To what extent did Islamic rulers use education to achieve reform, and what factors that still exist in the Middle East today hindered their progress?
The Middle East culture was and still is greatly influenced by the Islam religion. In the past, before reforms were introduced, the inhabitants of the Middle East were not exposed to other cultures. Children were raised in the strict confines of the Islam religion and familiar societal norms. They also were not readily receptive to strange cultures especially because these regions were wrought with religious extremists. In fact, they were viewed by the rest of the world as ignorant salvages due to extreme religious practices such as the popular holy war referred to as jihad.
One of the most effective tools used by the Islamic rulers to achieve reforms was education. Education opened up the minds of students, especially the young to foreign cultures and new behavioural patterns. It also helped that most of the education was overseen by foreigners and schools had a good number of influential foreign instructors. As more people acquired education, they began to warm up to reforms and to different ways of doing things.