When i Read the blog post by Mark Guzdial The Complicated Issues of Computing Education in Qatar i was not surprised by the writer conclusions. Simply because most of Westerners Minds suffer from this dangerous insufficiency to understand the implication of the privacy of every nation’s culture. This misconception is part of the new Globalization Ideology that is still problematic and raises critics from many thinkers and scholars. Globalizing cultures is a project that is deemed to failure. And i’ll try to explain why briefly.
Mark Guzdial talked about a “complicated” issue of computing education in Qatar. I don’t see where is the complication in this issue? there is what we can call “The Humanitarian commons” and the “cultural privacy”. Science and technology are humanitarian commons that all cultures can Integrate within their society without much implications. However there are cultural privacies that any culture won’t sacrifice. For example in the age of the Renaissance in Europe; europeans copied and translated most of arabic books on medicine , mathematics , chemistry, astronomy etc.. but Renaissance Europe didn’t translate muslim books on Quran , Islamic law , islamic philosophy etc.. why? because these knowledges are a cultural privacy for Muslims. so Europeans were not interested in integrating these knowledges into their western (mainly christian) societies. on the other hand, islamic mathematics , medicine and astronomy of the middle ages were Global Commons so Europeans took them without much problems.
In Fact, Muslims followed this same process when they were to become a leading world power in the middle ages. When the Islamic empire established itself and absorbed the old cultures of the byzantine and persian empires ; it began a big process of translating the old knowledges of the ancient greeks , persians and Hindus. Muslims Again were selective in their knowledge translation process . they took ancient greek sciences of mathematics and part of philosophy but they rejected other disciplines like the greek poetry , drama and greek gods literature because these were not consistent with the islamic new culture.
So here we can recognize a pattern In civilizations’ emancipation process. The culture privacy of the emerging society should be kept as a Constant in this process. The other aspects of knowledge that have a global humanitarian common aspect could be absorbed and developed without conflicting problems.
You know, we can hardly talk about a muslim math and an american or russian math. math is math and it is a deterministic and exact science and has no connection with the culture within which this math discipline is practiced. However we always talk about american literature, arabic literature , french literature etc..So literature ,as a human science, is tightly coupled with the culture where it is developed and practiced.
We should respect the privacy of other different cultures. Westerners current superiority in Science and technology doesn’t give them the right to change other nations’ cultures. A Muslim woman should not sacrifice her religious beliefs and duties To become a real computer scientist woman.
I hope westerners could understand this important issue of cultural privacy and stop their attempt to impose forced cultural changes to other nations under the pretext of bringing them the so called enlightenment of Western culture.