What Happened To Muslim Science?

Once we learned from them, remember? Aquinas learned Aristotle from Muslim scholars. November's Crisis has Bob Reilly's terrific article explaining what happened. Basically it all went bad around 850:
The Mu’tazilites held that God is not only power; He is also reason. Man’s reason is a gift from God, who expects man to use it to come to know Him. The status of reason determines man’s relationship to revelation. God, being reason, would not expect man to accept anything contrary to it. Through reason, man is also able to understand God as manifested in His creation. God’s laws are the laws of nature, which are also manifested in the Sharia (the divine path). Therefore, the Mu’tazilites held that the statements in the Qur’an must be in accord with reason. This means that the Qur’an, a document revealed in history, is open to interpretation.
This view held sway for some time
The Mu’tazilite advocacy of reason succeeded to the extent that the teaching of a created Qur’an was enshrined as a state doctrine, proclaimed in 827 under Caliph al-Ma’mn. The Mu’tazilites fought for the primacy of reason and actually required religious judges to swear an oath that the Qur’an had been created. Their opponents, who believed in the primacy of power and the uncreated Qur'an, were punished and imprisoned.
Until a new caliph reversed the postion.
after the reign of Harun al-Watiq, the tables were turned on the Mu’tazilites by Caliph Ja’afar al-Mutawakkil (847–861), who made holding the Mu’tazilite doctrine a crime punishable by death. This did not end the Mu’tazilite school of thought (some fled to the more hospitable Shia areas), nor did it prevent the flourishing of the Greek-influenced faylasufs (philosophers) who followed them, such as al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes.
However, the collapse of Islam's science and philosophy had begun.
The victorious view developed a theological basis for the primacy of power by claiming that the revelation of Mohammed emphasizes most particularly one attribute of God—His omnipotence. Although all monotheistic religions hold that, in order to be one, God must be omnipotent, this argument reduced God to His omnipotence by concentrating exclusively on His unlimited power, as against His reason. God’s “reasons” are unknowable by man. God is not shackled by reason; He rules as He pleases. He is pure will.
Reilly both explains it lucidly and walks us through Maimonides and other thinkers' experiences of Muslim thought after the excise of reason. He shows us Christianity's flirtations with the same view and why we resisted it. And then he comes to a brilliant point (because it's my pet insight, and one loves to see one's ideas affirmed by others) --that hysterical Islam and secularism amount to the same thing:
The curious thing is that it does not matter whether one’s view of reality as pure will has its origin in a deformed theology or a totally secular ideology, such as Hegel’s or Hobbes’s: The political consequences are the same. As Rev. James V. Schall has shown, the notion of pure will as the basis of reality results in tyrannical rule. Disordered will, unfettered by right reason, is the political problem.
He hints about where the reasonable Muslim thinkers have disappeared to these days, too, which is interesting. One of the features of our journalism I most despise is the tendency to report enemy strengths without featuring their weaknesses. Particularly in the case of Iran, we hear about the Khomeini revolution and the mullahcracy, and uncritical reporting of Abombnjihad's popularity within Iran, but never about how many people in Iran consider Khomeini to have been a false ayatollah, and how many "true" ayatollahs languish in prison. It would be helpful to know these things. As Reilly concludes:
There are many Muslims (in Turkey and in the developing democracies of Indonesia and Malaysia, to say nothing of the democratic life followed by the huge Muslim population in India) who want to enter the modern world—with its modern science and modern political institutions—and also keep their faith. Unfortunately, the ideas gaining traction today are not theirs. That is the crisis, which is now spilling over into the West. In order to meet it, Benedict is telling us we have urgent reason to regain our own faith and to raise these all-important questions with them.