Arab Education

By YOUSSEF IBRAHIM in The End of Education as We know It

For half a century, some 270 million Arabs have had to suffer a drastic limiting of the idea of education as it has been shrunk to fit concepts of Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism, a process funded by nouveau riche Arabian oil wealth. The results have been nothing short of tragic.

[..] According to a dramatic statement included in the United Nations Arab Human Development Reports of the past few years, readership of books is so limited across the Arab world that the Arabic language itself is in “a state of crisis.” Illiteracy in elemental factual knowledge stands at well over 50%. The reports’ ultimate conclusion is that the major object of education in the Arab world today is evading true knowledge in favor of teaching submission to religion.

The instruments of that evasion have been forged inside the religious institutions of Islam. During the last 50 years, for example, half of the “great ulemas” of Saudi Arabia, those who legislate the laws, have been chosen from among men educated in madrassas. They are true illiterates by any measure, having never read books outside the Koran and the Hadith. In fact, many have literally seen nothing of the world at all, as the religious factions in Saudi Arabia tend to pick blind men, whom for some reason they regard as particularly pious, to be their lawmakers. [..]

May 21, 2007 | Comments Off on Arab Education

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