Wednesday, June 4, 2014


By  Mansor Puteh

Think about this: More Arab countries have been destroyed, and millions of Muslims have been misplaced and displaced with hundreds of thousands dead, and most countries in Africa and Asia or the Orient are still what they were before SOAS and OCIS were established.

What have the scholars in these schools been doing all these years? Talking nonsense?

…Or where they established to ensure that the whole of the Arab World, Africa and Asia are in shambles?

Why were they established at the universities in the first place, when they have not really influenced the development in the countries they are said to be focusing on?

But what I can tell is that the studies that the scholars at the schools, faculties or centers have been doing all these years do not seem to be relevant to the countries either.

They are supposed to be experts on matters related to those countries, and who can even offer interesting and intelligent ideas to allow the countries to develop. But over the last many decades, this has not happened.

So what can we say about the Asian, African, Arabic and South American studies that we have at all the major universities in the world, more so in the United Kingdom and America? Not much.

The scholars at these centers or schools or faculties ought to know more about the areas or countries they focus on in their studies or research, but over the years, they had neglected to do so.

They focus too much on the anthropological and historical aspects of these countries that they do not seem to realize that the countries today are in shambles, the more they make an attempt study any aspect of them.

There are so many centers of faculties or schools of African, Asian, Middle Eastern and also Islamic studies in all the major universities around the world.

Many scholars have been created from these schools, with some who claim to be experts in their fields, having conducted extensive research on the cultures and lifestyles as well as the religions of the people in these continents.

Yet, despite that Africa and much of Asia as well as South America are still as backward as they were before.

So what have all these schools done for them? What have they conducted studies, researches and gone on expeditions to discover hidden secrets from them?

If they had done all these, then how come those countries are still backward and are in shambles?

Many of the Arab countries are destroyed. And it does not look like there is any future for them.

The only future that they have is a bleak one.

And it is not just about how the Arabs had wanted to replace the repressive regimes.

Surely, the scholars who claim to be experts on Africa, Asia, the Arab World and also South America know what had happened to these countries.

Yet, all of them have remained silent on the matter.

The so-called Arab Spring I is not what many think it is. What was it?

And why was the Arab Spring II not able to be created? What could it be?

At London University there is the School of Oriental and Asian Studies or SOAS. It is reputed to be an important center for the study of the orient and Asia.

And at Oxford University there is now the Oxford Center of Islamic Studies or OCIS.

SOAS and OCIS are two important and glamorous centers of studies, and they have intelligent scholars and have also organized seminars after seminars inviting scholars and important personalities to speak in forums they organize on a regular basis.

To add to this, they have scholars who have conducted length and extensive researches on Asia and the Muslim World.

But how come the Arab Spring II happened? And how come much of Africa is in shambles?

Till now no one from SOAS and OCIS has said anything about the Arab Spring I and the economic backwardness of many of the countries in Africa and Asia.

I am sure there are other centers for the study of South America and the Middle East, but where are the scholars on them?

Most of the countries in South America are in similar dire straits as their counterparts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

And the situation will not change for the better in a long while.

The question that anyone now can ask is: What’s the use of having the SOAS and OCIS in the first place?

And what’s the use for them to have the many prominent and important scholars and other experts on these countries where they focus on, yet, these countries have been left behind on all aspects.

I am sure there are also similar centers or schools at Harvard and the other Ivy League universities in America as do the major universities in the United Kingdom.

But what’s the use of these universities having them in the first place when they have not benefited the countries they are supposed to study.

I have checked the type of discourses that scholars from such centers, and I dare say that they are impressive, verbose and distracting, but beyond that they are totally useless to the cause of the development of these countries.

The many papers the scholars from these schools or centers have presented are good for academic discourses and perhaps debate, but they are not practical.

Even the Egyptologists can only try to dust off old statues that they can study on but they are not able to conclude how the ancient Egyptians were barbaric, who had caused the destruction of their own country eons ago, with America of today, now which is behaving much like the Egyptians of old.

In the end, the ancient artifacts that earlier discoverers and scholars of Egyptology can talk about are only good for public display in museums in Egypt and the west, for the tourists to marvel at.

But none of them could say some lessons from the downfall of the Pharaohs have not been learnt, especially by the modern or New Pharaohs and how America has the characteristics of Egypt, which was destroyed by their own greed and how America too can fall because of their own greed.   

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