What on Earth is Epistemicide?

Epistemicide: n.

1. “The killing of other knowledge systems.” (cf. ‘Decolonization of knowledge, epitemecide, participatory research and higher education’ by Hall and Tandon (2017)).

2. “The sociologist Boaventura dos Santos coined it to refer to the death of some forms of knowledge. He argued that powerful people preserve and privilege the kinds of knowledge that benefits them. Epistemicide has been called the mother and the brother of genocide by writers who sense an imposed Western colonial epistemology underpinning cultural imperialisation with its accompanying linguacide and devaluation of indiginous cultures.” (SOURCE: footnote 20 on page 357 of Shabbir Akhtar’s ‘The Quran and the Secular Mind’ (2008)).

3. “The dependence of Christians intellectuals on such infidels [specifically, the Muslims] irritated many European thinkers, none more so than the Tuscan poet and classical scholar Petrarch, ‘the father of humanism.’ In 1345, he visited Venice, a city with particularly close trade and cultural ties to the Muslim world. Afterwards, he wronte De sui ipsius etmultorum ignorantia (“Regarding my own ignorance and that of others”), demanding the expulsion of all Arab learning from European education and a return to original sources. Printed in 1501 and widely circulated, Petrarch’s ideas became hugely influential. As Renaissance Europeans became more self-confident and the economic, political, and military importance of the Muslim world waned, the Petrarchists began to prevail. They deleted Muslim philosophy from European universities. Their followers lowered the status of Muslim celebrities in European paintings and literature, claimed Muslim inventions as their own, and replaced Arabic star names with Latin ones. It took centuries, but eventually the Muslim contributions to the West were barely a memory to all but scholars of the obscure.” (SOURCE: Pg 34 from ‘The Genius of Islam. How Muslims made the Modern World’ by Bryn Barnard (2011) – children’s book with references.)

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Filed under Easy-Guides, Education, Neo-Colonialism, New Words, Philosophy

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