First, Islam had almost no connection with Sub-Saharan Africa especially during its so-called "Golden Age." Islam didn't really even reach Sub-Saharan Africa until well into what Europe called the Age of Enlightenment.
Originally Posted by Kong
Finally, as to the supposed Islamic Golden Age, yes it is propaganda. It consisted solely of absorbed learning from conquered neighbors both in the form translated documents and scholars who while living in the Islamic world, but who were not Muslims.
First, the Muslim world benefited greatly from the Greek sciences, which were translated for them by Christians and Jews. To their credit, Muslims did a better job of preserving Greek text than did the Europeans of the time and this became the foundation for their own knowledge. (One large reason for this, however, was that access by Christians to this part of their world was cut off by Muslim slave ships and coastal raids that dominated the Mediterranean during this period).Link Link2
A key to the above is a quote by Bernard Lewis the greatest living historian on the Islamic World;
"We know of no Muslim scholar or man of letters before the eighteenth century who sought to learn a western language, still less of any attempt to produce grammars, dictionaries, or other language tools. Translations are few and far between. Those that are known are works chosen for practical purposes [philosophy being considered a practical discipline] and the translations are made by converts [who knew western languages before conversion] or non-Muslims."http://www.patrickpoole.com/2006/06/...slam-myth.html
Further the role of Islamic scholars having "saved" Greek learning for the west has been highly exaggerated. The majority of all Greek texts were translated by Christians directly from the Greek into Latin. Not a single work of Aristotle's for example was ever translated into Arabic. http://westerncivilizationandculture...m-is-myth.html
Also from Bernard Lewis: the Moslem Empire inherited "the knowledge and skills of the ancient Middle east, of Greece and of Persia, it added to them new and important innovations from outside, such as the manufacture of paper from China and decimal positional numbering from India." http://westerncivilizationandculture...m-is-myth.html
Interestingly, an analysis of the decline of the Islamic world found that the rapidity of decline was directly proportional to the percentage of Muslims in the population.
So this is not to say that the Islamic world was totally bereft of thinkers, it certainly wasn't. But almost exclusively the knowledge that was produced during the "Golden Age" was from outside of Islam and/or produced by Non-Moslem thinkers.
Regardless, all of this has nothing to do with this debate since Sub-Saharan Africa was not Islamic at the Fall of the Roman Empire.
Quick question, are you implying that the Dark Ages were caused by the Roman Empire? If so could you support that directly?
Originally Posted by Kong
I think you might be under a misunderstanding on what the Dark Ages were. The "dark ages" was the result of not having access to Roman knowledge, skill or protection. The culture simply reverted to where it was pre-Rome it didn't somehow sink lower than it had ever been.
So in a way you might be right, Africa would have experienced a decline if it had been part of the Roman Empire, but that is only because the Empire would have raised their standard of living during its existence.