Some recognition at last: A brilliant exhibition has been put together under the name "1001 inventions" and is being showcased at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester before being continued at other venues. The unique content of the exhibition has been planned to generate awareness and appreciation of the scientific discoveries Muslims have made over a time-span of 1000 years. The lasting legacy of Muslim inventiveness and scholarship still serves as a beacon to inspire and motivate young people around the world. The 1001 Inventions project strongly emphasises how Muslims, working harmoniously alongside people of different faiths and races across Europe, Asia and Africa, were able to contribute extensively in many fields including science and medicine.
We all know that coffee came to us from the Arabs along with algebra and geometry, but who knew that Abbas ibn Firnas invented a flying machine which kept him in the air for ten minutes a thousand years before the Wright Brothers? A replica of the invention is being exhibited together with numerous other most surprising civilisational achievements from when Muslims were leading the world. A selection of favourites can be found in an article in today's Independent.
The exhibition puts the lie to those who claim that Islam never gave the world anything when all their own achievements are built on the foundations laid for them by Muslims. It also demonstrates that those who keep warning us of the threat posed by "the other" have got it wrong since the exchange between different cultures can only be fruitful for humanity.