A group of Indonesian women with their children offering morning prayers during Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Tangerang, Jakarta, earlier this month.
Since the first Muslims were mostly Arab, everything associated with them has been associated with Islam, even though the vast majority of Muslims today are not Arabs. Such an exclusivist world view may not be the most predominant among the Muslims of the world yet, but is surely gaining slow and steady ground.
II. Global civilising processes and empire
The external manifestation is the wearing of Middle Eastern clothes by men and women. Strict observance of fundamentalist Islam is also a means of asserting identification with reform and protesting against upper-class corruption in many societies, which might somewhat explain the fundamentalists' prescription for an austere way of life free from temptations and pleasures. If the powerful, modern ideas of "jihadi" Islamism are not met in the marketplace of ideas with an equally vigorous, contemporary articulation of peaceful, syncretic and inclusive Islam, then "the centre of gravity" of public discourse will inevitably slide towards those ideas that appear most powerful and relevant to the modern world.
Since the first Muslims were mostly Arab, everything associated with them - their culture, names, and family structures - has been associated with Islam, even though the vast majority of Muslims today are not Arabs.
Video lectures “Civilizations, Technology and Literacies”
The niqab face-veil was rarely seen outside the Arab world until most recently. Most Muslims see the niqab as a by-product of Arab culture.
The practice of wearing veils can be traced from a Quranic prescription given at the time of Rasullulah, who saw Arab women wearing veils - not due to any religious motives but rather due to the harsh and dusty desert climate - but leaving their bosoms wide open. He then urged the women "to wear their veils over their bosoms" for modesty, but this was not necessarily a particular dress code.
Clash of civilizations – swadeshi dialog
It is only recently that the veil has been interpreted as religiously authentic, instead of a cultural expression, and therefore a must for all Muslim women. Arabisation and Islamisation are inseparable parts of a single cultural ideal that now pervades the Arab world. In their drive towards authentication and uniformisation of Islam, the transmitters Saudi Arabia and other Arabic countries and the recipients non-Arab Islamic societies are equally emphasising "Arabisation" as the norm of the pure and ideal form of Islam to be followed by Muslims all over the world.
The Hadith, or records of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad, is the basis for the development of notions of syariah Islamic law that are heavily influenced by early and mediaeval Arab cultural norms. Arabisation poses a threat to all Muslims who believe in Islam's divine character and universalism, and can be combated only by them.
It is not a crisis between civilisations as Samuel Huntington noted, but a crisis within civilisation, and it needs to be fought from within. Arabisation's major appeal emanates from Islam's millenary expectations and the unfounded utopia of a just and prosperous society under Islamic rule.
This is also fed by the silence of the moderates in the face of the more vocal minority trying to hijack Islam for their perverted gain. Tapio Varis: Special attention needs to be given to media literacy as a competence of the creative society and global citizenship education. In the global, multicultural world communication necessarily mediates different values and cultural behaviors and serves civilizations.
Towards a Composite Definition and Classification of Civilization
Technology has been used for learning, training and education throughout history. Great civilizations and cultures have very different patterns of communication and use different senses in a different way. The lack of visions and spiritual debate on ethics and values in diversities and dialogue among civilizations has created a need to look at the deeper essence of communication and education with a new perspective of equity and higher humanity. We need social imagination and critical media competences for a global dialogue and to have a holistic perspective to the interrelations between civilizations, technology and literacies.
UNESCO IITE: In the time of the revolutionary development of digital technologies, what are the most essential skills that can help people to handle overwhelming amount of information coming from different media? Critical and creative skills are needed to develop a broader cognitive competence to understand the goals, values and cultural dimensions of the information flows.
Media education should provide the elementary skills for media use and cultural sensitivity for multicultural communication and civilizational competence.
However, there is still much debate all over the world on wording and notion of such an important sort of literacy. What are the reasons for this lack of professional consensus and what developments in the field you consider the most promising?