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Australasian Islamic Studies hub to open in South Australia

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ONE of the southern hemisphere’s largest Islamic studies research centres will be established in South Australia.

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The University of South Australia will set up the Centre of Islamic Thought and Education (CITE) in Adelaide, the state’s capital.

Respected Muslim academic Professor Mohamad Abdalla, an expert in Islamic studies and the integration of Islam into Western civilisation, will head up the new centre.

Prof Abdalla will be joined by a host of researchers in Islamic psychology, ethics and business, leadership and management, finance and education in establishing a major Australasian Islamic hub.

He said the focus of the new centre would be a revival in Islamic thought that facilitates interconnectedness and empowerment for local, regional and global communities.

“In an increasingly globalised world, the varied problems facing Muslim societies present new and complex challenges, which need to be addressed from a strength-based approach,” Prof Abdalla said.

“One of the founding values of the centre will be the clear focus on genuine and meaningful engagement, which will provide for valuable two-way conversations and insights between the Muslim and broader community.

“The centre will build on the great work already being undertaken in South Australia both at the academic and community level and work with UniSA’s School of Education to design strength-based programs and projects informed by Islamic thought as well as the Australian context for communities, schools and non-government organisations.”

Prof Abdalla is coming to the University of South Australia from Griffith University in Queensland, where he was the Founding Director of the Griffith Islamic Research Unit (GIRU).

He has been actively involved in establishing open and respectful dialogue between people of diverse faith traditions and persuasions after the horrific terrorist attacks on New York in 2001, and is highly regarded internationally.

UniSA Vice Chancellor David Lloyd said the purpose of the new centre was to promote and encourage more understanding of Islam and the issues Muslims experienced around the world.

“The centre will be a knowledge hub for community empowerment through research, education and engagement, a hub that is open to collaborate with international partners, government departments and non-government bodies here in Australia and around the world,” Prof Lloyd said.

“The opportunities for the new Centre to raise awareness and drive engagement with the wider community are boundless.”

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