Al Saraya Centre
One important thing is to differentiate between knowledge and assumptions. Often we assume that something is true, because it was true in a different circumstance, it was told to us by a person we trust, or because it fits with what we generally think. But not all of our assumptions are correct. It is important to do two things with assumptions. The first is to test them against the world: are they accurate, or is there something else that we haven’t seen? The second is to reflect to see if they actually fit what we think, or if we just assume they are true because someone told them to us. For instance, here is Heyam, who runs a community centre in the Old City of Jerusalem, on why it is important to think critically:
When we talk about critical thinking we are talking about higher thinking which is dealing with thinking, analyzing, evaluating, problem solving, future thinking accepting others, communicating with others, self-confidence, all these issues will help the Palestinian that lives in Jerusalem to not approach matters by way of surrender, but to examine them from all angles, and can find more than one solution for a problem that they face, and to not fall for any statement or any opinion that voices without thinking whether it was correct or false, and not to rely on the feedback of others when they say that such thing is haram (forbidden) or halal (allowed), without questioning why that is the case. It’s very important that a child or young man asks questions about any state or affairs that they encounter and not to deal with matters the way their friend, neighbour, parents, or tribes may have dealt with them. But rather, they must have a different approach. so these things are very important for one to be able to endure and evolve as well.
Critical thinking is important for community mobilizations because all of us need to step back and question our assumptions about our communities, our needs, and the possibilities available to us.