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Orya Maqbool Jan writes << In the fourteen hundred years of Muslim history, the concept of religious schools (or madrasas) was for the first time introduced in the Sub-Continent by the British Governor-General Warren Hastings, who founded the first such Madrasa in Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1781. Previously, the glorious movement initiated by Baghdad's Darul-Hikma, along with the Toledo School of Translators, had been the intellectual guide of the whole world for several centuries. The schools built under the influence of this movement did not make any distinction between worldly and religious sciences. Acting upon the saying of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that 'Knowledge is the lost asset of a Muslim', special arrangements were made in all the leading schools of the Muslim world to teach Philosophy, history, mathematics, chemistry, physics, medicine, astronomy, geometry, music and several other branches of knowledge, in addition to the Quran and Hadith. The same tradition was upheld by the Muslim schools of the Sub-Continent till the arrival of the British. >>
I find that most of the views about Islam held by 'non muslims' these days are views formed not of Islam but of a bogeyman conjured up by these 'non muslims' in their minds to justify not having to go through the tough struggle of learning anything about Islam - or the apparently even tougher struggle of simply not judging it without first making an honest endeavour to understand it or any significant spread of the people you are judging.