AIOU Course Code 6505-2 Solved Assignment Autumn 2021
Course: Islamic System of Education (6505)
Semester: Automu, 2021
Assignment no 2
What are the principles of teachig? Discuss in the perspective of Islam
In a complacent world, instituting an Islamic education in the hope of revitalizing the Deen (religion) seems to be a lofty ideal rather than a realistic possibility, but given the proper tutelage and an appropriately executed course of action for educators, this concept could very well realize its potential.
First, the attributes of a Muslim educator and education should be outlined. One should not categorize an educator as simply one who has attained a degree in a given course of study – one should view all Muslims as educators in their own right. Education should not be limited, therefore, to instruction within the walls of a classroom. Education comprises a lifelong endeavor, and it is the duty of all Muslims to learn from and to teach one another reciprocally. A three- fold path toward implementing an Islamic education outside the realm of classroom instruction includes: leading by example, applying Islamic guidelines to modernity, and discussing among peers of a similar persuasion.
Arguably most important, leading by example is a concept that allows for improvement of the self while demonstrating to a fellow Muslim that living a fulfilling Islamic life is an advantageous reality rather than a disability. This first item does, however, require at least a rudimentary knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah, which leads to the second principle of comprehensive Islamic education.
PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE TEACHING
A study at Bradley was undertaken to identify best practices for using Canvas in teaching and learning. The goal of the research was to develop recommendations for effective teaching using Canvas as a course supplement. A related goal was to increase student achievement and mastery of course material.
Faculty and staff from several disciplines met bi-weekly to research and discuss effective teaching. Relevant articles on best practices and effective teaching principles were examined. Presumed effective teaching principles and practices were identified and tested in the classroom, and final recommendations were drafted at the study’s end.
Application in a modern context can help eliminate the notion that Islam is an historical relic that benefits only the antiquated university historian or the casual investigator. In fact, learning and acting upon the Quran and Sunnah facilitate the instruction and education of youth in a traditionally unIslamic society. The discussion of Shariah (Islamic law) and its implications relevant to the current issues of cloning, genetic engineering, etc. will advocate an increased knowledge of Islam and its relation to ethical conduct.
The third tenet relates to education in a cooperative learning sense. Discussion and mutual consultation can only help promote general knowledge of Islam and its ramifications with respect to contemporary issues.
Combined, this approach can help each Muslim reach his/her full potential as an educator regardless of age, race, or gender. And as a result, Muslims worldwide could help bring about the eventual re- invigoration of Islam as a global doctrine both of which would be accomplished by means of a passive yet intellectual renaissance among the youth of a confrontational yet potentially cohesive society.
Principles for Teacher Education
Our collective commitment to the development of exemplary teacher education programs is unwavering. Central to our deliberations about the direction of teacher education has been the adoption and enactment in all our teacher education programs of a set of six principles that define, in comprehensive ways, our conceptual framework for teacher education. The six principles are shared below. Accompanying each is an elaboration composed of three parts: a statement about why the principle is important, a statement about implications of the principle for our teacher education programs, and a statement about what the principle implies for teacher candidate expectations.
- Learning Environment
- Personalized Learning
- Critical Reflection
This is the last of a four-part lecture on how an Islamic approach to teaching (of statistics) differs radically from the Western approach. In the first three parts:
Descriptive Statistics: Islamic Approach: We explained how Statistics is a form of rhetoric, which uses an illusion of objectivity of numbers to deceptively persuade audiences, who are trained to believe that numbers are FACTS, and cannot be disputed.
Purpose: Heart of An Islamic Approach: All actions depend on intentions. We must clarify our goals in life, and then ask how statistics be used to achieve our goals. This is essential for an Islamic Approach, and missing from a Western approach.
Eastern & Western Knowledge: This explains how the concept of “knowledge” was redefined by Logical Positivists in the early 20th Century to exclude the heart, spirituality, and life experiences. This created a very distorted approach to knowledge which continues to dominate Western education.
Islamic Principles of Education: This post explains how an Islamic education addresses both the head and the heart, and explains how we are required to struggle to achieve education in both of these dimensions.
In the light of the views of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan what type of curriculum will be necessary for children?
He is legacy is a complicated one — he was a “loyal servant” of the British administration before the revolt of 1857. He even penned a pamphlet titled The Causes of the Indian Revolt to explain the reasons of the revolt from a “native perspective”. However, witnessing the near annihilation of the Muslim elites prompted Sir Syed Ahmad Khan to take up the case of Muslims and his life-long journey as an Islamic reformer and educationist is a testament to his dedication.
