Decolonising humanities in Beirut

A conference on decolonisation of humanities was organized at Al Maaref University, Beirut.

General view of the conference

The big concern was how colonial education has altered human values. But Western education did not come for humanities, therefore my point was that merely changing humanities education won’t result in the desired change.  The facts are (1) Western education came to the colonised as church education. (2) It was and is justified  on the grounds that the colonised need science. The net effect of (2) is that the colonised foolishly trust the authority of church institutions like Cambridge, Oxford, and Paris. This way the church is able to mix all sorts of subtle poison in university education, even through math and science.

CKR at Beirut conference

Though Western education ostensibly came for science it ensures that the mass of educated are ignorant of math and science, so they are forced to trust authority (of the West, obviously). It further anti-educates them by planting myths, and teaching them to think in terms of stories. For example, due to such indoctrination, the colonised are trapped in the myth that science and church are at war. They failed to notice the obvious fact, contrary to this myth, that colonial education came as 100% church education, and that, for example, the best science colleges, even in India, are still church institutions.

Mind control of the colonised was the work of the church, in  collusion with the colonial state. This persists, like Western education, even after direct political control of the colonised ended. Once the colonised are rendered ignorant, and taught to trust Western authority and myths, as Western education teaches, there is no solution for them.

Therefore, to decolonise, one must first get rid of the false history and bad philosophy of science: understand and reject not only church chauvinist history of science, but also how church dogma gets into mathematics and through that into science. And change our teaching of math and science. Let us hope that the world at large, and the Islamic world in particular, understands this idea that it is not enough to change humanities; one must also change math and science education too. A “pragmatic” compromise such as non-Western humanities + Western science is not possible. One must decolonise math and science.

A nice touch was the post-conference visit to the Mleeta museum which  commemorates the Hezbollah victory over the invading Israeli army.

The visit also game us a chance to see the natural beauty of Lebanon. Below are some photos.

Group photo at Mleeta museum

An odd Israeli tank!

A view of Lebanon

A view from the hotel

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