You are right, partially. Nations do rise and fall. We have attitude and misplaced priorities syndrome. I will give you simple personal example, no bragging or self praise is intended. When my young son said he wants to be a teacher, many of his, and my friends said that there is no money in it and the job is frustrating. Here lies the biggest problem. One of his best friend who wanted him to go along towards the computer programing, is making twice as much as my son does. At the same time he is fed up and hates his job. My son also gets very frustrated and the job is really very hard, but he says that he loves it. He is teaching at the toughest and roughest, 100% minority student, High school of the Chicago. It is his second year only and he has already been given leadership position. He is respected by the student (most of them twice in physical size).
A large number of the professors at University and colleges in USA are Jews and Hindus. There are as many Muslims here as there are Jewish and Hindu people. A professor is not just a professor, the person is reflector of his/her community. As the the teacher/professor/scholar earns respect and admiration so does the community he belongs to.
We have lots of medical practitioners, but how many have opted for the research in the field. I know of only one in Chicago area. Dr Tipu Siddique. His presence at one of the top University brings admiration of the faculty and student body for him, his community and even the country, Pakistan. I asked few doctor friends if they ever thought of going into medical research. The response is very much similar. It is hard, it takes a lot of time and work and at the end there is not enough money in it. Good and dedicated practicing doctors earn goodwill for themselves and community too. Any profession, which benefit the children of Adam will bring peace to the community at large and to the giver and his/her particular community.
Muslims. as per Allah's command and message were not supposed to be after money, but we are. There is nothing wrong in being rich. The problem is that we, as a community, are not rich either. Again I am talking about created wealth and not God given resources, such as Oil and the minerals.
This problem is a grave problem. Saudis have money coming out of their behind, but almost no created wealth. Most of the money they have comes out of behind and goes where the stuff coming out of behind belongs. By now they should have been one of the most educated people, if the priorities were right. They had the resources.
About 50 Muslim countries, 50 plus Education ministers (or whatever), 50 plus national departments of education, if we add up all the schools, colleges, and Universities in these countries, the total will be less than 50% of the same in India, or in China (Asian). It may be unfair to compare to USA.
Criticism aside, let us talk about the solutions. Why the successful experiment of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan can not be duplicated? He did not created the University. He started the ball rolling for just a small school. he may have imagined it growing.
I am going to take this opportunity to invite the bright minds to come up with the simple ideas to increase the learning in our community. specially within the countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, India (Muslims in India are inflicted with same educational infertility).
Ladies and gentlemen, start the brain engine towards this task, and let us not drop the ball.