The Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA), in collaboration with the National Awqaf Foundation of South Africa (AwqafSA) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UJ), are organizing the Second International Congress on Islamic Civilization in Southern Africa in Durban, South Africa between March 4 and March 6, hoping to establish dialogue with Muslim countries as well as with other cultures.
Explaining that Muslims are a well-represented minority in South Africa and are the majority of the population in some countries, IRCICA Director General Halit Eren said: "We have works in progress to introduce Islamic culture to the world and improve dialogue with other cultures. The Second International Congress on Islamic Civilization is a huge part of our efforts."
While the aim of the congress is to study and introduce the history and cultural heritage of Islamic culture, which shows distinct characteristics in different parts of the world, the main theme is "Islamic Civilization in South Africa: Developments and Future Perspectives." The subjects to be discussed during the conference include studying the phases of Muslims presence in South Africa throughout history, the development Islamic sciences in the area together with leading scientists; the social organization of today's Muslim community and the foundations, schools and other institutions. The conference will be an opportunity to elaborate on and introduce the cultural, artistic and architectural traditions of the Muslim community in South Africa.
Eren said even under tough circumstances Islam managed to spread through some parts of Africa for centuries and made great contributions in all fields of life. Recalling that Muslims have lived as minorities and majorities in different regions of South Africa, the important and positive geopolitical developments happening in the past 25 to 35 years would most definitely affect the futures of these communities to a great extent.
During the three-day conference, forums will be held with titles including the "Spread of Islam in Southern Africa," "Trade and Islam," "Language and Islamic Literature," "Colonialism, Apartheid and Democracy," "the Coexistence of Cultures, Arts and Crafts, Architecture and Archaeology," "Future Perspectives," "Muslim Media," "Influential Muslim Figures," "the Establishment of Islamic Financial Institutions" and "Current Community-State Relations and NGOs." A special break-out session will be held on foundations such as DarusShifa and their importance to South Africa.
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