Man studying the Quran

Rebâtir une Maison de la Sagesse en terres musulmanes

GUILDFORD – Les gouvernements musulmans ont conscience de cette réalité selon laquelle croissance économique, puissance militaire et sécurité nationale dépendent inéluctablement des avancées technologiques. Nombre d’entre eux ont considérablement accu les financements en matière de sciences et d’éducation au cours des dernières années. Malgré tout, aux yeux de nombreux observateurs – et notamment occidentaux – le monde musulman semble encore aujourd’hui préférer se tenir à l’écart des sciences modernes. 

Ces nombreux sceptiques n’ont pas totalement tort. Les pays à majorité musulmane investissent en moyenne moins de 0.5 % de leur PIB dans la recherche et développement, soit cinq fois moins que les économies développées. Ils n’abritent par ailleurs que moins de dix scientifiques, ingénieurs et techniciens pour un millier d’habitants, par rapport à une moyenne mondiale de 40 – et de 140 dans les pays développés. Et encore, ces chiffrent n’illustrent entièrement la gravité du problème, qui réside moins dans le volume des dépenses ou le nombre de chercheurs employés que dans la qualité intrinsèque des sciences produites.  

Bien entendu, il ne serait pas juste d’asséner exclusivement cette critique au pays musulmans, dans la mesure où, au sein même d’un Occident dit « des Lumières », un nombre fâcheusement croissant de citoyens aborde les sciences avec suspicion, voire crainte. Il n’en demeure pas moins que dans certaines régions du monde musulman, la science se trouve confrontée à un défi unique : elle y est considérée comme une construction occidentale laïciste, voire athéiste.

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