR campaign to toss a few warm-“€™n”€™-fuzzies at the Islamic world is the top priority of an organization founded in the 1950s to encourage space exploration, he admitted that the agency’s main goal now has nothing to do with space exploration. NASA has been instructed to take something entirely irrelevant and make it their tippy-top priority. Thus, “€œthird and foremost.”€

Bolden spilled the beans to Al Jazeera about the administration’s Islamic-outreach plans even before he”€™d informed Congress about them. After Bolden’s comments led to some mild media grumbling, the White House promptly threw Bolden under the Space Shuttle. On Monday, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that Bolden had possibly misspoken and that it’s “€œnot the task of NASA”€ to make Muslims feel better about their history. Gibbs did not, however, say that Bolden was lying about what Obama had instructed him, and it strains belief that Bolden would entirely fabricate such a story. 

Beyond this inscrutable welding of Islamic self-esteem to space exploration is the strange idea that Muslims need to be encouraged to take pride in their historical scientific achievements, whether real or imagined. Anyone who has spent more than five seconds listening to a Muslim propagandist is well aware that not only do they obsessively focus on the alleged scientific and mathematical advances that mysteriously happened to cease advancing about a thousand years ago—they arrogantly, chauvinistically, and enthusiastically rub such claims in the faces of the Westerners whose culture and science leapfrogged over the Islamic world, oh, about a thousand years ago.

“For the past 1000 years, the Muslim world has given us almost nothing in the way of math or science. It has, however, given us a slave trade that predated the Atlantic slave trade by seven centuries and shackled nearly twice as many black Africans as the Europeans did”€”a fact that continues to get lost on black Americans who cozy up to Islam.”

Most of us have heard that the Arab world bequeathed its numerical system and the concept of “€œzero”€ to the West, but the truth is that the Arabs acquired all that from the ancient Indians. And although it’s true that Muslim scholars preserved many remaining scraps of antiquity’s literature while most of Europe was flailing about in the Dark Ages, it’s also been established that much of the academic work performed during the Islamic Golden Age was done by Christians and Jews working under Muslim domination.

It’s also telling that much of Islam’s Golden Age occurred directly after Muhammad’s warriors carved out huge tracts of soil for themselves and absorbed other civilizations”€™ riches and learning. Once the Koran”€”reputed to be the Last Word on Everything, which by its nature discourages all forms of scientific inquiry”€”took root in these subjugated lands, Islam entered a millennial Dark Age that continues into the present.

For the past 1000 years, the Muslim world has given us almost nothing in the way of math or science. It has, however, given us a slave trade that predated the Atlantic slave trade by seven centuries and shackled nearly twice as many black Africans as the Europeans did”€”a fact that continues to get lost on black Americans who cozy up to Islam. The Arabic slave trade also enslaved an estimated million-plus white Europeans, a fact that is lost on nearly all white Americans probably because it has not been reported to them.

For the past millennium, the Muslim world has been a science-hostile warrior empire that, according to some estimates, has murdered up to 300 million infidels while forcibly converting the rest. It has given us innovations such as female genital mutilation, honor killings, and religious decapitation. It has been such a beacon of scientific advancement that, although Muslims outnumber Jews by roughly 100 to 1, Jews have outpaced Muslims in Nobel Prizes at a clip of 136 to 2.

“Under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over,”€ Barack Obama declared in April of 2009. He then canceled NASA’s Constellation program and abandoned America’s plans to return to the moon, leaving American astronauts to hitch a ride with the Russians if they ever hope to escape Earth’s orbit. In direct contradiction of his statement, he almost entirely abandoned science while dragging ideology into a sphere where it clearly doesn”€™t belong.

I am unconvinced that Barack Obama is able to distinguish between the objective and subjective realms. How else to explain his alleged plans to transform an organization devoted to space-age scientific research into a psychological daycare center to help make Muslims feel cool with their bad selves?

I am entirely convinced that Barack Obama doesn”€™t realize that “€œself-esteem”€ and academic achievement don”€™t go hand-in-hand. Scientific American went a long way in debunking the “€œself-esteem equals achievement”€ myth back in 2005, as did an exhaustive 2000 study that revealed black American schoolchildren scored higher than white children when it came to self-esteem despite their lagging academic scores.

In the end, Obama’s main contribution to our solar system may lie in taking the world and turning it upside-down. Over my lifetime I”€™ve witnessed America’s wingspan shrink to the point where our arms are now undeniably too short to box with God. We used to reach all the way into outer space, and now we”€™re reaching out to shake hands with our sworn enemies. And the way I feel about all this apparently doesn”€™t matter, so long as Muslims feel good about themselves.


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