Information is now a prime commodity, a valuable national resource, and an international source of power. As information and its technologies become the basic tools of manipulation and control, access to information will determine who rules and who is subjugated.
In this book Ziauddin Sardar, world-famous Muslim scholar and author, speaks for and to the developing world. He sets down guidelines for an information policy they can use, and although he directs many comments specifically to the Muslim world, his words are relevant wherever people are striving for self-determination against the threat of a new age of ‘information colonialism’.
Acknowledging that developing countries must for the moment use technologies created elsewhere, the author warns them to use those technologies for their own goals, not those of the creators. He stresses that developing countries must establish an overall, informed information strategy, that at an early stage they must develop an infrastructure for generating their own information, that they must become research-oriented and knowledge-based societies. He calls for information scientists to be given appropriate prestige and support as they acquire skills to deal with the complexities of the information age, while underlining the importance of preserving the traditional means of disseminating information through books and libraries. Practical suggestions for establishing national information between countries at the same level of development conclude this thought-provoking book.
Information in the Muslim World should be read and studied by all those involved in the information world, and especially by librarians and information scientists who are active in information transfer, whether in the developed or developing world.