Saturday, May 31, 2008

PM: Learn from history - Human capital an integral element of Islamic civilization

Timely reminder: Abdullah launching ‘The Encyclopedia of Islam and Iran: Dynamics of Culture and the Living Civilisation’ in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Looking on is Dr Velayati.
KUALA LUMPUR: History has taught that civilisation will suffer whenever the people's thoughts are threatened by corruption and decay, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
The Prime Minister said that because of that, mistakes made throughout history should be understood so that they are not repeated.
“I believe this explanation to be true for the Islamic civilisation,” he said at the launch of The Encyclopedia of Islam and Iran: Dynamics of Culture and the Living Civilisation at the Islamic Arts Museum here yesterday.
History has taught us that human capital development has in fact been very much an integral element in the rise and decline of civilisations,” he said, adding that the passage of Islamic civilisation was repetitive in nature.
He said whenever institutionalised thought became weak and insignificant, civilisation would also suffer a similar blow.
“Sadly, however, we still seem to find ourselves mired in confusion and ignorance which have left the indelible imprint of difficulty and despair over much of the Muslim world. Clearly, we have not been conscious of their mistakes,” he said.
However, Abdullah said that all was not lost and that Muslims were not pessimistic about their future.
“We are confident that Islam will provide us guidance,” he said.
Abdullah reminded Muslim leaders to remain dynamic and place emphasis on education.
“Otherwise our efforts in promoting human capital development will be relegated to the realm of mere slogan,” he added.
Abdullah said the book written by Dr Ali Akbar Velayati, who is currently an adviser in international affairs to Iran’s supreme leader, captured the essence of this rise and decline throughout the Islamic civilisation.
The encyclopedia is the English translation of Dr Velayati’s work, Mawsu’ah al-Islam wa Iran: Dinamikiyyah al-Thaqafah wa Haywiyyah al-Hadarah which was orginally published in the Persian language and subsequently rendered into Arabic.
At the event, Abdullah received a cheque for RM800,000 for victims of the cyclone in Myanmar from Al-Bukhary Foundation chairman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary.

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