“Post-ghadar (revolt), I was not disappointed by looting of my house and loss of belongings. I was disturbed due to the ruination of my qaum,” Khan said. He initially thought to leave the country but decided against it later. “I gave up the idea of migration and decided to struggle for the rebuilding of the qaum.” Born on 17 October 1817 to a wealthy family that was close to the Mughal court, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan wore many hats: Civil servant, journalist, historian. However, he is, first and foremost, known for his pioneering role in transforming the educational opportunities for Muslims. He recognised that education is the most important tool through which Muslims could emerge from a position of disadvantage and compete with Hindus, especially Bengali Hindus who were at the pinnacle of the political scene at the time. He pushed for educational and social reforms and was a champion of democratic ideals and freedom of speech. In one of his essays he wrote, “Freedom of expression is the right of everyone… Suppression of opinions, be it for any religious fear, or the fear of community and tribe or the fear of being defamed, or the fear of the government – is very bad”
Sir Syed Ahmed Khan 28 December 2013 at 05:10 Early Biography Details Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was born in 1817 in Delhi. He came from a wealthy family and his father gave him high quality education. When he was 18 Sir Syed was skilled in Arabic, Persian, Mathematics and Medicine. He was also introduced as Sub-continent most able writer. In 1838 his father died so he became a judge in Delhi in 1846. When the war of Independence broke out in 1857 he was working as Chief Judge in Bijnaur and had saved the life of British women and children during the fighting. In return for his loyalty the British gave him estate with large income but he refused. His Belief that armed uprising against the British was pointless made him unpopular to many Muslims. He was appointed Chief justice in Muradabad and was later transferred to Ghazipore. In 1864 he was transferred to Aligarh where he played an important part in establishing the college. In 1876 he retired from his work to concentrate on running the college and devoting himself to improve the position of Muslims through education. He died on 27 March 1898. Beliefs Sir Syed was extremely unhappy about the position of Muslims in the subcontinent. Since the days of the Mughal declined the social and economical status of Muslims had declined sharply and the role of Muslims in the war of Independence had left further decline as British took measures to ensure that their control was unchallenged. Sir Syed Ahmed felt that the poor status of Muslims was due to they were treated as second-class citizen by British and Hindus and they had to take some responsibilities themselves. Most Muslims thought that British were no more than just invaders and they had nothing to do with them. Sir Syed Ahmed believed that Muslims had to accept that the British were there rulers and could only improve if they have a positive approach towards them. They needed to accept the British idea and their education if they wanted to improve. Sir Syed wanted to see Muslims untied and prospering in their social, e conomical and religious fortune. He made this his Life ’s ambition and founded Aligarh movement. Aligarh Movement Sir Syed was interested in Muslims. He wanted to improve relations with British and the positions of Muslims. The central aims of the Aligarh Movement were to: – improve relations between the British and Muslims communities by removing British doubts about Muslim loyalty and Muslim doubts about the British intentions.
- – improve the social and economic position of Muslims by encouraging them to receive Western education and take up posts in the civil service and army. – increase their political awareness to make them aware of the threat to from the Hindu policy of cooperation with the British. Work 1. Improving Relation between the British and Muslim Communities Sir Syed believed that the position of the Muslims in the subcontinent could only be improved if relations with the British were improved by the Muslims gained higher-quality education. There were two major obstacles to good relations. A. The British had put the entire responsibility for the War of Independence in 1857 on the Muslims. Sir Syed wanted to ensure that this false view was corrected. B. There was a deep-seated resentment of the British among many in the Muslim community. Sir Syed wanted to ensure that the benefits and advantages of British rule, in particular in the areas of science and technology were embraced by the Muslim community to improve the lives of the masses. Convincing the British In 1860 Sir Sye d wrote “The Loyal Mohamme dans of India”. In this work he de fended Muslims and listed the name of those Muslims who remained Loyal to the British during the uprising. In order to convince that the British were wrong to fully blame the Muslims for the uprising so he wrote a pamphlet “Essay on the Cause s of the Indian Revolt”. In this he pointed the reasons for the uprising. He told that British were unable to understand the Indians. This Pamphlet was circulated freely among the British officials in India and the copies were also sent to England were it was studied carefully. Many British thought that he was blaming them for uprising but others sympathetic and accepted the truth in his words. He also cleared the misunde rstanding that Muslim called the British “Nadarath”, He told that this was no insult but the word came from Arabic word “Nasir” which me ans he lpers. Convincing the Muslims Sir Syed was aware that the British knew very little about Islam. Indeed, on a visit to England he was so offended by an English book on the life of the Prophet (PBUH) that he immediately wrote his own work correcting the many errors. Sir Syed was aware that Muslim in India knew v e ry little about Christianity. He tried to ov ercome this by writing “Tabyin -ul-Kalam” in which he pointed out the similarities between Islam and Christianity. 2. Encouraging the growth of Western education He also supported the idea of western education as he knew that Muslims could not succeed until they had high quality education which was received by the Hindus. He believed that the
