Islamic countries are reembracing the world of knowledge they commanded during the ancient and medieval period of history but conflicts prevent that resurgence, said a prominent Russian scholar in Arabic and Islamic studies.
The role of technological progress in the UAE is an example for such a resurgence to knowledge, said Constantine Truevtsev, senior research fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow, and added on another note that the UAE’s propagation of moderate Islam would positively influence the Muslim-dominated regions in Russia.
He was speaking to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, in an exclusive interview. WAM was part of a UAE media delegation that visited the institute in Moscow, ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the UAE.
During Putin’s visit on Tuesday, Russia and the UAE signed several agreements in various vital sectors, including trade and investment, and sustainability and environment, which would further develop strategic partnerships between both countries.
Truevtsev said, “Desire for knowledge is a historical thing in Islam. Muslim world actually played a very significant role in dissemination of knowledge during ancient and mediaeval periods of history.
“Even Greek philosophy came to Europe through Arabs. Great medicines came to Europe through Islamic world,” he pointed out.
Then, he said, many Islamic countries started lagging behind in knowledge domain . “I think this gap is coming to an end now.
“But one of the most important things that prevents this development is conflicts that happen in the Arab world. If not conflicts, Arab world might have progressed much more rapidly,” Truevtsev explained.
Elucidating the Muslim world’s resurgence to knowledge, the scholar put forward the technological progress in the United Arab Emirates as an example.
“Why we show the role of the Emirates [in this regard]? It is one of the countries [in the Muslim world] that did not witness conflicts. It is the only Arab country that is the most advanced in technological sphere,” Truevtsev said.
About the similar developments in international arena, the scholar pointed out that many prominent global scholars in different domains in the United States and Europe are from the Muslim world “not only from the Arab countries but also from elsewhere such as Pakistan, Malaysia and Bangladesh etc.”
Likewise, in the United Kingdom, huge chunks of medical doctors are from Egypt, he said.
On a different note, asked about some Russian diplomats’ observation that developments in the Middle East always influence Russia’s Muslim-dominated regions, he pointed that Russia suffered from terrorist activities in the Caucasus region and other Muslim-dominated regions.
Terrorism emerged because element of tolerance was broken away from the religion, he said. “Majority of Muslim people are deeply convinced that this has happened.”
Asked whether the UAE’s propagation of moderate Islam would positively influence the Muslims in Russia, Truevtsev said, “Yes, I think so. Here is a big sphere where cooperation between UAE and Russia is very relevant,” the scholar concluded.
Russian Federation has eight autonomous Muslim republics such as Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chechnya, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia, Dagestan and Adygea.
Under Russian law, these regions are autonomous republics because of their non-Russian majorities and they can choose their own languages, constitutions, presidents and security structures.