From mini-skirts to burqas: Iran, Turkey clad as scientific powers

By Soroor Ahmed,

Iran took the wind out of the sail of the so-called US-sponsored move to impose sanctions when on May 17 it brokered a historic deal with Turkey and Brazil, the two emerging powers in different parts of the world. Surprisingly, the deal was signed under the patronage of Russia and had the moral backing of another permanent member of the Security Council, China.

As per the agreement Iran would be supplying low-enriched uranium to Turkey and Brazil in return for fuel rods for a medical research reactor. The first batch is due to arrive in Turkey within a month.

The news of signing of the deal came only a few weeks after a study showed that Iran and Turkey have registered fastest growth in the field of science in the world in the recent years.

The scientific output has grown 11 times faster in Iran than the world average, faster than any other country. A survey of the number of scientific publications listed in the Web of Science database shows that the growth in the Middle East––mostly in Iran and Turkey––is nearly four times faster than the world average. Only in February last Iran had sent mouse, turtles and worms into the space.

It is not any Iranian or Turkish agency but Science-Metrix, a data analysis company in Montreal, which has published a detailed report on “geo-political shift in knowledge creation” since 1980. Eric Archambault, the author of the report and president of Science-Metrix is of the view that “Asia is catching up even more rapidly than previously thought, Europe is holding its position more than most would expect. And the Middle East is the region to watch.”

If that study is to be believed the scientific output of North America––the United States is the most important country in this continent––has grown considerably slower than the world as a whole in the last two decades. World scientific output grew steadily from 450,000 papers in 1980 to 1,500,000 in 2009. Asia as a whole surpassed North America last year.

But one just need not be carried away by such studies as may be the scientific growth of the United States has reached a saturating point where growth can not be as fast as that of the new emerging powers.

Still the development of Iran and Turkey need to be viewed in a different context too. They have acquired this distinction when they have elected Islamic governments in power and do not have the secular and western-minded tin-pot dictators thrust on the people.
One may tend to disagree with Iran and Turkey on a number of counts but one will have to accept that these two countries are emerging as a scientific power––may be a long way to go––when they do not have military rulers like Mustafa Kamal Pasha and Raza Shah.

The progress made by these two powers are being recognized by countries like Russia and China, albeit for their own diplomatic and military interest. The United States, Israel and West Europe want to use sanctions to push back their development.

The people of Iran have exploded the western myth woven since the Khomeini-led Islamic Revolution in 1979; that the country of Ayatollahs cannot make any progress.

Now the western scholars are floundering for words to explain as to how “the Iran of Mullahs” and burqa-clad women are on the threshold of the space and nuclear age and has not travelled back to the stone age as they predicted. This notwithstanding all sorts of sanctions in the past and US backed and Saddam Husain-led eight year old war thrust on it (1980-87).

The big question is why these two countries did not progress when the rulers––Mustafaa Kamal Pasha in Turkey and later Raza Shah in Iran––had been banning Fez caps and burqas and imposing and encouraging mini-skirts. Turkey under Pasha and successive secular and military governments till late in the 20th century remained “a sick nation of Europe”. Similarly, Iran till 1979, though an oil-rich country, had no international role to play––it was just a police outpost of the US.

Though the generals of Turkey and royal family of Iran were dubbed as the modernizer and western-minded these two countries stood nowhere in the international arena. Like the so-called Arab Sheikhs of today, who are borrowing money to build their modern-day Taj Mahals in the form of Burj Khalifa––all for the expat population––there were some good roads, buildings and night-clubs in the metros of the then Turkey and Iran. But they were inherently backward countries as are the present day Gulf Sheikhdoms.

So while the West is finding it excruciatingly difficult to take on Iran, it easily destroyed Saddam’s Iraq and hanged him without much murmur. Unlike the present rulers of Iran and Turkey, Saddam had no mandate to rule his country and did not enjoy any ideological support base. Therefore, he lost easily.

May be pre-mature to conclude yet one can dare to pre-judge that Islam has become a motivating factor for the revival of these two countries. The Muslim world, notwithstanding so much contradictions, remained global scientific power till they followed Islam––once again may not be in toto. More the grip on Islam weakened the more did the Muslim ummah became weak.

