In my work on apophatic mysticism and philosophies of the unsayable, I have often encountered outstanding figures of genius who have made unmistakable the eminent role that Muslims have played in developing knowledge.

Ignorance in its literal sense simply means absence of knowledge, as in the Latin, legal term ‘ignoramus’ – meaning ‘we do not know’.

Now here’s a strange coincidence. In the summer of 1994, after a year living in Rawalpindi and working for The News – the English-language sister of the Urdu Jang – I spent six weeks travelling in the high mountains of the Pakistani north.

The email dropped innocuously into the Muslim Institute’s info account. Hopeful for an exciting event invitation or notification of a fascinating new publication just out, I opened it. But quickly realised this was not some generic semi-spam, but an incendiary provocation by a right-wing journalist with Islamophobic form.

In no particular order, here are some of the quotes from the more recent past that have caught our imagination.