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Islamic Renaissance University Must Be Set Up In The West

June 10, 2008 15:58 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 (Bernama) -- The establishment of an Islamic renaissance university in the west will promote better understanding of the religion's culture amongst western nations.

This is one of the key targets identified in a session of the 'Third International Conference on the Muslim World and the West: Bridging The Gap' held at a hotel here today.

Cordoba Initiative's Randy Benn who moderated the session, 'Improving Muslim World-West Engagement' said that opportunities should be created for a comparative study of religion in the West and the Muslim World.

"A re-branding of vocabulary must be made, especially on words such as 'fundamentalist' which carries a negative connotation in the present day.

"Better dialogue must be carried out between these two civilisations so greater understanding and respect can be achieved, and the fear and misunderstanding, eradicated," he said.

Universiti Malaya's Asia Europe Institute head, Prof Datuk Dr Roziah Omar who participated in the session, told Bernama that the session's main ideals were the promotion of peace and harmony between the West and Muslim nations.

At the end of the day, she said, everyone wanted peace and harmony and that the two different cultural identities must learn to respect one another.

Roziah suggested implementing short-term, medium-term and long-term plans and initiatives as a solution.

According to her, the short-term plan would involve popular media such as television shows and dialogue exchanges, medium-term would be the establishment of a physical entity such as an Islamic renaissance university in the West and long-term pertains to international policies where bodies like the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) could play a key role.

"Malaysia must play a key role in this matter to ensure that we too, have a voice that can be heard to promote this greater understanding," added Roziah.


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