Africa, Analysis, Education, Featured, The Khilafah

This is a Statement to the People A Call to the People of Tunisia, the Land of Ez-Zitouna of the Oldest Universities in the World

“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones” [Surat At-Tahrim:6]

[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَاراً وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ]

Since the colonization entered Tunisia, it focused on education for its impact on forming the personality. Thus French orientalist Louis Maigret took charge of public education in Tunisia, proposing an educational project aimed at further controlling the country and its people intellectually and politically. This was achieved by training an elite of Tunisians imbued with Western culture, adhering to the Francophone curriculum and secularism.

Then, the colonial forces withdrew after ensuring the subordination of the rulers to them and their projects. Bourguiba adopted the French project of Jean Debiessefor education reform (as he claimed). Mahmoud El Materi, the Secretary of State for National Education, was tasked starting from January 1958 with weaving educational curricula along the lines of the French model and implementing the plan of the Frenchman Jean Dubois, who described the Arabic language as “deficient and unsuitable for teaching exact sciences.” He accused the Ez-Zitouna Education of being cumbersome and underperforming. The actual aim at that time for the alleged education reform was to westernize the society in Tunisia, deliberately separating it from its Deen and Ummah to ensure the continuity of Western cultural and intellectual dominance over society, creating a secular “elite” loyal to the colonial West that serves its interests in the long run and injects its poisons into the minds of people to facilitate their subjugation. This was realized when Ez-Zitouna University, one of the oldest universities in the world, which produced thousands of distinguished scholars, was closed. The Zawatna (its graduates) were displaced, and secular education was imposed.

However, this Westernizing approach revealed its shortcomings, and everyone witnessed a decline in the education level. Talks of reform resurfaced, and the supposed reform came during the early years of Ben Ali’s rule. He was known for the project of “drying up the sources” (i.e. drying up the sources of Islam), implemented by his minister, Mohamed Charfi, one of the members of the secular leftist elite produced by the “Westernizing education reform.” In 1991, after decades of Westernization and secularization, Charfi reverted to the previous education system to reinforce it by eliminating any remaining traces of Islam, hiding behind the poisoned slogan “From national identity to universal identity”.

The failure recurred and the collapse worsened until education transformed from a crisis state to a generator of crises. School, once a space for education, became a space to destroy values. The authorities abandoned their role, neglecting education entirely. Institutions were left neglected to the point where news of a ceiling collapsing on students became a routine occurrence. They neglected teachers, leaving them at the bottom of the employment ladder despite being the primary actors in the educational process, teachers, whether educators or professors, were subjected to neglect and humiliation, even daring acts by troublemakers. All of this unfolded within a deliberate policy pushing people toward private education, turning education into a source of income and plunder for the privileged and financial giants. The authorities abandoned their role in providing care, and the concept of free education became nothing more than an empty slogan. All this while people were enduring indifferent living conditions.

Dear parents in Tunisia:

This is the current state of education in Tunisia, which the Western colonizers separated from the Islamic Ummah and its Islamic culture under the pretext of modernization and development. This is our situation today after their alleged reforms for more than half a century! The result is a catastrophic situation by all measures. You witness that your children rank poorly in global assessments, and your universities and schools are not included in the global rankings, with many universities in other African countries surpassing them. It is no longer hidden from you that the schools you fund with your hard work and sacrifices annually cast tens of thousands of your children into the streets, at an age that requires support, care, and guidance. They are thrown into unemployment, drugs, death boats, organized criminal groups, and the mafias of international wars—all due to the corruption of education, both in policy, methodology, and purpose. This is also a result of the insistence of pseudo-secular rulers on submissive dependency on the West and its curricula.

Dear parents in the land of the Zaytuna:

It has become clear to everyone with insight that the statements about education reform since Bourguiba to the present day are nothing but the implementation of foreign Western agendas with no purpose other than colonization and domination over nations. It is well-known that intellectual and cultural dominance is the most dangerous form of colonization. The colonizer continues to intervene in our education and culture in various forms. The purported consultation initiated by President Kais Saied has not deviated from the paths of the alleged reforms since Bourguiba. Its five axes did not address the purpose of education and the fundamental principles it should be based on. All the questions focused on the means and methods in the educational process, such as whether to make nurseries and Quranic schools compulsory or not, the number of school hours, approval of support sessions, and the preference for keeping the experience of exemplary schools and institutes. Even when it addressed the axis of “teaching programs, evaluation system, and school time,” it did not delve into the content of these programs and the underlying principles. This raises the question: Who oversaw the formulation of the consultation questions? On what intellectual basis were they formulated? Were they based on Islam? The answer is undoubtedly no. So, what will change then? Who will oversee the implementation of the consultation outcomes? Isn’t it the same secular group that venerates the West and oversaw the implementation of the previous “reforms”? This confirms that the reform process will not go beyond renovating and patching up the previous educational system within the framework of the secular capitalist modernist principle that has only resulted in sterility and failure in Tunisia.

