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Courtesy: Da‘wah Highlights


Brussels Islamic Center

Brussels: The Islamic Cultural Center here was started way back in 1963 by diplomats representing Islamic countries in Belgium, when a small place in one of the localities of the city was rented for the purpose.

When in 1967 King Faisal of Saudi Arabi visited Belgium, King Baudouin I of Belgium presented him with the Orient House, which was being used as a museum, and was situated in one of Brussels’ posh areas, and only a few meters away from the headquarters of the European Common Market. The aim was that it should be used as a mosque and Islamic cultural center.

In 1968, King Faisal decided that a proper Islamic Cultural Center should be built so that it becomes one of the prominent Islamic landmarks in Europe, and in the same year the Belgian Government decided to recognize the center as representative of the Muslims in the country.

In 1974, the Belgian Government officially recognized Islam as one of the religions in the country, and later decreed that Islamic Studies should be incorporated in the curricula of the formal schools for Muslim students.

In 1978, King Khalid of Saudi Arabia, in the presence of King Baudouin of Belgium, officially inaugurated the centre, and in 1982 the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) decided to undertake the running of the centre and initiated a special budget for its running expenses. By 1983, it had developed into the Islamic Cultural Center, and since then it has come a long way. The center holds regular lectures and prayers, and also organizes seminars and conferences, and tries to solve the social and domestic problems of Muslims when they crop up from time to time.

In the educational sector, the center has set up a number of schools and classes for teaching Islamic Studies and the Arabic language, at various stages, and special classes are held for inducting new Muslims every Saturday, while classes for women are held on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Apart from its regular newsletter, the Islamic Cultural Center has its own broadcasting station known as ‘Islam Radio’, and a social club for the Muslim youths. It also has its own website on the Internet. The center also extends financial assistance to the poor among the Muslim community, and also sent its representatives to visit prisons, hospitals, and other areas, with the aim of assessing their problems and helping as far as is possible. The center also solemnizes Islamic marriages, and generally cares for the welfare and well-being of the Muslim families in Belgium, and tries to solve any social or domestic problems as and when they arise.

Muslims of Bermuda

Hamilton: Islamic activity started in Bermuda with the arrival of Black Muslims, working for American companies, who then bought a building and converted it into what became known as the Muhammady Mosque. There are now between 500-800 Muslims in the island that has a population of 62,472, according to the 1999 statistics.

The four-storey Muhammady Mosque has a school, known as the Clara Muhammad Islamic School. Another new mosque would be built next to it. The present mosque is patronized by the working class, mostly from Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.

Muslim Community of Thailand

Bangkok: Muslims in Thailand now account for over 10 percent of the total population of 61,661,701, with most of them living in the Fatani Region, a region that had in yesteryears been as an independent kingdom ruled over by sultans. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that it formed part of Thailand.

However, the Muslims of Fatani still apply the Islamic Sharī‘ah in matters regarding personal law, such as marriage, inheritance, and the like, and the government has created a separate section for this in the law courts, and this has become applicable in all of the country’s regions where there are concentrations of Muslims.

Dr. Ismail Lutfy, head of the Islamic College in Thailand, has said that the Fatani youths who graduate from the universities of the country are closely concerned also with their Islamic identity, and have formed an organization with the specific objective of spreading the message of Islam in the country, and also enlightening Muslims about various matters regarding their faith.

As a result, many non-Muslim Thais have also taken interest in Islam and seek to find out more about it. In this connection the Islamic organizations in Fatani have taken the responsibility of printing and distributing sizeable quantities of Islamic literature, in addition to recorded audio and video cassettes.


Courtesy: Da‘wah Highlight, Vol. XIII, Issue 3

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