- acceptance of Western scientific and technological ideas was necessary as this could only make Muslim advance in the world of science. He related this with Holy Quran that it was written in Quran that the study and that an understanding of modern scientific belief actually helped reveal the full majesty of God. He established scientific society at Ghazipore and its main purpose was making Scientific Writing available to more people. When he visited England he was impressing by the quality of education the student received there so in 1875 he founded Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College its main purpose was to provide the education to the Muslims like the people in England received. The subjects were Mathematics, Modern Science and Agricultural Science. (In 1920 the college became the University of Aligarh. 3. Increasing Political Awareness Syed Ahmed also wanted Muslims to have a good relation with the Hindus but he found out that Hindus did not want good relations. In 1885 Indian Nation Congress was found which claimed to speak for Indians but later it was found out that it was a body dominated by Hindus. Sir Syed wanted Muslims to stay away from Democracy as the Muslims were in minorities in India and every election would be won by the Hindus. A furthe r cause of concern to Sye d Ahme d was the “Hindi-Urdu Controversy”. In 1867 the Hindus demanded that Hindi should be the next official language. The Muslims were struck by this as Urdu had special place in their hearts. This was another factor guiding him towards his two nation theory. Hindi-Urdu Controversy Hindi-Urdu Controversy was started in 1867. Hindus demanded Hindi to be official language but Muslims wanted Urdu to be official language. Sir Syed supported Urdu in this thing. Due to this re ason Sir Sye d started “Two Nation The ory” te lling that Muslims and Hindus we re two separate kinds of people. Muslims opposed this and supported Urdu as it was the sign and united the Muslims of the India under one language. Two-Nation Theory Urdu was the national language for many years. But Hindus opposed it in Urdu Controversy. This provoked Sir Syed to make his Two Nation Theory to tell that Urdu had place in hearts of Muslims and was supported by them and can’t be replaced by Hindu which was the language
- of the Hindus. It was important because Sir Syed had realized that Muslims and Hindu couldn’t work together as the Hindus were not with the Muslims. Another reason was that the parliamentary system was not supported by Si r Syed was Hindus were in more number so they always outnumbered the Muslims and due to this Sir Syed opposed it. Sir Syed realised that separate electorate was the possible solution to this so in view of his Two Nations Theory. He made this decision of separate electorate demand for elections for the good of the Muslims. Another reason it was important was that congress spoke of competitive examinations for jobs and good posts while Muslims were always not given good education so they were also not able to take good posts as Hindu won all the seats and passed the examinations always. According to Two Nation Theory Sir Syed suggested it as two separate groups of Muslims and Hindus were not working for the Muslims at that time so Two Nation Theory was important here as well. Importance He worked tirelessly to improve the relation of British and Muslims and wrote several books and pamphlets so that British might be convinced and trust Muslims once again. He played a major role in educating Muslims so that they can take up good jobs and their condition was improv ed. He is known as “Father of the Pakistan Movement” As he was the first one to express the Idea of treating Muslims and Hindus separately. Contribution of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan (14Marks) 1. Attempts to achieve a better understanding between the British and the Muslims Sir Syed Ahmad Khan was one of the Muslim reformers. He carefully studied and analyzed the decline of Muslims in political power, social status and economic well -being. He came to the conclusion that Muslims were being handicapped because of the misunderstanding which had cropped up between the British and Muslim rulers, the Muslims opposed and hated the British and everything associated with the British. Muslims kept away from modern education and English language which the British were trying to enforce in India. On the other hand the British held the Muslims responsible for the revolt of 1857 and considered them (Muslims) to be their real enemies. The result of this mistrust was that Muslims were being crushed in every way. Therefore, Sir Syed tried to remove this misunderstanding by addressing both the British and Muslims. Sir Syed wrote books and explained to the British that the real cause of 1857 uprising was the wrong policies and altitude of the British themselves. To Muslims Sir Syed explained that Christians and Christianity should not be hated. He specially stressed that
- Muslims should came towards modern education, the lack of which was causing continual set back to the Muslims of India. 2. Education Sir Syed gave much importance to modern education and his efforts and contribution to Muslim education and his efforts and contribution to Muslim education is very important. He opened schools at several places where he was posted. He established Scientific Society and printed the Aligarh Institute Gazette. He was visited England in 1869 on his own expenses to observe the working of British Universities. Most important achievement in education sector was the founding of M.A.O College at Aligarh in 1877. Sir Syed founded the Mohammadens Educational Conference whose objective was to discuss and solve the education problems of Muslims in the sub-continent. His efforts for Muslim education served double purpose. It helped the Muslims to get good jobs and raised their status in society. It also helped in removing the mistrust between the British and the Muslims. Therefore education was the most important aspe ct of Sir Sye d’s se rvices in the Muslims of India. 3. Politics Sir Sye d’s adv ice to Muslims in the political fie ld is also important. He believed that under the European system or democratic government the Muslims of India would always be at the mercy of Hindu majority. He suggested separate electorate for Muslims. He advised the Muslims not to join Congress. He opposed the system of competitive examinations for government posts because Muslims were much behind the Hindus in education. Sir Syed strongly opposed the replacement of Urdu with Hindi as court and of ficial language. 4.Religion In Re ligion Sir Sye d unite d the Muslims by supporting the “Two Nation The ory” and the Hindi-Urdu controversy of 1867 in which Hindus wanted Hindi to be the official language while the Muslims wanted Urdu. He realised the threat to Muslims so united them and gave them good education. centre of Indian Islam.
