Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, Minister of State and cabinet member, inaugurated on Friday the King Fahd Mosque and Islamic Center in Edinburgh, Scotland. Speaking on the occasion, Prince Abdulaziz referred to the Kingdom's duty to serve Muslims, and its support of Islamic projects worldwide, and expressed the hope that this mosque would be a source of light and guidance in the service of Islam, and in particular, Muslim minorities. He added that the Center, which cost about 3.5 million pounds donated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, also serves as a symbol of friendship between the two countries and their peoples.
For his part, the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, representing Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, remarked on the important role being played by the Islamic community in Scotland, in terms both of local municipal activities and of overseas relations, and described the opening of the Mosque and Center as a historic occasion for the city.
Meanwhile, the three-day Islamic and Cultural seminar which was opened on Friday by Prince Abdulaziz, and chaired by Dr. Al-Turki, ended yesterday. The seminar, which was attended by Islamic scholars from all over the world as well as delegates from Islamic minorities in Britain, had as its topic "Jurisprudence in Islam concerning Muslim minorities". Addressing the final session, Dr. Mohammad Ibn Saleh, Professor at the Riyadh-based Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, expressed thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz for their deep concern for Muslims' affairs. For his part, Dr. Al-Turki stated that the seminar had adopted useful recommendations to serve Islam and the Muslim minorities in non-Islamic countries, and called for continuing efforts in this line.
The seminar's final statement issued last night urged continuing contacts among Muslim minorities and underlined the need for a specialized team to research solutions for problems faced by Islamic minorities including the provision of opportunities for Muslim minorities to learn Arabic, the language of the Holy Qur'an. The statement went on to urge governments, companies and affluent Muslims to assist in the establishment of Islamic educational centers in places where Muslim minorities are living in order to preserve their Islamic identity.
Meanwhile, a number of Islamic personalities have praised the Kingdom's pioneering role under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz in building Houses of God and establishing Islamic Centers all over the world in the service of Islam and Muslims. Secretary-General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) Dr. Saleh Al-Obeid, pointed out that most of these Saudi mosques are in Europe and the United States. Secretary-General of the Higher Council for Islamic Affairs Dr. Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al-Siwayel said that such mosques play a large role in unifying Muslim minorities. Undersecretary of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Dr. Abdulrahman Ibn Suleiman Al-Matroodi, who was chairman of the preparatory committee for the inauguration ceremony of the King Fahd Mosque and Islamic Center in Edinburgh, remarked that such construction is only one of several aspects of the propagation of the Islamic faith, adding however that there are now 210 Islamic centers built by the Kingdom all over the world.