SHAFAQNA- Muslim scholars from across the world have gathered in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban to discuss the history of Islamic civilization in the region.
“Our history as Muslims in southern Africa is not recorded correctly and sometimes it’s not even actually recorded at all; that’s why we are holding this conference to increase our knowledge,” Zeinoul Cajee, conference organizer, told Anadolu Agency Friday.
A total of 22 scholars have been invited to the three-day event being held at the University of Kwazulu Natal to present their papers. It is the second such international congress on Islamic civilization in southern Africa.
The Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) organized the event in conjunction with the National Foundation Awqaf of South Africa.
“We hope what is discussed at this conference will promote better understanding of Islamic history and create dialogue among Muslims and people of other faiths,” Cajee said.
He hoped the conference would enable Muslims to better understand their religious and cultural heritage as well as that of other communities outside their faith.
The Southern African Development Community bloc of countries consists of 15 member states, including South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Malawi among others.
Some themes discussed at the conference included the spread of Islam, co-existence and cultural diversity in the region.
IRCICA Professor Halit Eren said the conference aims to help disseminate scholarly information on the history and heritage of Islam in southern Africa region.
He said it also encouraged studies and cooperation between universities and cultural institutions in the region.
“For our part, we are contributing to this effort from an international angle, due to the definition of IRCICA’s mandate,” he said.
The Research Center for Islamic History, Art and Culture is a global Muslim organization in charge of research on history, arts and culture. It was established in the mid-1970s in the Muslim world by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.