Discus Islamic philosophy on guidance and avaluation Support your answer with the help of Quranic Venes
Islamic philosophy (الفلسفة الإسلامية) is a branch of Islamic studies, and is a longstanding attempt to create harmony between philosophy (reason) and the religious teachings of Islam (faith). Islamic philosophy, as the name implies, refers to philosophical activity within the Islamic milieu. The main sources of classical or early Islamic philosophy are the religion of Islam itself (especially ideas derived and interpreted from the Quran); Greek philosophy which the early Muslims inherited as a result of conquests when Alexandria, Syria and Jundishapur came under Muslim rule; and pre-Islamic Iranian and Indian philosophy. Many of the early philosophical debates centered around reconciling religion and reason as exemplified by Greek philosophy. In early Islamic thought two main currents may be distinguished, Kalam, dealing mainly with theological questions, and Falsafa, founded on interpretation of Aristotelian and Neoplatonic philosophy. From the ninth century onward, owing to Caliph al-Ma’mun and his successor, Greek philosophy was introduced among the Persians and Arabs, and the Peripatetic school found representation in Al-Kindi, Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), and Ibn Rushd (Averroës).
THE QUR’AN AS REVELATION
In the Qur’an, a pious Muslim hears God’s voice guiding and encouraging, consoling and reproaching, promising the righteous mercy and eternal bliss, while threatening the wicked with wrath and eternal torment. For Muslims, the Qur’an is the word of God, which has entered human time to shape history. According to Muslim sources, the Angel Gabriel revealed himself to Prophet Muhammad in 610 CE while he was in prayerful retreat in a cave on Mount Hira, outside Mecca. It is said that in this initial meeting, the Angel Gabriel pressed Muhammad so vehemently that he felt he was being choked. The Qur’an states that the angel then commanded:
Recite in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a blood clot. Recite, for your Lord is most magnanimous – who taught by the pen; taught man that which he did not know. (Qur’an 96:1-5)
Muslims claim that God warned Prophet Muhammad: We shall surely lay upon you weighty speech, and enjoined him to rise up through most of the night in prayer, and remember fervently what he was told to be, “the Lord of the east and the west” (Qur’an 73:5 and 73:8). For Muslims this “weighty speech” marked Prophet Muhammad as the last Messenger of God to humankind; this event was to have a great impact on the course of human history.
The Qur’an is said to have been communicated to Prophet Muhammad in two ways. Muslims believe that it was communicated through the Angel Gabriel. These communications were revealed in small portions: single verses, groups of verses, and entire chapters or suras over a period of twenty to twenty-two years. The Qur’an for Muslims is not only words that can be uttered, heard, and recorded; it is also the heavenly archetype of which the recited and written Qur’an is only an earthly copy. The Qur’an in its heavenly archetypal form is for Muslims the source of divine revelation throughout human history and is eternally preserved by God. It is the covenant of God with humankind which He established with the children of Adam when they were but ideas or essences in the divine realm. Prophet Muhammad also professed to have experienced this heavenly Qur’an, in addition to having been the recipient of revelation. He would experience a profound spiritual state, shivering on a hot summer day or sweating on a cold winter day, hearing sounds like the ringing of a bell. These sounds transformed themselves in his consciousness into human words, which he memorised and had recorded.
Muslims also believe that the Qur’an was also sent down in part, to Prophet Muhammad’s heart on the “night of determination” (Qur’an 44:3 and 97:1), a blessed night for all Muslims. This event sanctified his life and made Prophet Muhammad an example for Muslims to follow. In the Qur’an, God asked: Am I not your Lord? and those who chose to worship God affirmed as Lord responded with the words: Yes, we bear witness… (Qur’an 7: 172). The Qur’an is the seal and testimony to this covenant. Its message is, for Muslims, a powerful affirmation of divine lordship and Muslim commitment.
The Qur’an as an earthly text has been inextricably bound to Muslim history. It served as an answer to the problems of the Arab society in Prophet Muhammad’s time. The Qur’an was also a response to Prophet Muhammad’s questions about the meaning of human life and the mystery of creation, and was closely linked to the history of the nascent Muslim community in Mecca and, later, in Medina. Many of the Qur’anic verses are said to have been revealed in answer to specific questions or life situations. The answers given are seen by Muslims to be general principles, moral imperatives, or precepts applicable to all times and places. The family of the Prophet, which the Qur’an directly addressed (see Qur’an 33:32), is seen by Muslims to be a model for all families and all societies in the world.
