BESA_Mideast Shapes_Doha Schoolchildren-Attend Exhibition (Vinod-Divakaran)

Through Education Middle East Powers Vie to Shape the Next Generation of Muslims

Education is emerging as a major flashpoint in competing visions of a future Muslim world. Rival concepts being instilled in the next generation are likely to shape what amounts to a battle for the soul of Islam. Reports published earlier this year by the Israel-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) chart a notable divergence in educational approaches across the Muslim world. At one end of the spectrum are Pakistan and Turkey, two of the more populous Muslim countries. Their claim to leadership of the Muslim world is rooted in conservative if not ultra-conservative interpretations of Islam that increasingly shape their education systems. Saudi Arabia and the UAE reside at the other end of the spectrum with their reduced emphasis on religion in education and emphasis on science as well as religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue. Straddling the two approaches is Qatar, the world’s only other Wahhabi state alongside Saudi Arabia—even if it adhered to a more liberal interpretation long before the rise of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.  Complete Article HERE