Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) president Maulana Ighsaan Hendricks was re-elected as an executive member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) for a third time at its annual gathering in Turkey last week. Over 100 Muslim scholars, politicians and intellectuals from across the globe convened in Istanbul to mark the 10th anniversary of the IUMS. The body was formed in 2004 as a means of providing a channel for dialogue between various Muslims scholars.
The meeting also marked the IUMS’s elections for the next four year term.
Speaking to VOC Drivetime, MJC secretary general Maulana Abdul Khaliq Allie said the MJC had shown a strong representation at the IUMS meetings since the body’s inception.
“The role that Maulana Ighsaan plays internationally, both as far as the Palestinian issue and other related matters are concerned, those all add to the position when it came to the elections,” he said.
The meeting came in light of Israel’s brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip, as well as the rise of the radical Islamic State group, the latter of which has accentuated negative perceptions of Islam.
Allie said the meeting came with “a lot of pain amongst the ulema”, who were determined to address these serious and critical issues currently facing the Muslim community. He said the major goal of the meeting had been to find ways of projecting Islam in a more positive light.
The meeting also marked 10 years since the IUMS’s establishment at a meeting in London in 2004. Allie said the IUMS sought to use the anniversary meeting to analyze the challenges faced by the body during those 10 years, as well as the role it played in unifying the ulema on pertinent issues.
“One of the brothers that reported back from Bangladesh sketched the scenario as far as what the political scenario is like there. As well as people from Russia, there were also representatives from Pakistan and various African countries,” he explained.
Allie said these levels of engagement allowed the ulema to have first hand information from IUMS members in their respective countries. He described many of the presentations as eye-opening and overwhelming in its reflection of the challenges faced by Muslims around the world.
Amongst the keynote speakers during the meeting was the Minister of Religious Affairs in Turkey, who spoke about the role of Turkey in the current Middle Eastern climate. Allie said the minister had also made special mention of the role played by ulema in trying to eliminate the extremist views of groups like the Islamic State, that were being misrepresented as the views of Muslims as a whole.
“That was one of the key areas because of what is currently happening with ISIS. It came through very strongly, and was obviously dispelled. That is not representative of Islam and the Muslim community,” he said. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)