Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), a center specializing in both Islamic legislation and ethical thought, was launched on January 15th.
The launch took place at a one day conference on Islamic ethics, attended by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and a number of the world's most prominent scholars and thinkers, including Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and Dr. Aisha Al-Mannai, Dean of Shariah College in Qatar University and Vice-Chair of QFIS Board of Trustees.
The conference discussed the application of Islamic ethics in environment, gender, economics, education, art and bioethics. Various sessions saw input from an international panel that included His Excellency Dr. Mustafa Ceric, the Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina and winner of the UNESCO Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize and world-famous musician Yusuf Islam, who discussed the topic of Islamic ethics and the arts.
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser commented: “I have always and still am convinced, especially in light of the developments that occurred in the last decade of the third millennium, of the vital need to create a research foundation and a proficient pedagogy able to encompass the integrated system of the principles and values of central Islamic thought. This in turn should be presented to us Muslims and to others in a renewed vision and systematic approach that would dispel misinterpretations, exaggerations and their consequences in the forms of preconceptions and stereotypes which are contrary to the necessity of constructive dialogue”.
Her Highness added: “the message of this Center must be one based on universal and established principles, ones which integrate values and principles as part of the learning and the formation of individuals who can be agents of change”.
The first of its kind
CILE is the first center, on a global scale, to focus on Islamic legislation and ethical thought. The center aims to gather the scholars of the text with the scholars of the context, and to reach out to a global and mixed audience of scholars, experts, students and the general public.
The center is under the guidance of Director Dr. Tariq Ramadan, renowned Muslim thinker, alongside Dr. Jasser Auda, Deputy Director of CILE and founding member and member of the Executive Board of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.
Dr. Tariq Ramadan explained: "Islamic scholars and research centers can benefit greatly from engaging with the experts in modern fields that have been untouched by the parameters of traditional questioning. We aim to provide not only a theoretical framework, but also concrete contributions and practical applications in areas that are current and relevant to 21st Century communities, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. We are extremely excited by the contributions that will be made from this new line of questioning by reaching out to a global and mixed audience of scholars, experts, students and ordinary people".
Participants also included representatives of Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), Applied Ethics Center Kanazawa Institute of Technology in Japan and the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs. The center is based in Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, a member of Qatar Foundation.
The conference on ethics is the first of many such conferences and events to be organized by CILE. The list of speakers included Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development; Dr. Tariq Ramadan, Director of Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics; Dr. Jasser Auda, Deputy Director of Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics; Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars; Professor Aisha Al Mannai Dean, College of Sharia, Qatar University; Prof. Hatem Al-Qaranshawi, Dean of Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies; Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina; Mr. Yusuf Islam, Yusuf Islam Foundation; Prof. John Esposito, Director of Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, USA; Dr. Khaled Al- Ali, World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, UNESCO; Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Director, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute; Prof. Jun Fudano, Director, Applied Ethics Center, Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Japan; Dr. Benjamin Hale CSTPR, University of Colorado, Boulder.