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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

7 - Collapse

from Part II - History


This chapter examines the European colonization of Muslim lands. It emphasizes that what made this colonization possible was not simply European military superiority but also the gap between Europeans and Muslims in terms of the levels of economic, technological, and educational development. The chapter explores the belated establishment of printing presses in Muslim societies, which kept literacy rates very low, as well as the ways the ulema hindered the translation of the Quran into vernacular languages, which perpetuated the ulema's religious monopoly. It also analyzes the reform attempts by some Muslim rulers and the new Muslim intellectuals, as well as explaining why these attempts mostly failed.

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