CAIRO - Bringing scholars from around the world, a new research center has been opened in the Qatari capital, Doha, to offer a better understanding of Islamic Shari`ah and ethics, the Gulf News reported on Monday, January 16.
"I have always been 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," Sheikha Moza Bin Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), said.
"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."
The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) was inaugurated Sunday during a one-day conference on Islamic ethics.
Set up by Sheikha Mozah, the wife of the Qatari ruler, the center aims to discuss the application of Islamic ethics in environment, gender, economics, education, art and bioethics.
Attendants included Dr Mustafa Ceric, the Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina and winner of the UNESCO Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize.
The world-famous musician Yousuf Islam also attended the event to discuss the topics of Islamic ethics and arts.
Based in Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, a member of Qatar Foundation, the center is directed by renowned Muslim thinker professor Tariq Ramadan alongside Jasser Auda, Deputy Director of CILE and founding member and member of the Executive Board of the International Union for Muslim Scholars.
Founders hope to carry the center's message on Islamic ethics to the world.
"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," professor Ramadan said.
Being the first center on a global scale with this message, the center will focus on Islamic legislation and ethical thought.
To reach this goal, it aims to gather scholars of the text with the scholars of the context.
The center also aims to reach out to a global and mixed audience of scholars, experts, students and the general public.
"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, Ramadan said.
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," he said.
In 2009, Qatar inaugurated the Qaradawi Center in Doha to introduce the tolerant and peaceful teachings of Islam to the West.
Another international center for inter-faith dialogue was unveiled in Doha in 2007 to foster better understanding among the world's three monotheistic religions.