Interfaith Chair at Catholic Uni a World First

November 7, 2007

Author: Barney Zwartz

Source: The Age

THE Australian Catholic University will launch the world's first chair in Muslim-Catholic relations in Melbourne this month as part of a bid to combat extremism.

The chair, funded by donations from the Turkish community, will concentrate on religious rather than political Islam, and is designed to detach Islam from Arab culture.

The Australian Intercultural Society, a Turkish interfaith group, paid the first of five annual instalments of $580,000 last week to fund the Fethullah Gulen Chair of Islamic Studies.

AIS spokesman Orhan Cicek said it was important to separate Islam from politically motivated movements. Teaching contemporary Islamic thought and Koranic commentary was the best way to combat radical teaching, he said.