We moan the passing of what we look fondly back on as an “Islamic Golden Age” and indeed we should regret its end and study the reasons for its decline. Though we may not be able to recreate it, we could certainly emulate it in various ways. An important one would be to strive for that age’s tolerance, intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness when it comes to education and learning. Those early Muslims were quick to absorb what other cultures and civilizations had to offer and at the same time, neither their language nor their culture suffered. Are we so very different? Knowledge, after all, is power and it is only the intolerant and bigoted who refuse to understand this.
If there were more Saudi Arabs who felt this way, maybe they would actually be our allies.