Dystopian State Sponsored Education and Decolonisation: Textbook on Philosophy and Islamic Thought in Moroccan Lycée under the Gaze of Double Critique

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The legacy of the French colonial education policy in Morocco as in the Arab-Muslim countries of the Maghreb - has left its unfading impact on the policies on both national states and the various political and religious stockholders. In addition to the hybrid structure of the education sector: traditional vs modern, Arabic vs French, the project of creating a national education system has been in both pre- and post-independence Morocco a political question about which all stockholders have been competing nationally, regionally and globally.

In this paper, I shall examine the issue of textbook and curriculumas an issue of ideological and political contention between the nationalist-progressive movement and the monarchy in the period between the 1960s and 1990s. Special focus shall be on two textbooks: durus fi-l-falsafah li-tullab al-bakaloriah al-maghribiah (Some Lessons in Philosophy for Moroccan Baccalaureate students”, which Mohammed Abed al-Jaberi, Ahmed as-Sattati and Mustapha al-Amri published in 1971, and durus fi-l-fikr al-islami wa-l-falsafah (Some Lessons in Islamic Thought and Philosophy) which Mohammed Abed al-Jaberiedited in 1976. It is worth noting that both textbooks published by the ministry of national Education.

While the first textbook was an arabicisation of the French philosophy curriculum, and conceived as “ a guide to both students and teachers in the field of Western Philosophy”, the second, which was first published in 1976, represented thefoundation upon which the study of Islamic philosophy at the Moroccan University, and as such it was directed at students at the baccalaureate level. This textbook can be considered an introduction to a decolonized Arab view of pre-modern Arab-Islamic Thought. In the introduction, we read: “This book is a product of a national vision that governed its writing.” It is actually considered as one of the main factors that contributed to enriching the Moroccan philosophical field by pushing many secondary schools´ students to apply, in their university studies, to the Department of Philosophy in Arabic language. This textbookhas also contributed to disseminating the use of the philosophical approach to the study of Arab-Islamic societies – past and present - and helped sewing a critical thinking and political commitment that went beyong the national borders of Morocco.

De-constructing Moroccan post-independence education system by an examination of these two philosophy textbooks shall I undertake through the lens of Khatibi´s critique double or de-colonization theory, that aims at exposing the silence of postcolonial discourse on the one hand, and at de-centering any monolithic system of thought.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom the Postcolonial to the Decolonial : French and English textbooks in North Africa and the Middle East
EditorsKamal Salhi
Number of pages30
Publication statusIn preparation - 2022

Cite this