Knowledge of Islam a boon
I couldn't agree more with 'Ignorance of Islam 'harms HK students' ' (Education Post, October 6). However, students in the BA (Hons) in Translation and Interpretation course at City University received a fair amount of exposure to Islam through the 'Culture and Translation' unit. They learned about the 'Five Pillars' of Islam, including the hajj; shari'ah (traditional Islamic law); Islamic fundamentalism, including Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia; the doctrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and recent manifestations in the Sudan and Pakistan; Islamic views on riba (usury); and Islamic business ethics, including the spread of Islamic ('riba-free') banks; Jardine Fleming's 'Oasis Fund', which invests only in businesses that are 'clean' by shari'ah standards; and the inauguration of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Index, which tracks such businesses. We put together the teaching materials ourselves and our sources were mostly published in France, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
If the atrocities of September 11 lead in the West to a greater curiosity about and knowledge of Islamic culture, that, at least, will be a good thing.
Founding course leader (retired), BA (Hons) in Translation and Interpretation, City University