Tuesday, January 3, 2012

About Academic Freedom

-I am not one of the supporters of Adam Adli.

-In fact, I am too disconnected from the current situation in Malaysia, that I refuse to support him, being the fact that I don't know anything. Any single thing that I do without me knowing the cause properly, will not be good in retrospective.

-However, when I read one of the articles about Adam Adli, in order to find out what is happening exactly, my eyes are set on this one phrase: Academic freedom.

-Well, the academic freedom, as stated by Adam Adli, is the freedom for students to engage in political activities. I personally don't think this is a good idea yet. The reason is because there are levels in academic freedom, and the freedom for students to engage in political activism must at first, be cemented by a base, that is the freedom to discuss issues that are sensitive, taboos, anti-establishment in an academic way.

-We Malaysians still don't have that freedom of discussion. We are not open in terms of our views on society, history, sexuality, interfaith relations; Let's take Malays, for example. If one tries to engage a Malay student in a discussion relating Islam-Christian relationship, one can still find among Malays, a great number of those who would consider Christianity a bogus faith, a religion that is not really worthy of respect.

-Or if we want to talk about sexuality, one might find among the Malays, an almost 100 percent consensus that homosexuality is a sin, condemned by Islam. While this is true, the fact that homosexuality is due to genetic arrangements and not by an active, free choice makes it hard for me to accept in totality that homosexuality is a sin. It is due to nature, one simply doesn't have much say in his sexual orientation. But the Malays won't have that! "Quran supersedes scientific findings!"

-Academic freedom, for me, is a freedom for students to listen to different sources of different values. There should not be too much censorship, as censorship blocks and retorts the students ability to analyse information. Of course there are dangers to having no censorship at all, but thoughtless, authoritarian and overwhelming censorship should be fought; rather, we should educate the students to analyse information better, not taking everything by face value, and distinguishing between good information, bad information, and fabrications.

-The government censors way too much information, given the fact that it is the age of computers. But the government is not to be blamed in its entirety; the society itself is not helping in this. We are not liberal in our understanding of reality, we simply cannot picture in our mind of the probability that our understanding might be wrong, we refuse to hear from the sides that we hate. And we impose this kind of thinking into students, hence bogging the academic freedom in our society.

-We are told about our history, about our political stances, about religion, about economics, by those in charge; the syllabus is dictated by the authorities. And we cannot challenge the syllabus at all; is this academic freedom? No.

No comments:

Post a Comment