In line with its mission to frame debates on Islam in a global context, the College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently signed memorandum of understanding with Belgium’s Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven). This collaboration reflected in jointly academic activities between the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) and KU Leuven’s Leuven Centre for the Study of Islam, Culture and Society (LCSICS) to deliver a virtual summer school and an international conference.
Taking place August 9-12, "Islamic Ethics and the COVID-19 Pandemic" provided participants interested in Islamic ethics with the skills and knowledge to critically engage with the global ethical discourse surrounding COVID-19.
Over the course of four days, participants became familiar with case studies of pandemic diseases and their effects on Muslim societies in medieval, colonial and contemporary times, such as congregational rituals, medical rationing and triage. This was accompanied by analysing the ethical approaches and discourses on Covid-19, including secular bioethics and varying Islamic approaches i.e. scriptural, theological and juristic approaches.
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This summer school reflects CILE distinctiveness which lies in leading the interdisciplinary field of Islamic Ethics in addition. Key speakers included: CILE professors, Dr. Mohammed Ghaly, Dr. Mutaz al-Khatib and Dr. Rajai Ray Jureidini and other professors from Leuven and Germany including Dr. Umar Ryad, Dr. Arjan Post and Dr. Samer Rashwani.
Speaking after the conclusion of the summer school, Dr. Emad El-Din Shahin, Interim Provost and Dean of the CIS said: “During times of uncertainty, individuals and communities tend to consult their moral systems to examine how thorny ethical dilemmas can be addressed. The COVID-19 pandemic is by no means an exception to the rule and has triggered a global discourse on related moral issues. It was therefore an honor to work with KU Leuven to develop a summer school that grappled with these issues. The affinities between CILE and LCSICS are plain to see, most notably our shared commitment to the development of scholarship concerning Islam and Muslim societies. We look forward to working with them and other renowned universities to develop further events in the future.”