Kuwait's Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah
OCIS has pre-eminent position in political, cultural circles - Sheikh Mohammad
OXFORD, Britain-- Kuwait's Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah said Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) plays a growing role in improving the understanding of the political and literary top brass of the Islamic world through scholarly study.
"The patronage of the center since its establishment in 1985 by Prince Charles, of Wales, shows that the politicians and intelligentsia in the United Kingdom hold the center in great esteem," he said.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad, who is member of the OCIS Board of Trustees, made the comments on Tuesday in an interview with KUNA and Kuwait TV on the fringes of the opening ceremony of the OCIS new building.
"The center, an affiliate of the University of Oxford, promotes dialogue between the Islamic and western cultures and serves as bridge between the Islamic world and the West through scholarly researches on the true portrait of Islam," he pointed out.
"The idea to establish the center 32 years ago was first conceived by a group of Muslim scholars at the University of Oxford - the world's most prestigious university.
"Their suggestion was approved by the two great leaders of the Muslim world - late King Fahad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, of Saudi Arabia, and late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, of Kuwait," he recalled.
"Today, as we celebrate the inauguration of the permanent premises of the center, we aspire for OCIS to double its effort to show the true nature of Islam which is away from extremism and violence," Sheikh Mohammad said, adding that the relationship between Islam and the West matter more today than ever.
On his part, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud said the leaders of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia made praiseworthy effort to correct the unfair stereotypes about Islam in Britain and the west at large, and promote dialogue and understanding among people with different cultures.
"The two sisterly countries work together to highlight the true value of Islam such as tolerance, amity, moderation and coexistence among people with different faiths," he said in a statement to KUNA.
Prince Turki, also member of the OCIS Board of Trustees, praised Kuwait's humanitarian role and efforts to host conference on aid to needy people and dispute management.
The OCIS Board of Trustees, chaired by Dr Abdullah O Nasseef - former president of King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, includes Prince Turki - director of King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh (Co-Chair); Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, Sultan of Perak (Vice Chair); Sheikh Mohammad - former deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, Kuwait (Chairman of Strategy, Planning and Building Committee); Khalid Alireza - Chairman of Xenel Industries Ltd (Chairman of Finance Committee); Professor Sir David Clary - president of Magdalen (Chairman of Academic Committee); and Dr. Ali Al-Shamlan - former minister of dducation, Kuwait.
It also includes Pehin Dato' Abu Bakar Apong - minister of education, Brunei Darussalam; Prof. Keith B Griffin, former president of Magdalen; Dr. Abdullah Gul, former president of Turkey; Tun Ahmad Sarji - former chief secretary of Malaysian government; Prof. Teresa Morgan; and Eng. Ali Suheimat - former deputy prime minister of Jordan.
At the behest of His Highness the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) offered essential support to the launching of the OCIS. The last contribution to the center, amounting to GBP 10 million, was made by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 2010.