Arrangement of the Qur’an
The Qur’an was subsequently written down and memorised by professing Muslim men and women. Yet, when the Prophet died in 632 CE, ten years after the Hijra, that is, his migration from Mecca to Medina, the Qur’an as it is known today, did not exist. The verses and chapters, or suras, were at that time scattered fragments of the writings of Prophet Muhammad’s scribes, preserved on privately collected pieces of parchment, stone, palm leaf, and leather, in addition to words preserved in human memory. It was during the reign of the third Muslim caliph (or religious leader) Uthman, who governed the existing Muslim community several generations after Prophet Muhammad’s death, that the Qur’an was given its standard form, which remains unchanged to this day. The suras were arranged so that, generally, there would be progression from the longest chapter to the shortest. It is that arrangement that has been preserved as the authoritative version of the Qur’an.
It is essential for every pious Muslim to memorise as much of the Qur’an as possible. A Muslim prayer in the solitude of a room or in a congregation begins with the words of the Qur’an’s opening sura (Al-Fatihah). Prayer is considered to be a way for Muslims to appropriate the word of Allah. This divine-human interchange is eloquently expressed in a hadith qudsi, a saying of the Prophet quoting God:
I have divided the prayer (salat) between me and my servant, and my servant shall have whatever he prays for. For when the servant says: ‘All praise be to God, the Lord of all beings,’ God says: ‘My servant has praised me’. When the servant says: ‘The All-Merciful, the Compassionate,’ God says: ‘My servant has glorified me … this is my portion and to him belongs what remains’. (M. Ayoub, The Qur’an and Its Interpreters).
The Fatihah, the opening sura of the Qur’an, is considered by Muslims to be the perfect prayer. The first three and one-half of its seven verses is a prayer of praise. The rest of the sura is a prayer for divine guidance and grace. Not only the Fatiha but the entire Qur’an is a Muslim prayer. It is also a divine address to Muslims. Thus, in every prayer, God is believed to reveal Himself and the Muslim believer is to receive the word of God. Muslim prayer is the human connection to God through the Qur’an.
There is a relation in Islam between individual responsibility and the rights and privileges derived from membership in the community. Individual obligations must be met before one can claim a portion from the community of which he is part. Each member of a society must fulfill his own obligations and rely on others to fulfill theirs before that society can acquire the necessary reservoir of social rights and privileges which can then be shared by all. The notions of brotherhood and solidarity not only impose upon the community the duty to care for’ its members, but also require each person to use his initiative to carry out individual and social responsibilities according to his ability.
And to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, And throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.
“Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart—and that is the weakest of faith.”
The Prophet’s Hadith
The equality of all Muslims is emphasized repeatedly throughout the Qur’an. It is because of that concept that Islam under the Sunni tradition does not have an ordained clergy. There is a direct relationship between every man and his Creator, and there can be no intermediary. This particular closeness between the individual and God is paramount in belief as well as in practice.
It is frequently argued that Islam is not a religion that provides for full equity among Muslims. Indeed, because Islam makes distinctions between men and women; not all rights and privileges available to men are available to women. For example, a male Muslim inherits twice the share of the female, but then a male relative has the financial responsibility to care for a needy female relative. Also, a male Muslim has the right to unilaterally divorce his wife, while she can only divorce her husband through a judge’s determination. Custody of children from a divorce is given the mother, boys till age 9 and girls till age 12. Thereafter custody reverts to the father, provided that he is fit. However, the fact that there is not absolute parity in all rights and privileges does not mean that women do not share an overall equality with men. It must also be noted that certain social practices in some Muslim countries are not required by Islam, but have simply evolved in the course of time as a result of indigenous cultural factors.
Islam differentiates between Muslims and non-Muslims and between the “People of the Book” (dhimmi) and others. Only Muslims have the right to elect the khalifa. In judicial matters the oath of the Muslim prevails over that of the non-Muslim. There are therefore some differences between males and females in Islam, between Muslims and Dhimmis, and Muslims and non-Dhimmis.
One of almost 300 mosques on the Tunisian island of Jerba. These glimmering, whitewashed structures dominate the landscape, their colors shift with the changing light, and their flights of architectural fantasy seem to come in an infinite variety. (Aramco World Magazine, July-August 1994; photo Nik Wheeler).
