By Mufti Taqi Usmani

Western Medicine in Muslim Countries

The situation in the poor countries, including all the Muslim countries is much worse.

The introduction of Western medicine was aimed at undermining Islamic values as well as the centuries old Islamic medicine. It was a “civilizing” mission. Thus we see that that much celebrated nurse Florence Nightingale considered creation of a public health department for India as part of a mission to bring higher civilization there.11

And the proposal for a medical college in Bombay in the 1830s was very clear about the goal: it was to wipe out the existing medicine there. Robert Grant wrote that the goal was:  “To give to the people of western India a practical and well trained body of medical practitioners who by the skillful and conscientious exercise of the art would so recommend themselves to their countrymen as in time to take the place of hakims and vaids, who for want of adequate education must necessarily be incompetent to exercise healing art with safety and success.” It is also very instructive that the entrance exam for the first batch of students for this college in 1848 consisted solely of questions about Paradise Lost. The purpose clearly was to create an elite class of slaves who would love to ape the maser and serve his interest whole-heartedly.

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