22 October 2011

Norms and Allegiances in Muslim Education

Even the most casual observers of current events will notice a tension between Western civilization and Islam. This tension is often made explicit in Western public discourse about "Islamic fundamentalism" and the "clash of civilizations." Similarly, Muslim public discourse often focuses on the Zionist occupation of Palestine and the destruction of places like Bosnia and Iraq. But careful observers will soon realize that this tension contains within it an odd, and often unnoticed, paradox. While most Muslims are quick to denounce instances of Western aggression and political double-dealing, the more subtle cultural legacies of colonization and imperialism receive less attention. This is apparent when one takes the time to look at various forms of institutionalized colonization, such as education.