Write a comprehensive note on four World conferences on Islamic Education
Comprised of fifty-seven nations spread over four continents, the forty-year-old Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is the second largest international body after the UN, and is aimed at protecting Muslim interests worldwide. Some experts say the organization has been ineffectual, but they also note its tremendous potential for addressing the issues facing Muslims. Advocates of reaching out to Muslims see the OIC as an important venue for the United States, but critics question whether engagement with the group is appropriate considering some of the positions it has taken on issues such as Islamic radical movements, Israel/Palestine, and the human rights records of its members. These questions have taken on particular prominence in the controversy over U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent appointee to the conference, Rashad Hussain.
The Purpose of the OIC
According to the OIC web site, the council was created in 1969 following a summit in Morocco in the wake of the “criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.” Though the act was perpetrated by an Australian Christian fanatic, the incident became emblematic of the struggle for control of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. The organization was originally formed around the idea of Muslim solidarity, particularly protecting the Islamic holy sites, assisting the Palestinian cause, eradicating racial discrimination, and improving economic cooperation.
Some experts contend the group should not be seen as a religious body but as an intergovernmental organization. Still, with fifty-seven member countries and a total population of nearly 1.5 billion that is diverse ethnically, geographically, economically, and politically, Islam remains the only major commonality. Former U.S. ambassador to the OIC Sada Cumber says though the OIC acts more like the UN on issues, Islam pervades all aspects of Muslim life and it is difficult to separate out faith.
Overall, says Hady Amr, a director of the Brookings Doha Center, along with other experts, the OIC hasn’t made much of an impact on the daily lives of Muslims or on issues such as Palestinian self-determination and statehood and control over Muslim holy sites within Israel. Efforts to isolate Israel have largely fallen flat. For instance, Egypt was excluded from the OIC in 1979 for establishing a peace agreement with Israel (Egypt was reinstated in 1984), and several other countries continue to maintain diplomatic and economic ties despite a 1981 OIC resolution for an economic boycott. There also can be significant enmity between some OIC states, such as Iran and Iraq.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attack, the OIC began to rethink its core mission to address new challenges faced by the global Muslim community. In 2005, the conference adopted a ten-year plan to address issues such as terrorism, Islamophobia, poor governance, and economic disparities. It approved a broadened charter to reflect these issues three years later. “Poverty, illiteracy, epidemics, corruption, and the lack of equal opportunity and equal distribution of wealth force people to look for answers in different places,” said OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu in a 2005 speech. “When these issues are not addressed properly by legitimate means, they are used as an excuse to push for extremist agendas.”
Despite this new direction, there remain differences of opinion on the nature of the organization’s role in international affairs, said former OIC intern Haroon Moghul, currently executive director of the Maydan Institute, an Islamic communications organization in New York. Some countries, such as Turkey and Malaysia, envision the conference as a forum for a cultural agenda pushing moderation, while others, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, want a more political agenda including the spread of theocratic influence.
Organization and Influence within the OIC
Decisions are primarily made by the council of foreign ministers, which meets every year to review new policies, and a summit of heads of state that meets every three years to consider major initiatives. The General Secretariat, headed by the secretary general, carries out the day-to-day functions and policies. The OIC is “run on a shoestring budget” with an operating budget of $17.6 million in 2006 (PDF), according to a report from the Montreal International Forum. Though the budget comes primarily from mandatory dues from member nations, and the charter also allows for additional funds to be supplied voluntarily, OIC pledges for member aid are often only partly met. Experts say this gives countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran significant influence. For example, Saudi Arabia alone donated $1 billion to IDB’s Poverty Alleviation Fund in 2006. “If you have a model like this, you can’t push a progressive agenda because you don’t have the funds,” says Sada Cumber
Through checkbook dominance and other means, several OIC countries hold considerable power. Chief among them are Iran and Saudi Arabia–a founding member, the largest financial contributor to the conference, and the custodian of two of Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina. Pakistan also has been active within the conference and is using the OIC as a platform to push its resolution on religious blasphemy (PDF) in the UN. Pakistan also was influential in preventing India, which has the world’s third largest Muslim population, from joining the conference.
Global Governance to Combat Illicit Financial Flows
Turkey, which joined the OIC in 1995, has grown in influence and has taken an active role in attempting to make the conference more relevant and moderate. Turkey’s İhsanoğlu has served as the secretary general of OIC since 2004, which “has increased the respect for Turkey among Arab countries” and shown potential for increasing stability in the region, writes Ozan Örmeci in Caspian Weekly. “Under the leadership of Turkey, OIC can function as a bridge between West and East, and negate the ’clash of civilizations’ discourse which claims to explain the recent developments in global politics especially after 9/11.” Malaysia, which held the secretary general post before Turkey, is another influential member that experts say has worked to make the OIC more effective and more moderate.
There are several controversial issues involving the OIC, including:
Israel/Palestine: Despite the revamp of the charter, Israel remains a major issue for the OIC. The conference used its influence within United Nations to push for the controversial 2009 Goldstone report on the status of Gaza that accuses Israel of major human rights abuses. The OIC also continues to push for greater access to Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. “[I]t is very difficult to say anyone has the power to do anything because the Israelis deny every international organization–and of course they deny the OIC–any access there” said İhsanoğlu on the status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (al-Jazeera). “The only way we can influence events is through the UN and Unesco.”
