Recovering from a Western Education

An Islamic WorldView

Most people admire and appreciate my educational credentials — BS Math 1974 from MIT completed in 3 years at age of 19, and Ph.D. Econ 1978 from Stanford at age 23.  They would find it difficult to imagine that it has taken me decades of life experience to recover from the damage that this education has done to me. The damage was done in so many different dimensions that it is hard to even catalog the whole list. However, before explaining this in greater detail, I must answer some questions which immediately arise whenever I make such statements.

Q1: Do I regret having had this education? To the contrary, I deeply appreciate having had this chance for training at the finest educational institutions that currently exist in the world. This type of education currently shapes minds and thinking of people all over the planet. Without having it, I would be…

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  1. James Beckman said:

    My response to the very competent & experienced Asad, is that we have here both a scientific & cultural critique. In this organization we discuss the former constantly, but not so much the latter. I think the latter, however, is Asad’s emphasis, so I inquire: would not Islam tend toward’s a mono-culture, based upon its history? That means that a global Islam would still be fighting–but among its own, would it not? We only have to examine our contemporary world for an example.
    I deeply believe in pluralism, but in the West itself that is impossible apparently, with “winners” & “losers” being counted. Rather than the former bankrolling the latter to better economic lives by education/training, many on each side either want to ignore or demolish the other. This is economic warfare it seems to me.

  2. Originally, the tolerance of Islam was legendary, and many historians have commented on it. In particular, see Maria Rosa Menocal on The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain. However it is true, for complex reasons, that a strand of intolerance has entered into Muslim thought today. But the source materials of Islam, as well as the traditions of Islam are very clear on tolerance and protection to be given to others.

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