Islam seminar in Taipei could boost foreign relations - Taipei Times, Taiwan
- Islam seminar in Taipei could boost foreign relations
CNA , TAIPEI
Wednesday, Mar 17, 2004,Page 2
The first-ever international seminar on Islam in
Taiwan will be conducive to substantial relations
between the country and the Islamic world, an official
with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Lin Chin-chung (ªL¶i©¾), deputy director-general of
the ministry's West Asian Affairs Department, made the
remarks at a news briefing on the two-day
international seminar that opened in Taipei on Monday
under the auspices of the World Muslim League (WML)
and National Chengchi University.
Noting that the seminar not only shows the
government's respect for religious freedom but also
demonstrates the country's support for promoting
exchanges with the Islamic world, Lin said that the
Islamic world will gain a better understanding of
Taiwan's development in various fields.
A delegation headed by WML Secretary-General Abdullah
Al-Turki is scheduled to stay in Taipei until March
21. While in Taiwan they are expected to visit the
Central Election Commission on Saturday to gain an
understanding of its vote-counting operations.
The WML, with its headquarters in Mecca, Saudi Arabia,
was founded in 1962 to promote Islam, humanitarian aid
and cooperation among Islamic countries and
organizations. It is one of the most influential
non-governmental organizations in the Islamic world.
The history of Islam in Taiwan dates back to the
mid-17th century when a group of Muslims immigrated to
Taiwan from China together with Koxinga or Cheng
Cheng-kung (¾G¦¨¥\, 1624-1662), the leader of an
anti-Manchu resistance movement after the fall of the
Ming dynasty in China who ousted the Dutch from
Taiwan has about 50,000 Muslim citizens. In addition,
about 50,000 Muslims from Islamic countries are
working in the country. There are six mosques that
sponsor many Islamic religious activities and
festivities each year, Lin added.
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