Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Muslims invented compass and printing?

Barak Obama gave a long speech at the Cairo University on June 4th. I dropped the entire text of the speech into MS Word and it counted 5,802 words. I think that's way too long; perhaps Obama should have cut down the length and hired better fact checkers.
As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at places like Al-Azhar University – that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed.

It is pretty well established that Chinese people invented the compass and printing. I know that Obama likes to pander to his audience, evidenced by his campaign promises, but I'm not sure what he gains here? Even worse, he begins this section by saying, "As a student of history" then goes and screws up historical facts.

Ahem, I thought he was the smartest guy in the world...

1 comment:

hogsman said...

Isn't there a fact-checking site you can notify? Maybe they've already observed these "factual liberties".