The One Thing Muslims Can Profitably Learn from the West: Quoting Muhammad Asad

A striking quote of the German thinker Muhammad Asad I compiled from my notes:

“What the world of Islam urgently needs today is not a new philosophical outlook, but only an up-to-date scientific and technical education and mental equipment. If I were to make proposals to an ideal Educational Board governed by Islamic considerations alone, I would urge that of all the intellectual achievements of the West only natural sciences (with the aforementioned reservations) and mathematics should be taught in Muslim schools, while the tuition of European philosophy, literature, and history should lose the position of primacy which it holds in today’s curricula.

Our attitude towards European philosophy should be obvious from what I have said above. And as for European literature, it should certainly not be overlooked – but it should be relegated to its proper philological and historical position. The way in which is it taught at present in many Muslim countries is frankly biased. The boundless exaggeration of Western values and concepts naturally induces young and unripe minds to imbibe wholeheartedly the spirit of Western civilization before its negative aspects can be sufficiently appreciated.”


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