Muslims throughout the world are currently passing through a stage of self criticism and evaluation. They are aware that the Muslim majority countries extending from Morocco to Indonesia have consciously adopted the Western system of education in order to acquire modern knowledge and technology so that they may advance materially. This system of education is secular in approach as basic assumptions behind Natural, Applied and Social Sciences are not drawn from religious sources, but on the contrary are segregated from them. The system is fostering a modern way of life in Muslim society, supported by the mass media, but in conflict with the tenets of the Sharia. A cultural dichotomy has therefore emerged throughout the Muslim world: the traditional Islamic education on the one hand persisting among religious groups, whereas secular education, on the other hand, is creating secularists who have little regard for their tradition or Muslim religious values.
Three hundred and thirteen Muslim scholars assembled in the holy city of Mecca in April 1977 at the invitation of King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah and Mecca, in order to deliberate on this issue and suggest solutions. It is from the papers presented at this, the first World Conference on Muslim Education, and the survey of education of Muslims in Muslim majority and Muslim minority countries, that this series has been planned.
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