The May 2010 Turkish-sponsored flotilla incident, in which Israeli forces raided a ship attempting to breach the blockade of Gaza, has also been heavily criticized by OIC members. However, the flotilla incident also highlights the continuing divisions within the conference over how to handle Israel. Egypt had aided the blockade by also closing its border to Gaza with little public criticism from OIC countries. Following the flotilla incident, Egypt opened its border for the first time to allow shipments of non-medical aid and food, but it is unclear how long it will remain open (Haaretz). In June 2010, Malaysia’s foreign minister said he hoped to pressure Egypt to open its Gaza border permanently (Bernama). “We must speak with one voice in asking Egypt to open up the Rafah border crossing,” said Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
Human Rights: In 2010, Freedom House, a U.S.-based international human rights and democracy watchdog, listed nine OIC member countries among the worst human rights violators in the world, including a few that sit on the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Yet, OIC members have substantial sway within the Human Rights Council, using it largely as a venue to attack Israel. At the same time, OIC members have thwarted criticism of their own human rights records within the UN.
The OIC also is pushing a resolution on the defamation of religions within the HRC, which has an emphasis on protecting Islam from being insulted or stereotyped as a religion of terrorism. Advocates say such action is needed to combat growing Islamophobia. But human rights and free speech advocates say a non-binding resolution or potentially a binding treaty will curtail religious and political freedom, because religious blasphemy laws in Islamic countries are often used to target religious minorities and government critics.
The defamation resolution is an offshoot of the disagreement over the definition of human rights by Islamic countries. The UN adopted a universal declaration on human rights in 1948, but the OIC adopted its own Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (PDF) in 1990. The UN universal human rights declaration, for example, recognizes the right to change religions, but the Cairo declaration does not. All rights in the Cairo declaration are to be read and understood through sharia law—which does not allow conversion from Islam. A 2008 report (PDF) by the New York-based Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit that focuses on freedom of expression, contends the Cairo declaration represents “an alternative human rights system, infused with religious language and layered with exceptions, omissions, and caveats,” including a religious test for speech.In 2009, following the arrest warrant issued for Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, the OIC issued a strong statement (PressTV) noting “the selectivity and double standard applied in relation to issues of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” pointing to the West’s silence on Israel’s actions in Gaza. In April 2010, İhsanoğlu announced that the OIC would form an independent human rights committee to monitor Muslim nations. He said he hoped such a body would increase the OIC’s credibility in the eyes of the outside world as well as help refute outside accusations .
Terrorism: The OIC adopted the Convention on Combating International Terrorism in 1999, but defining terrorism has been a struggle for the conference. Following a 2002 meeting, OIC ministers rejected the idea that Palestinian suicide bombers should be considered terrorists because of their struggle against Israeli occupation. In 2008, Human Rights Watch, noting that international law prohibits attacks against civilians no matter the circumstances, asked the OIC to amend its definition of terrorism “to clarify that its condemnation of terrorism makes no exemptions, even if in the name of causes that OIC member states endorse.” A 2009 OIC declaration (PDF) said: “Terrorism, to be sure, is not a security issue but rather an ideological one with its political, security, and even cultural manifestations.”
Islam and U.S. Policy
Following the 9/11 terror attacks, U.S. policymakers made a concerted effort to improve U.S.-Islamic relations. In 2008, President George W. Bush appointed a U.S. envoy to the conference for the first time in history, with little fanfare. President Obama’s speech in Cairo in June 2009 was intended to emphasize his commitment to continue and strengthen this outreach. But his appointment of Rashad Hussain as envoy to the OIC in February 2010 was met with an uproar from U.S. conservatives because of Hussain’s comments criticizing the United States’ prosecution of Muslim activist Sami al-Arian. (LongWarJournal)
The controversy led to a larger question of whether the United States should engage the OIC diplomatically. “A public effort by a U.S. envoy to modify OIC policy is more likely to strengthen the voice of the more extreme members of the OIC, like Iran or Saudi Arabia, than it is to strengthen more moderate voices like Jordan or Indonesia,” argues Brett Schaefer, a foreign policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. “A far more fruitful strategy would be to approach OIC members bilaterally.”
Enlist the main hindrences in Ilmamination of educational system in Pakistan Also discuss ways to deal with those hindrances
Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) hosted a consultation to discuss the challenges of education financing. This specific issue was selected as the topic of discussion for the consultation given government funding to education is extremely low in Pakistan at around 2 percent of the country’s GDP. With the release of the country’s national budget just around the corner, education financing was a pertinent issue to discuss with representatives from civil society, legislators, government officials and representatives from the Ministry of Education.
