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A modern sultan

Can a historian of science breathe new life into Islam's international forum?

By Ehsan Masood   October 2004

“I just met General Musharraf.” The voice on the other end of the phone is friendly but tired. “What did he say?” I ask. The reply gives nothing away: “We had a good discussion.”

It is the first week in July; 14 days since Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, diplomat, historian and academic expert on science in the Ottoman empire, was elected secretary general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. The OIC represents the 57 states with mainly Muslim populations. After days of trying, I have reached Ihsanoglu in his Istanbul office at the OIC’s International Centre for Research in Islamic, History,…

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