Why the West became so advanced and the Middle East did not?

A review of Jared Rubin’s book, Rulers, Religion, and Riches

I had this question in mind for a while. All the articles I read that tried to answer this question had one thesis; it is religion, Islam is to be blamed. Though, I do not totally disagree, the answer felt very simplistic. In a way, religions are the products of their societies, and there is nothing stopping societies from re-shaping their religions if they want to. The west itself had Christianity, which would have hindered their development if it stayed in its…