By Dr. Baharuddin Aziz
The International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) is truly the pride of the nation and the Muslim ummah. It has come a long way towards becoming the premier global Islamic university, providing a variety of skill, scholarly, and knowledge-based programmes of study for the benefit of the Muslim ummah and of mankind, in general.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister and Founding Father of IIUM, Hon. Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, expressed the view that IIUM is a special institution of higher learning in its own class, one which is geared towards improving the lot in life of Muslims in general. Spearheading research and development in niche areas like Engineering, Medicine, Pharmacy, Syariah laws and Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic Banking and Finance, Islamic History, Culture and Philosophy, Tourism and Hospitality, Islamic Arts and Architecture, and a host of other programmes, remain its cornerstones.
“With the skills and knowledge which they [the students] have acquired at the university, it is my earnest hope that they will return to their respective countriesand dedicate themselves towards nation building with the aim of improving the livelihood of the people. Being future leaders, they must take bold steps to correct the weaknesses and to undertake measures to improve the socio-economic status of the people in their own countries,” said Dr. Mahathir in a special interview with IIUM TV following the recent launching of the Tun Mahathir Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) Chair for Global Peace.
IIUM celebrated its 30th Anniversary last year (2013) and is poised to soar to greater heights by becoming the premier global Islamic university as it enters the fourth decade of its existence. “It is my earnest hope that the university will undertake measures and formulate strategies so that it will be comparable to renowned universities of higher learning in the world but within its own mould and aspirations. Whatever initiatives that are being undertaken, they should be within the scope of its vision and mission, moving towards achieving comprehensive excellence through networking and embracing state-of-the-art teaching and learning methodologies,” he stressed.
Earlier, IIUM President, Tan Sri Rais Yatim, launched the Tun Mahathir Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) Chair for Global Peace which will be under the supervision of IIUM’s Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyah of Laws (AIKOL). He said that the Chair will provide a platform and linkage for discourse for galvanising knowledge, research, practical experience, and competency for scholars and practitioners with a focus towards peace building and humanitarian assistance.
“The Chair will focus on research with a specialisation on preserving global peace, inclusive of policy and legislative formulations as well as to issues related to genocide and the criminalisation of war perpetrators,” said Tan Sri Rais. Renowned scholar — and internationally recognised as the Father of Peace Studies — Prof. Johan Galtung, was announced as the first Chair holder of the Tun Mahathir Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) Chair for Global Peace.