3-Day First Ulama Summit in RP Opens Today in Manila

Manila Bulletin, January 27, 2008 | Go to article overview

3-Day First Ulama Summit in RP Opens Today in Manila


Byline: EDD K. USMAN

With a battery of foreign and local Islamic and Christian religious leaders, including Indonesia's Prof. Dr. H.M. Din Syamsuddin and the Philippines' Archbishop Fernando R. Capalla, the three-day First Ulama Summit of the Philippines opens today in Manila in an effort to empower the moderates through the pursuit of a Muslim community that is "Allah-fearing, engaged in peace advocacy, progressive, and successful."

Syamsuddin chairs the over 30-million-member Muhammadiyah, the oldest and biggest Islamic organization in Indonesia.

The summit, scheduled on Jan. 2830, will be attended by over 200 ulamas or Muslim scholars from all over the country and will be held at the Bay View Park Hotel on Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila. It is organized by the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy (PCID), Magbassa Kita Foundation Inc. through a three-year grant from the British and the Netherlands embassies.

The two chanceries gave a grant of about R32 million in 2006 to the PCID for the "Empowering the Ulama" project, through British Ambassador Peter Beckingham and the then Dutch Ambassador Richard Vornis.

But the rise of the peso has been eating up part of the amount, PCID leadconvenor Amina T. Rasul said. She cited the importance of united Muslim Filipino religious leaders such as the ulama with a strong voice in advocating peace, tolerance, and harmony.

She said this is particularly true as Islam and Muslims face mounting challenges in the aftermath of the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, particularly the bombing of the Twin Towers building complex in New York City. …

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