CILE hosts public seminar on Islamics Ethics in the Era of Genomics

The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), a centre of the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS) in Hamad Bin Khalifa University, is opening its annual activities for the new academic year with a public lecture on ‘Islamic Ethics in the Era of Genomics’.

Religious scholars and biomedical scientists will participate in the seminar, organised in collaboration with the Qatar Supreme Council of Health, on Thursday. The event takes place at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, in Hamad Bin Khalifa University within Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development’s Education City. It will focus on the topic of Genomics, a branch of molecular genetics concerned with the study of genomes – specifically, the identification and sequencing of their constituent genes and the application of this knowledge in medicine, pharmacy and agriculture.

The session, moderated by Dr Mohammed Ghaly, CILE Professor of Islam and Biomedical Ethics, will supports QF’s commitment to fostering a progressive and engaged society that is appreciative of its traditional values and heritage. As part of its key education pillar, Qatar Foundation believes in integrating values and principles in the learning process, with CILE being a research establishment that fits well into QF’s strategy.

Recent developments in the field of Genomics brought about many changes and unprecedented ethical issues in the medical field. The lecture will clarify the Islamic perspective about these issues and challenges with the participation of a renowned group of religious scholars and biomedical scientists.

Prominent speakers include Dr Khalid Alali, Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs in Qatar University, who will address the main ethical recommendations and standpoints adopted by UNESCO in the field of Genomics, and their possible relevance for Muslim countries.

Hatem Elshanti, MD, Scientific Director of Medical Genetics Center at the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) and Dr Mohammed Naim Yasin, Professor in the Faculty of Sharia at Jordan University, will highlight key ethical dilemmas that genomic technologies bring, and discuss Muslim religious scholars’ responses to the ethical questions.

Finally, Dr Tariq Ramadan, CILE Executive Director, will explain how to ensure ethical practice for the on-going Genomics projects in the Gulf and Arab region.

Commenting on the upcoming seminar, Dr Ghaly said: “We are very pleased to open our new academic year with this Genomics seminar. Given that new genomic technologies have brought up ethical dilemmas and questions, we believe it is important to create a platform where prominent scholars and scientists can get together to have fruitful discussions on these issues. Our goal at CILE is to disseminate Islamic ethical thought and behaviour by engaging scholars, and we are confident that this event will be productive towards achieving our objective.”

Choosing the topic of Genomics for a detailed academic discussion naturally flows with the overall vision of CILE. The centre strives to enable Muslims to reform their theoretical views by contributing to international discourse from their own legal, doctrinal and ethical perspective.

CILE pays special attention to the role of ethics in medical fields, to develop an Islamic perspective that can help achieve reform.

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