Globalization Its Impact on and Challenges to Education in the Muslim World

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Muhammed Haron



More than thirty years ago, the first World Conference on Muslim Education
embarked upon the “Islamization of Knowledge,” a process articulated and
expounded upon by the late Ismail Raji al-Faruqi (Temple University) and
Naguib al-Attas, retired (ISTAC, Malaysia). The organizers of this conference,
the seventh in this series, hoped to continue in this spirit by aiming “to
be as dynamic and as influential as its predecessors” and to develop themes
discussed in earlier conferences by locating them within “the current globalized
atmosphere.” Moreover, it “expected to usher in a new era of Muslim
education which will counteract the negative effects of globalization…”
The organizers listed three special themes: “Curriculum for Muslim
Education,” “Making Basic Teachings of Islam Relevant,” and “Religion
and Youth” and twelve subthemes, among them “Integration of Knowledge,”
“Madrasah Education,” “Quality of Muslim Education,” “Non-
Muslim Perspectives on Muslim Education,” and “Principles of Critical and
Creative Thinking in Muslim Education.” They also invited particular individuals
to present papers, such as Wahbah Zuhayli (dean, Faculty of Islamic
Law, University of Damascus [Syria]), Anis Ahmad (Riphah International
University [Pakistan]; editor, The Quarterly Journal of the West & Islam),
and Alparslan Acikgenc (Fatih University [Turkey]). Since the conference
covered a variety of keynote speeches, presentations by well-known Malaysian
scholars such as Osman Bakar (International Institute of Advanced
Islamic Studies, Malaysia) and Kamal Hassan (International Islamic University
Malaysia) and parallel sessions, I will comment briefly on the sessions
and more extensively on some of the keynote speeches that set the tone
for the discussions at the conference ...

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