For the last 200 years, ideas, ideology and practices were introduced to the non-western countries with different names such as Westernism, modernization and progress. In fact, this process was based on abandoning thinking and becoming intellectually dependent on the west. The country that continuously imports its theories, ideas and methods from abroad is an intellectually dependent country. Intellectual dependence forms the basis of political, economic and technological dependence. Unfortunately, the education system serves as the mean to familiarize these dependences to the new generations.
The most important reason for this structure that makes all the people a copy of each other, destroys all the differences between them, creates individuals that abandon thinking on their behalf and abandon standing on their own feet, is the dependency on the level of the individuals, especially the intellectuals.
If individuals are intellectually dependent on the West, it is a whole country and nation becomes dependent on the West. They cannot stand on their own feet without outside support not only in the intellectual arenas but also in all fields of life. Yet, individuals and country can rise as much as it is “allowed” from outside.
The Most Important Front of Intellectual Dependence: Social Sciences
The approach to overcome the idea of dependence is to empower our universities to pass into producing their own ideas instead of marketing the ideas they import from outside. This production can only be carried out by intellectually independent students and academics. Ibn Haldun University is established for this purpose. Our university will struggle to create our country’s intellectual independence; our students will be educated on the basis of intellectual independence.
Ibn Haldun University, which accepts as true that social science is the most important front of intellectual dependence, believes that working in order to avoid being destined to the prevailing dominant paradigm in social sciences is the first step of liberation and nobility.
Two Pillars of Original Education at Ibn Haldun University
By redefining the purpose of education, Ibn Haldun University implements a new social science education that will educate its students according to the ideality of intellectual independence. This education has two pillars:
- Comparative education: A notion of education that teaches not only Western social concepts and theories, but also teaches the approaches and knowledge of other civilizations with equal respect.
- Innovation trough tradition: It is a balanced understanding, in accordance with the age of open civilization, that does not exclude the accumulations of civilizations, especially the Islamic civilization, but is not destined to pure conservatism and traditionalism.
The real power is the intellectual power, and the actual independence is the intellectual independence
Without attaining intellectual independence, full independence cannot be achieved in any area. The function of education is to achieve shift for the new generations from imitation to authenticity, from replication to original approaches. Only intellectually independent individuals, can lead their countries and societies to intellectual independence.The real power is the intellectual power, and the actual independence is the intellectual independence.
To this end, Ibn Khaldun’s social science heritage provides us with a solid starting point and inspiration source. As Cemil Meriç stated, “We have to return to ourselves. Returning to ourselves is the return to Ibn Khaldun.”