Muslims in the land of the Zaytuna of the most prestigious ancient universities:

Certainly, we understand your desire to witness the end of the failed secular modern education systems in our Islamic lands. We recognize your longing for a bright educational model. In Hizb ut Tahrir in Wilayah Tunisia, we present to you a first-class educational system outlined in the Draft Constitution of the Caliphate State for Hizb ut Tahrir and its book, Foundations of the Education Curriculum in the Khilafah State. This system covers both the educational aims and curricula as well as teaching methods and strategies, all grounded in Sharia evidence. Some of its key features include:

1. It is an educational system based on the sovereignty of Sharia and the authority of the Ummah, free from Western influences on its curricula or the imposition of secular modern goals by elite groups detached from the Ummah. Instead, educational policies and objectives are formulated according to a methodology that preserves the identity and Islamic beliefs of the Ummah. This aims to produce Islamic personalities with Islamic mentalities and dispositions, preparing the children of Muslims to become specialists in all areas of life, including Islamic sciences (such as jurisprudence, theology, and judiciary) and experimental sciences (mathematics, informatics, chemistry, physics, medicine, etc.).

2. The foundation of this educational approach is Islamic creed (Aqeedah), shaping both the study materials and teaching methods to align with this basis. Making Islamic creed the foundation means that knowledge related to beliefs and regulations must emanate from Islamic creed. Non-belief-related knowledge and regulations are built upon Islamic creed, using it as a measure. Anything contradicting the creed is rejected, such as the claim that humans originated from apes, while non-contradictory knowledge like medical, physical, and mathematical sciences is accepted.

3. The pivotal third point is the existence of the Khilafah (Caliphate) system, a top-tier political system. The Khilafah system has a clear and autonomous political vision, considering education as a factory for producing statesmen of high caliber. It cultivates fertile ground for nurturing strong personalities aspiring to leadership, refusing to accept demeaning subservience. The Khilafah State prioritizes the education sector due to the essential role of education, aligned with Islam’s view that knowledge and faith are twins. The state provides free education at the highest level, alongside healthcare and security, ensuring basic needs are met for every individual.

The Caliphate State will restructure its priorities according to Sharia rulings, accelerating scientific progress. It will allocate significant returns from public property, including minerals, energy, agriculture, and animal wealth, to build sub-systems supporting its capabilities in achieving the highest levels of knowledge. This includes:

First: Building a comprehensive education system from elementary to secondary and tertiary levels, enhancing Islamic personalities to become leaders guarding the Ummah’s crucial issues and the ability to develop strategies. Thus, a generation will be created that combines leadership qualities with the sincerity of a believer, and enjoys a variety of skills and areas of experience what the Ummah needs in the aspects of life.

Second: Establishing a research and development system, integrating universities and state-owned research centers under state supervision, encouragement, and funding.

Third: Developing an independent strategic industrial system, managing it autonomously. This will enhance military capabilities with modern means, providing basic needs for individuals. It will form integrated industrial chains of heavy industries under state supervision, securing all necessary supplies, including raw materials, technology, expertise, engineering, and financing.

Muslims, the Khilafah system, adopting the distinct Islamic perspective on education, is capable today of establishing an exemplary educational system. It combines the pursuit of knowledge with fulfilling vital issues and the interests of both the state and the nation. Simultaneously, it ensures self-sufficiency in all the nation’s needs, eliminating the separation between our educational systems and the needs of our industrial, agricultural, and technological societies, preventing reliance on other countries. This, alongside intensive investment in manufacturing, will meet the community’s needs independently, positioning the Khilafah as a global power. It enables the state to benefit from the exceptional skills and minds of the Ummah for state development, ensuring their valuable potential is not wasted or exploited by foreign countries.

Muslims, hasten to implement and execute this outstanding model immediately. Fulfill the work mandated by Allah to establish the Khilafah Rashidah (rightly guided Caliphate), as it is the only legitimate solution to all your issues. As Allah Almighty says:

[الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ]

“[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to Allah belongs the outcome of [all] matters.” [Surat Al-Hajj:41].

Hizb ut Tahrir Wilayah Tunisia

18 Jumada I 1445 – Saturday, 02 December 2023