Without getting into the economics aspects of this piece, it is my opinion that the opening premise is completely wrong. It was actually European contact with the then much more enlightened and "liberal" Islamic culture that led directly to the Renaissance and the birth of modern science. The Reformation was a secondary effect of that contact.
Thanks for noting this, I missed it and now I've got more to write home about this weekend ;) This guy also gets a gold star in my book for being the first commentator I've ever seen compare John Calvin (or Mohammed, for that matter) to a socialist libertine ...
I tend to distrust any commentary on Islam that starts with "the trouble with Islam . . . ."
There are also some questionable suppositions, like "the Koran came to him straight from God, or so he tells us, and the reader must simply obey it." To say that the reader must simply obey it kinda misses the point.
And then this statement, "there is no mechanism in Islam, as there is in Catholicism, for an application of the principles of an ongoing Tradition to new circumstances -- be they social, political, scientific, or technological -- by drawing out heretofore implicit consequences" is flat out wrong-- it's like saying that no mechanism exists for etc. in Judaism. The author seems to be under the impression that most Muslims are backwards, illiterate literalists, when the opposite is in fact the case. In my understanding, moderate Islam, as with Judaism, has a long tradition of scholarly interpretation of not only the Koran, but also the Prophet's sayings and also the commentary on these works by various scholars.
For someone who isn't a Muslim to speculate on what would be best for Islam seems patronizing at best . . . .
The third-to-last paragraph in that article is wrong, as I understand it. I'll put a post up on why sometime soon.
Interesting but wrong-headed is my short reaction without reading the article. Very busy for the next few days; will read and comment later.