Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Editorial

Dear readers!

We are very pleased to inform you that out internet magazine Minbar Ibn Rushd (Ibn Rushd Forum) is to resume regular publication after a long interval of a few years with three to four issues per year. We start with an extensive first issue.

The subject of Minbar’s 10th issue is “Arab thought” in honour of the great Moroccan philosopher Mohammed Abed Al-Jabri whose work was dedicated to this subject throughout his life. In 2008 he received the Ibn Rushd Prize for Freedom of Thought. Al-Jabri died on 3rd May 2010 in Rabat/Morocco at the age of 75. This issue of Minbar is in his honour and brings two tributes to the philosopher by Sonja Hegasy and Nabil Bushnaq.

After a retrospective historical analysis of Arab Islamic thought in the Middle Ages by Muhammad Ahmad az-Zoebi, the author Abd ar-Razzaq Id poses the question why scientific thinking has failed in modern Arab thought and explores the reasons for the lack of development of sciences in the Arab world.
Less pessimistic is Edgar Choueiri who, on the contrary, sees great scientific potential in the Arab world and gives examples of names of Arab scientists who have prominent positions in the scientific scene in the Western world. He argues that it is the attitude of the Arab world why most of them have not been recognised yet. Choueiri analyzes the reasons for the success of Western scientific development and makes suggestions of what Arab countries can do in order to make research at Arab universities more attractive for non-Arab/Western students.

Khalid Slaiki’s essay is devoted to the complex subject of cultural heritage and history as trigger of modern rational debate. What effects does the application of modern critical theories have on the interpretation of old texts? The essay concludes that in the Arab world the processes of thought are individual and do not belong to any schools of thought. Tradition and modernity should continue their discourse in order to revise false conclusions about the past and discover patterns of thought within the culture.

Christian W. Troll studies more specifically critical approaches to religious texts such as studies by Abu Zaid, Arkoun, Mernissi etc.

Two further essays by Hazem Khairy and Abdallah Tourkmani honour the Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, who died in 2003.

In his essay Kadhim Habib deals with the Egyptian economist Samir Amin, holder of the Ibn Rushd Prize 2009. Habib puts the provocative question: „Is Capitalism the end of history?“

According to the tradition of our magazine, Minbar Ibn Rushd ends it’s tenth anniversary issue with about a literary subject, two essays paying homage to Heinrich Heine and his theatre play „Almansor“ by Sarjoun Karam and Tawfiq Dawani.

We wish you a good reading!

09. August 2010

Abier Bushnaq
Editor-in-Chief