Madinah : Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja has urged cultural organizations in the Islamic world to stand united in alleviating the suffering of Muslim civilians afflicted by oppression and injustice in various parts of the world.
Inaugurating the 8th Conference of the Ministers of Culture from the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) here on Tuesday, the minister also underlined the need to highlight the sublime values of Islam and its culture, as well as to remove misgivings about Islam. The opening session was attended by Madinah Emir Prince Faisal Bin Salman, who is also chairman of the Supreme Committee to organize events on the occasion of the selection of Madinah as the Islamic Culture Capital.
The Rabat-based Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) has chosen Madinah as the Islamic Culture Capital for 2013. As many as 400 activities are being held during the year-long celebration that started last March. The conference is being held to mark the occasion. The opening session was chaired by Algerian Culture Minister Khalida Toumi, the chairperson of the 7th Session of the Cultural Ministers. Azerbaijan’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Abul Fas Mursaloglu, who is the deputy chairman of the session, Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri, director general of ISESCO, were among those who addressed the opening session.
Drawing attention to the desperate situation of Muslim civilians in war-torn regions, Dr. Khoja said: “We are gathering here at a time when the Muslim Ummah is buffeted by waves of conflicts all over the world. The weaker sections of our people – women, children and the elderly – are going through the harshest conditions of life and becoming victims of killing, displacement and persecution without any fault of their own. In view of this tragic situation, we shall be armed with our cultural means to spread the lofty Islamic values of true love, and strengthen our bonds of brotherhood, harmony and understanding,” he said.
Dr. Khoja mooted two proposals aimed at strengthening the joint cultural work and highlighting the spiritual and historic position of Madinah in serving the Islamic culture. The first proposal is to set up Madinah e-gate for the culture of the Islamic world and the second is a bibliography for innovators in arts and literature in the Islamic world. “Each Islamic state can showcase its cultural landmarks and prominent models and introduce its achievements in the fields of arts, literature and science on the gate. The bibliography, in print and online form, shall contain details about innovators, scholars and experts in various cultural fields in the Islamic world so as to contact them and exchange their expertise,” the minister said.