The social science revolution––in history, sociology, politics, culture, education etc––triggered by Islam paved the way for the scientific revolution later on. And when the former was abandoned Muslims were bound to be pushed back in the field of science too.

A community or nation needs some ideology as a motivating agent. Among the most backward nation of Europe till 1917, Russia emerged to become the Super Power of the world just because the Communist ideology––one may disagree with it––fired a zeal among a large section of the people of that country. And once the faith on that ideology got weakened so did the then Soviet Union which finally dismembered.

The West grew only after Renaissance and the advent of the ideology of liberal democracy and Japan got transformed after the Meiji Restoration of 1867.

Europe, it must be understood, did not progress when it was staunchly Christian. This despite the fact that it made huge sacrifices and all out efforts to defeat the rising Islamic power. Christianity’s approach then was anti-science. So they discarded religion to make progress in all walks of life. In the case of Islam it is just the opposite. Muslim society fell back when they abandoned Islam and not when they adopted it.

There is no dearth of people who are fired up by the scientific approach of Quran, which provokes the humanity and not just the Muslims to delve deep to study the nature’s marvel.

The need of the hour is to use science, knowledge and wisdom more for the betterment of humanity and not just what the West is doing now and many Muslims too have done in the past–to monopolize and enslave the world.

Photo: Peace Posters


Women do not wear burqas in Iran

The writer is misinformed. Iranian women do not wear burqas.

Anonymous, Then u are

Then u are grossly misinformed.

Kudos to Brother Soroor Ahmed

Islam is everything for us.Our strength, our dignity, our pride, our wealth, our beauty, our science, our economics, our law, our existence, our breath so on. Whoever loses it, is a big losser here and hereafter.

Iranian women do not wear burqas.

That is correct. Iranian women do not wear burqas.
Please correct the title of your article. It is mis-leading.

Search meaning of BURQA and VEIL

Ignorant "Anonymous" Baabu !

Search for meaning of BURQA and then look for meaning of VEIL. Know the difference, and then comment, removing your THUMB or FOOT-THUMB from your mouth. And, if you don't know BURQA is traditionally BLACK in colour - not SAFFRON (as you always appear to look at everything wearing a SAFFRON lens).

No only Iranian, most Muslim women wear BURQA. But VEIL is an OPTIONAL or SOCIAL custom - not COMPULSORY. Good luck.

An Indian

Anxiously wait for a "fitting response" to your 100 Million LOTTERY, provided TCN publishes, and I sincerely hope, it is without much editing.

Iranian women do wear buqas

depend on what part of Iran you from, but most women do waer Burqas, and if you are from the City, you tend to show your face. So I think the author is correct, and you jew people stop killing the innocent! And by the way who killed most people in the last ten years? Which group or country acted as such?

No dearth..

Dear Anon (s),
Kindly take some comprehension classes- the words in the title are a form of rhetoric (did you study metaphors in your grammar lessons?)!
Muslim countries are perceived as burqa clad (backward?) or were aping the West (hence, mini-skirt) while now they are starting to compete with the West (again, clad in mini-skirt)..
May be a bit tough to understand for first-timers..

Burqa and Mini Skirt

What I know as a Muslim that becoming naked like other animal who do not have sense to understand the right and wring things altogether.
What I know it is not the solution by making naked to the women and progress.Iran is a country where Burqa is there but Masha Allah they are progressing.In contrast Turkey Which is European Sick has become naked and going down day by day regressively.
Soslution does not lie in Mini Skirt ,rather it lies in right practice of Islam and zFundamental with progres.It is western construct that Burqa is a sign of underdevelopment ,is totalyy irrational and wrong

good article

Dear Soroor,

It's good article. Keep on going for better news


Ignorant "Anonymous" Baabu !

When WILL you become serious and STOP spreading SATYA-NAASH ???

First learn the DIFFERENCE of meaning, between BURQA and VEIL (face covering OR purda) !!!

