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William Montgomery Watt

British Orientalist

  • A mark of false pride

    “It is appropriate to publish a study about Islamic influences on Europe in this time when the interdependence of Muslims and Arab Christians with the Europeans in the one and the same world is increasing. It has been recognized for some time that medieval Christian writers created an image of Islam that was in many respects denigratory, but through the efforts of scholars over the last century or so, a more objective picture is now taking shape in the minds of the people of the West. For our cultural indebtedness to Islam, however, we Europeans have a blind spot. We sometimes belittle the extent and importance of the Islamic influence on our heritage, and sometimes overlook it altogether. For the sake of good relations with Arabs and Muslims we must acknowledge our appreciation of them to the full. To try to cover it over and deny it is a mark of false pride.”

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