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Islam in Europe tends to be viewed as not only a recent, but also a foreign and threatening presence.In fact, Europe and the Arab-Islamic world have brushed shoulders for centuries, and their histories are inextricably linked.As Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages, the Arab-Islamic world experienced its Golden Age.Just as the Arab-Islamic world built on the foundations of earlier advancements and borrowed from other geocultural domains, so too did Europe.The Enlightenment, too, was influenced by a strong tradition in the Arab-Islamic world of reasoning that encouraged individual judgment and contributed to rationalist philosophy in Europe. The contribution of the Arab-Islamic world to the rise of the West also extends to material and institutional elements. The rise of Europe should be seen as part of global history. Unearthing the many positive exchanges that occurred between Europe and the Arab-Islamic world has immediate implications for contemporary transcultural relations. Once this stark opposition is broken down, it becomes more difficult to categorize the East in general and the Arab-Islamic world in particular as peripheral and subordinate.
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