There can be no competition between a Muslim culture which is frozen in time and the West which has moved light-years ahead thanks to its uninhibited pursuit of scientific knowledge. The clash of civilisations often cited in editorial comments since the appearance of Samuel Huntingtonâ€™s famous book by that name is just that â€” a clash, not a competition
When the Soviet Union launched the worldâ€™s first satellite into space in 1957, the United States scrambled to catch up and created the National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA). Four years later, Yuri Gagarin of Russia became the first man to go into space.
American Alan Shepard followed him after 23 days, on May 5, 1961. The huge American investment in space research paid off and, eight years later, the US became the first country to land man on the moon.
The stiff competition between the two superpowers had crossed the frontiers of this earth as we knew it and entered space, the forbidden zone traditionally known as high heaven. The world viewed it as the contest between two systems vying for global superiority, the capitalist and communist systems.
For their part, many Muslim countries of the world continued to be client states of either the United States or the Soviet Union, seeking the economic and military support of one or the other superpower, sometimes switching sides from political, military or economic expediency, or threatening to do so to increase their bargaining power.