On the occasion of today’s national celebration of Eid ul-Fitir, the end of Ramadan, on the recommendation of the University Research Council, it is my pleasure to approve the establishment of the ADDU Al Qalam Insitute: An Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue. It will be headed by Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan, who will be assisted by Joseph Germin Umadhay.
“Al Qalam” means “the pen” – signaling the primarily research character of the Institute.
As a Jesuit University the ADDU appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus: the promotion of the faith, the pursuit of justice consequent on the faith, sensitivity to cultures, and inter-religious dialogue. The University Mission is, among others, to excel “in cultural sensitivity and transformation, and in inter-religious dialogue, particularly with the Muslim and Luman communities of Mindanao.”
In this context, the approved objectives of the Institute are as follows:
“Al Qualam Institute hopes to formalize in a scholastic and formative setting an avenue for Muslims to better understand their roles and responsibilities as citizens of the Philippines. In part, it also envisions the actualization of such parameters to better understand one’s self as a prerogative to also access a better understand one’s surroundings and the impact of their actions and decisions towards the rest of the citizenry.
“a. Create a platform for grassroots intra-faith (between and among Muslims and fellow Muslims) and inter-faith (between and among Muslims, non-Muslims, and peoples of other faiths) dialogue within the ADDU and its community:
“b. Provide an avenue for articulation of present issues and concerns of Muslim communities by engaging various Muslim interest and sectoral groups into caucus and consensus building (i.e. socio-political religious exchange);
“c. Engage government structures, mechanisms and laws towards inter-civilizational dialogue and peace-building (or to the effecto: creating a more peaceful and tolerant society);
“d. Facilitate Islamic knowledge production, preservation and promotion through research studies;
”e. Create/facilitate academic and cultural exchanges and linkages with international groups on intercultural and interreligious (interfaith) concerns.”
The thrusts and areas of engagements, as approved, are:
“a. People-to-people dialogue within ADDU.
#b. Muslim community concerns and advocacy through community immersion of Ateneo students;
“c. Conduct series of research on governance and laws for/in the Culture of Dialogue.
“d. Islamic knowledge production and appreciation (promotion).
“e. International exchanges and linkages for Islamic knowledge and understanding.”
The formal launch of the Al Qalam Institute will be on November 6, 2011, to coincide with the Eidl Adha – which commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isaac), as an act of obedience to Allah.