Not only Iranian, Turkish - but most Muslim women "who want" to be modest TO-DATE wear BURQA - which in NOT JUST a Islamic Dress but a DRESS-CODE for WOMEN. Wise WOMEN who want OR wish to DRESS MODESTLY covering "belly-button", "cleavage", etc. TO-DATE wear BURQA (or follow proper dress-code), to protect themselves from gazing eyes of opposite sex (males) OR to protect themselves from "malicious mischief-creating" males, while in public.

VEIL is a TOTALLY different item of dress i.e. to COVER a WOMEN's or GIRL's face from EITHER general public, OR close relatives.

Now let me tell the readers a LOGICAL REASON, which has been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN about BURQA or WOMEN's DRESS CODE. Sun's rays are HARMFUL to FEMALE SKIN, hence protection is NECESSARY, while the same sun-rays are BENEFICIAL to male-skin. You don't need to DISPROVE this, NOR do you need to believe it (since you are an unbeliever). Verify yourselves from LEARNED professionals, and then comment.

Lastly, LEARN the DIFFERENCE between the TWO (BURQA and VEIL), rather than spreading SATYA-NAASH !!!

An Indian

Whenever I find, in print, anyone SPREADING SATYA-NAASH, you will GET a FITTING RESPONSE on TCN website. It can be, either from me OR some reader who is knowledgeable and knows TRUTH.

You can spread SATYA-NAASH, HATRED, HINSA, DIVISION, SEGREGATION, CASTE-DISCRIMINATION, RELIGIOUS-DISCRIMINATION, and all other forms of "IMMORAL ILLS" on Saamna, and other Sangh Parivaar owned web-sites / publications.

Why burden Muslim women for weakness of Muslim Men

BURQUA has NOT been imposed on Muslim Women to prevent other women looking at them but to prevent other men "ogling" at women and so the problem is with "men who OGLE at women" and NOT women. Controlling animal instinct is the hallmark of "intelligent human being" and MUSLIM MEN openly declaring their inability to do so indicates their evolutionary state. What a women wears is her choice- and if men mis-behave the fault lies with the man. "A DOG barking at anyone is not because of the fault of the individual but due to the character of the DOG". So if MUSLIM MEN can NOT control themselves it is their problem - why burden the Muslim Women for the weakness of Muslim Men?????

These are iranian achievements and not muslim achievements

I think you ignored the role of nationlism in Iran scientific progress. You also wrongly said iranian women wear burga. As an iranian for me it is not clear why you insist t portray iranian as muslims rather than iranians. As we know iranian culture root back 7000 years and was first emipire and one of the first civilization. But in general I agree with most of your view points.

Whose achievements?

The present (as well as past) Iranian government(s) and establishment have always claimed they are Muslims. Either you are in a minority (hence, democratically unvalid) or are spreading mischief.

Kindly prevail upon them to turn on their Iranian identity at the expense of Muslim identity - the world will also sooner or later recognize this fact, until then stop making useless comments.

Iran has the highest rate of

Iran has the highest rate of "brain drain" in the world. That's the conclusion of the International Monetary Fund, which recently surveyed some 61 countries. The IMF says every year more than 150,000 educated Iranians leave their home country in the hope of finding a better life abroad.
Amanollah Gharayi Moghadam, a professor of sociology in Tehran, agrees. He says many young people are forced to leave because society cannot absorb them and respond to their needs. "Based on our research, the most important cause for brain drain from Iran is unsuitable social conditions for the youth. There are several factors contributing to this unsuitable atmosphere."

The costs of the brain drain are high. Local sources put the economic loss at some $50 billion a year or higher. "For each inventor or scientist who leaves the country, it is as if 10 oil wells had been destroyed," Moghadam says.

there is no issue of whether

there is no issue of whether the iranians were burqa or not.

here burqa is used as a metaphor.

Please don't interpret the

Please don't interpret the article in wrong way.
only take the facts.when in iran and turkey ,muslims didn't follow islam or were forced to abandon it,they didn't progress.
Now it is there to see that they are taking up islam.wearing burqas is just one example.And then you know what science metrix has to say.
other factors can also play role,no doubt.
Besides,it is not this article but the entire western media which have been repeatadly propagating that women in iran wear burqas and mullahs are ruling iran,therefore,it won't progress.


Irans government is democratic? Whoever wrote this article is a dumb ass moron.