Manama: A research centre specialising in Islamic legislation and ethical thought has been launched in Qatar. The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) was inaugurated during a one day conference on Islamic ethics that discussed the application of Islamic ethics in environment, gender, economics, education, art and bioethics.

Input was given by an international panel that included His Excellency Dr Mustafa Ceric, the Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina and winner of the Unesco Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize and world-famous musician Yousuf Islam, who discussed the topic of Islamic ethics and the arts.

"I have always been convinced, especially in light of the developments that occurred in the last decade of the third millennium, of the vital need to create a research foundation and a proficient pedagogy able to encompass the integrated system of the principles and values of central Islamic thought," Shaikha Moza Bin Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), said. "This in turn should be presented to us Muslims and to others in a renewed vision and systematic approach that would dispel misinterpretations, exaggerations and their consequences in the forms of preconceptions and stereotypes which are contrary to the necessity of constructive dialogue," she said on Sunday. The message of the centre must be based on universal and established principles that integrate values as part of the learning and the formation of individuals who can be agents of change, she said.

CILE, the first centre, on a global scale, to focus on Islamic legislation and ethical thought, aims to gather the scholars of the text with the scholars of the context, and to reach out to a global and mixed audience of scholars, experts, students and the general public.

The centreis under the guidance of Director Tariq Ramadan, renowned Muslim thinker, alongside Jasser Auda, Deputy Director of CILE and founding member and member of the Executive Board of the International Union of Muslim Scholars. "Islamic scholars and research centres can benefit greatly from engaging with the experts in modern fields that have been untouched by the parameters of traditional questioning," Tariq Ramadan said. "We aim to provide not only a theoretical framework, but also concrete contributions and practical applications in areas that are current and relevant to 21st Century communities, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. We are extremely excited by the contributions that will be made from this new line of questioning by reaching out to a global and mixed audience of scholars, experts, students and ordinary people," he said. The centre is based in Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, a member of Qatar Foundation.