World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010

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Rethinking Education in Light of Text and Discourses (353) - NOT_DEFINED activity_field_Panel
 

· NOT_DEFINED date: THU 22, 2.30-4.30 pm

· NOT_DEFINED language: English

· NOT_DEFINED description: Chair: Kelly Al-Dakkak (D. Phil. Candidate, Oxford University, UK)

Paper presenter: Nawar Al-Hassan Golley (Associate Professor, American University of Sharjah, UAE), “Learning to Unlearn: The Power of Discourse”.
Discourse is pervasive. I always thought so but never recognized how unwavering till my own students demonstrated practical evidence in the classroom. This paper presents and analyzes evidence from my latest teaching experience (in Women's Studies classes at the American University of Sharjah, UAE) which demonstrates in practical terms the power of discursive conception and the associated difficulty in counteracting and challenging hegemonic and long-controlling discourses, such as androcentrism and Eurocentrism. I depart from the conviction that the educator has several responsibilities. The most tangible responsibility is to help students acquire a body of knowledge and a set of skills. However, and equally important, an educator should urge students to 'unlearn' (or, at least, engage critically with) their own accumulated knowledge and the implicit assumptions on which their knowledge is founded. This process of unlearning can help students overcome discursively maintained norms that are limiting and disadvantaging to the subordinate and the marginalized (the 'Other'). The goal of the paper is to present and reflect on the different methods an educator can employ in order to alleviate such resilient discourse. One of the suggestions is to strongly advocate further integration of women's studies classes in the liberal arts curriculum.

Paper presenter: Mustafa Erturk (Professor, Faculty of Theology, Istanbul University, Turkey), “Re-thinking and Updating Classical Islamic Thoughts As a Method of Spreading Religious Tolerance and Education”
To remain as a real Muslim at modern times is a very difficult and complicated task for an idealist Muslim. And there are always dilemmas in Muslim’s mind between Islamic rules and modernity. Thus, for Muslims, revising modernity is not a simple issue to be solved quickly since modernity has penetrated into the Muslim’s marrow for the last two or three centuries. It will take a long time to get rid of it. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to get away from modern issues and problems totally but it might be possible to reduce them to a position that does not give too much harm to basic principles of Islam and without conflicting for other religious ideas and thoughts. Muslims should not be waiting for someone, like a mahdi or a mujaddid, who would change the course of things to their benefit, but instead they must take the course of things in their hands. In this paper I would like to focus on how Islamic education should be done and which principles must be taken into consideration for reading and writing Islamic books and texts that had been written for hundred years ago. Revising modernity, I think, is also to reproduce alternative universal principles or rules which were deducted from the main Islamic sources, the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, and then to present them in an update form that preaches these principles to people. To me, one of the solutions to get rid of the dilemma between modernity and becoming a Muslim that Muslims have been suffering from is to update Islamic principles at every condition, not to change or reform them. For doing this it is necessary to re-read and re-dip into the principles of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet; and also to update the principles to the modern world. This paper especially deals with this concept (of update) and its affects on Islamic education.

Paper presenter: Ahmad Redzuwan Mohd Yunus (Lecturer, Department Da''wah dan Islamic Leadership, National University of Malaysia ), “Oles of Pembangunan Tamadun Masyarakat Asli (Petama) in developing Orang Asli human capital trough education”.
This paperwork focuses on how Pembangunan Tamadun Masyarakat Asli (PETAMA) plays a role in shaping and developing human capital in Orang Asli community through education. In this institution, there is a specific education system established to produce an educated Orang Asli community that specializes in Islamic education. There are two learning stages involved; preparation level and advanced level. Students will be following the modules in each level and are expected to finish within the specified period of time. The students will not only be exposed to formal education methods, but also to informal methods. What is interesting about this institution is that it has successfully produced missionaries amongst Orang Asli.