Essay on A Review of the Book What Went Wrong? by Bernard Lewis

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Write a short essay dealing with the interpretations of the historian Bernard Lewis in his book What Went Wrong? The Clash between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East. To what conclusions, if any, does Mr. Lewis come with respect to the failure of the Muslim world? What are the two fundamental responses from the Muslim world itself to this question, according to Mr. Lewis? Do you agree?

In Bernard Lewis' book "What Went Wrong?” Lewis argues the merits and failings of Islam and the Muslim world since its conception. He uses the examples of its humble beginnings in Mecca to its domination of the African continent and technological and cultural advancements to what it has become today to further show what went wrong. He comes to the conclusion that the failure of the Muslim World began first when Islam was corrupted with modern influences which took away and strayed mightily from the authentic Islam. One popular question, when dealing with the failure of the Muslim world, is "What did Islam to Muslims”, instead of “What did Muslims do to Islam?”, and have answered it by blaming specific doctrines or groups. What went wrong with Islam, as argued by Bernard Lewis, is the fact that all of Islam, to a certain extent, has adopted alien practices and beliefs and have weakened the entirety of the Muslim World greatly as a result. Many progressive Muslims argue that this is caused by the retention of the old ways, instead of their own warped understanding of Islam. The Islamic clergy, they argue, and their inflexibility with the times are the issue. They denounce the persistence in beliefs that may have been ground breaking and progressive thousands of years ago, but are neither in dealing with the modern world. Let us refer back to the Ottoman Empire, in its glory days, many centuries ago. It began in the late 13th century and came to its end relatively recently in 1922. It was the world’s most powerful empire in the 15th and 16th centuries, spanning modern day Egypt, North Africa, Israel, Hungary, Romania, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, and Greece, supplanted in the center of Europe and Asia, with an influence that controlled much of the 16th century world. The reason the…