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How do Muslims control what is known about their faith?

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It is one thing — as I have explained in a previous blog — for Muslim fundamentalists in power, as in Afghanistan or Iran, to dictate the content and style of education in their respective countries. The struggle to modernize and secularise schools, colleges and universities is an old one going back to the late 19th century and still never fully resolved. In many places, the efforts of reformers have been overthrown in favour of an insistence on tradition, unswerving allegiance to religious dogma, and, as often as not, a direct rejection of the humanitarian and secular standards of modern Western educational systems.

The task of reversing this trend must, of course, fall to Muslims in Muslim countries and may take yet another century to achieve. And that struggle is only part of a much wider social and political endeavour in countries as a whole. Iran, for example, has been under a varying fundamentalist regime for over forty years and shows few signs of cracking any time soon. Students from the religious minority of the Baha’is, for example, are forbidden from study at any Iranian university and many have already been expelled from classes once their religious identity is revealed.

That is a grave problem........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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