Attitudes toward technology in Saudi Arabia: An analysis of Qur'anic, other Islamic, and Saudi sources
Ali Mohammad Al-Shehri, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, United States
Indiana University of Pennsylvania . Awarded
Many countries today use technology as a part of the process of teaching. However, such technologies are not widely used in some Muslim countries for various reasons. Many people around the world assume that Islam in itself is the obstacle that prevents the application of technology in the field of education and teaching English as a second language in these countries.
This research explores this assumption. Does Islam represent an obstacle to technological development? Is the use of technology in the field of teaching English as a second language anti-Islamic? Are there other factors in Islamic countries that have led to the inefficient use of technology? What are the real factors that have led to this problem? The research follows a historical methodology in presenting the main features of Islam, and also looking into the position of Islam on education. The research also looks at the introduction of technology in the Saudi educational system and studies the factors that have affected the implementation of technology in education. In the course of the study, I develop a comprehensive picture of both the religious background and the actual practices taking place in Saudi Arabia's social context.
The main sources of Islam (the Qur'an, the Sunnah, and Islamic scholarly opinion) in this study show that Islam stresses the importance of education. As such, the religion of Islam cannot be seen as absolutely opposed to the use of technology as a tool in education, whether it is in the field of teaching a language or any branch of the sciences, as long as its application does not oppose Islamic principles. The basic goals, which Islam shares with other faiths, focus on ensuring people's physical, mental and intellectual well being.
The study finds that the control of the Internet in Saudi Arabia through the ISU is rooted in a complex series of causes, and that Islamic sources do not provide a clear mandate to justify this control. It is important for this statement to be understood, as the current limits on technology may be doing a great disservice to the Saudi educational system in the content of the modern world's demands.
Al-Shehri, A.M. Attitudes toward technology in Saudi Arabia: An analysis of Qur'anic, other Islamic, and Saudi sources. Ph.D. thesis, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
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