There are several challenges facing Pakistan’s education sector starting with the fact that there is not enough investment in education. The answer to why education is not a funding priority in Pakistan lies in the simple reality that most people in our country are not aware of all the long-term benefits of receiving a quality education. The lack of quality education in Pakistan has left citizens deprived of knowledge and understanding. This has become a compounding problem in the country as parents that are uneducated don’t see how education leads to enormous positive psychological impacts, social growth and economic empowerment.
Education in developing countries is one of the most neglected sectors. Many developing national governments, including Pakistan’s, fail to realize that ensuring all youth and children receive a quality education is critical to a country’s socioeconomic development and economic growth. As a result, the lack of funding for education creates major problems in Pakistan, such as poor quality teaching and learning, unequal access to education, and low levels of school enrollment and attendance.
Aside from budgetary constraints, one of the biggest obstacles inhibiting Pakistan from achieving quality education for all is the lack of trained and competent teachers. In government schools across Pakistan, it is common practice that teachers are not hired through meritocratic standards, but rather are elected through political appointments or hired through nepotism.
When it comes to improving the quality of education in developing countries, political will is the most important factor–even more so than budgetary constraints. Political will lies at the heart of the issue and if motivation is needed to change the status quo, it must come from the highest levels. Historically, the Pakistani government has not had the political will to focus on assessing education indicators and outcomes. Instead, it has focused most of its attention on keeping the country safe from internal and external threats. From border skirmishes and nuclear threats, most of the political will in Pakistan is geared towards building up the country’s military and defense system, which explains the large budgetary allocations to defense in contrast to funding for education. Since the inception of Pakistan, each government has pushed their own respective agendas forward, each more aggressive than the last. However, no government has reformed education to make it more accessible. Unfortunately, the lack of political will to prioritize education at the highest levels of government in Pakistan flows to lower provincial and district levels. As a consequence, schools in Pakistan often have low levels of learning, and poor academic performance and educational outcomes. Other obstacles that schools often face are the lack of security systems and basic facilities.
In order to address these problems, there needs to be a focus on transparency, accountability and monitoring systems. There also is a need to engage the general public in the budget-making processes so that the demands of the community and civil society are listened to by policymakers. The government cannot work in silos and it is essential that linkages with the relevant departments are established to initiate greater policy change.
As a nation, we have not prioritized education as a catalyst for growth, instead it has often been sidelined by other national priorities. During the consultation, participants agreed that improving education in Pakistan will require the following strategies:
Implementation of the right to education across Pakistan.
Government must increase the education budget to 4 percent of GDP and education reforms must be aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Equity in education must be ensured by making provincial and national governments accountable for providing minimum standards in public schools for disadvantaged groups.
Education should be linked with other development sectors such as climate change, poverty reduction and economic growth to have a holistic approach to sustainable growth and development in Pakistan.
A Note to Teachers: Turn this post into a lesson for your class. Print out each barrier and hand them out to your students. Don’t include the solutions (yet). Get your students to discuss and list creative solutions to each challenge themselves. Then, present them with the solutions provided in this post.
A Note to Students: Use these points for an essay on barriers to education. I’ve provided links to all of my sources throughout this piece. Make sure you reference those sources in your essay.
Lack Of Learning Materials
When you really think about it, we use a lot of resources throughout our lives as students. Most students in the developed world will go through resources like:
Pens, Paper and Pencils;
Specialist mathematics tools such as compasses and protractors;
Literacy books – many, many books!
Smartphones for conducting research;
Computers and laptops for writing essays.
Yet many children around the world do not have basic resources.
Without the above resources, students’ learning is hindered. They are required to make do with what they’ve got.
And lack of resources is not just because of poverty.
Save the Children reports that young children may lack access to books because:
Not enough books are being published in their native language; and
There are not enough books published for young children in their region.
Save the Children’s First Read initiative gives books to children who lack access to early childhood education resources.
They do this by:
Training local authors and illustrators;
Publishing books from local authors and illustrators;
Distributing books to children in need;
Workshopping with parents on how to encourage literacy skills at home; and
Encouraging parents to form playgroups and story groups in the local community.
Displacement Due To War
A Save the Children study found that lack of education is one of the top reasons families flee conflict zones.
Families often end up in concentration camps for long periods of time after they flee violence. However, many camps lack adequate educational facilities for children.
The first and most important tasks of refugee camps are health and safety. This pushes education down the list of priorities. Consequently, education can often be overlooked.
Furthermore, it is usually assumed that refugee camps are transitory places. Children should ideally not remain there for long. Unfortunately, some children end up in camps for long periods of time and miss out on a great deal of education.
As Save the Children argues:
“…learning require[s] too much time to be implemented while a child is still on the move and consequently children miss out on opportunities to learn, necessary for their development and wellbeing, for protracted periods of time.”