KUWAIT, Dec 25 (KUNA) -- Chairman of the International Islamic Charitable Organization (IICO) Dr. Abdullah Al-Maatouq stressed care for education and awareness of new Muslims in Europe is a priority at present requiring rehabilitation and continued advancement of capabilities of preachers communicating with them.
The remark came upon the inauguration Saturday night of the third Europe new Muslims forum, organized by the TIES center of the IICO. The forum, Al-Maatouq said, was an opportunity to better equip Islam's representatives in Europe to address the issues facing the Muslim European community today.
The representatives are encouraged to seek Islamic leadership courses and strategic planning courses, and to set up channels and netwroks of communication for Muslims across Europe. The IICO, the chairman said, offered many cultural, educational, and other training programs since its creation to enable Muslims to contribute to development in their own respective communities.
It is now cooperating with a host of international organizations. The list includes the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Islamic Education, Science, Culture Organization (IISESCO), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the Humanitarian Forum.
Al-Maatouq urged members of the public to encourage and support all initiatives aiming to foster and invigorate interaction among cultures and people based on a strong foundation of mutual understanding and knowledge.
TIES Center Chairman Abdulwahhab Al-Shaya meanwhile said the focus this time around is "new approaches", and the training courses cover Islamic leadership, strategic planning, team-building, communication skills, and community service.
The selected 40 men and women are to be trained to best represent Islam and introduce others to the faith and its core values and defend it against bias and misinformation. Once back in their home-countries, TIES would follow up on their progress and help them out with any difficulties or challenges.
Forum coordinator Amal Abdelwahid said the aim is to create a new generation within the European community which presents a correct and appealing image of Islam and Muslims. "We are proud of our trainees who are eager to embody and represent moderate Islam in their communities." The event, she said, is attended by a host of preachers, intellectuals, academicians, and men of charity from Kuwait and elsewhere, and the trainees of the different programs are from Italy, Albania, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
TIES is the first Islamic Daawa (religious preaching) center specialized in care for westerners and new Muslims in non-Muslim countries. It seeks direct interaction with the intended groups and stresses the values of moderation and leading by example in all its activities that train preachers to guide others in their respective countries.(end) amn.wsa KUNA 251254 Dec 11NNNN