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Muslim governments know that economic growth, military power and national security benefit greatly from technological advances.Yet, in the view of many – especially in the West – the Muslim world still seems to prefer to remain disengaged from modern science.Muslim-majority countries spend, on average, less than 0.5 percent of their GDP on research and development, compared with five times that in the advanced economies. They also have fewer than 10 scientists, engineers and technicians per thousand residents, compared to the global average of 40 – and 140 in the developed world. Yet, in many parts of the Muslim world, science faces a unique challenge; it is seen as a secular – if not atheist – Western construct.Too many Muslims have forgotten – or never learned about – the brilliant scientific contributions made by Islamic scholars a thousand years ago. It is nonetheless important to recognize how much Muslim countries could contribute to humankind by nurturing once again the spirit of curiosity that drives scientific inquiry – whether to marvel at divine creation or just to try to understand why things are the way they are.
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