(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu inaugurated the first Islamic Museum in Australia at a special ceremony in Melbourne on 17 February 2012.
The ceremony was held at the site where the Islamic Museum of Australia (IMA) will be built.
It was attended by a large number of community members and government representatives including the Premiere of Victoria State, the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and the Special Envoy to the OIC Ahmed Fahour who is the co-founder of the Museum.
The Museum will focus on Muslims’ history and contributions in Australia as well as Islamic history and civilization in general. It is seen as a space to reflect and learn and assist in the cohesiveness of the multicultural community the State of Victoria, particularly the city of Melbourne, is known for.
In his address as the guest of honor, the Secretary General said that Islamic civilization has contributed to other civilizations, its art and culture is rich and diverse and it is founded on the principles of tolerance and peace. He added that the Museum will enhance Australian’s understanding of Islam and help build bridges of communication. The Secretary General said that the OIC supports this important initiative and will provide financial and cultural support through its organs at a later stage.
The Museum is expected to open in two years.