NPR.org,May 28, 2009 · The war being waged against the West also is a war against modernity. For nearly a thousand years, Islam reigned supreme in much of the world. But with the coming of the modern era — generally seen as beginning in the 18th century — Christendom outpaced the Muslim world by almost every measure. Islamists believe the destruction of modernity is necessary if Islam is to regain the power to which it is entitled.
“Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war,” the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeni wrote back in 1942. “Those [who say this] are witless. Those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world.”
More than three decades later, Khomeini would put theory into practice, leading a revolution not just against the Shah of Iran, but also against America and other modern liberal democracies.
Modernity went hand-in-and with the Industrial Revolution — the development of a vast array of mechanical, technological, and scientific inventions. Islamic societies did not demonstrate great aptitude in this area. That was among the reasons they were left behind economically, with the notable exception of those regimes that had oil underfoot. It was the Industrial Revolution that made oil valuable. Westerners found it, pumped it, refined it, and have used it … >>>