Interview: Rector International Islamic University Islamabad Dr. Masoom Yasin Zai
Rector International Islamic University Islamabad Dr. Masoom Yasin Zai says inter and intra faith harmony can galvanize the society to meet modern challenges.
In an exclusive interview with Radio Pakistan’s News and Current Affairs Channel, he said we have to learn and follow the teachings of holy prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) in letter and spirit to practice tolerance in our lives.
He said Islam is a religion of peace and the love exhibited to followers of other sects and faiths will create positive image of our religion.
Referring to the experience of IIUI in inter and intra faith harmony, he said students from diverse sects are studying in our institution and there is no discord among them. The Rector IIUI said in Usuluddin Faculty of the university, teachers from various religious sects deliver lectures to a diverse student body and there is never any issue.
He said Dawah Academy will be provided more funds to assist it in promoting the message of Islam. He said more courses will be started in the academy to train Muslims from other brother Islamic countries. Dr. Masoom Yasin Zai said we should act as a responsible nation and take care of each other to make the world a citadel of peace, so that other countries quote Pakistan as an ideal place. He said he also looks forward to the day when the world cites the example of Pakistan in which Islam has transformed the society. He urged parents to focus on training and reform of their children as home is the basic institution.
Dilating upon the experience of International Islamic University in coping with the challenge of COVID-19, he said the university has been actively engaged in onsite and online educational activities. He said when the pandemic broke out earlier this year, we had 1200 international students who could not go back to their home countries due to flight restrictions. The Rector IIUI said the university set up quarantine facilities for these 1200 students in its buildings and held regular medical tests of them. As a result, there was not a single COVID positive case in the university.
Rector IIUI said the university is in contact with peer educational institutions and is also guiding them on adaptation to hybrid system. He said many universities, including the IIUI, are facing financial hardships in the post-COVID environment. He said the IIUI is being totally funded by Government of Pakistan and there is no source of foreign funding. However, Saudi government, with which university has good ties, provides occasional support in the form of grants and scholarships. He said we are trying not to put financial burden on students and parents and to manage things through other means. Dr. Masoom Yasin Zai expressed hope that this semester will be successful despite facing initial hurdles. He said we received an overwhelming response for admissions and there were more than 5,000 applicants for 100 seats of psychology department.
Giving example of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said unless we have good scientists, engineers and managers we will not be able to get benefit from this mega project. He said next era is of knowledge based economy and only those countries will prosper that have the talent with latest knowledge. The Rector said knowledge has assumed more importance in today’s world than just earning degrees. He said new fields like Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Big Data, High Power Computing, and Robotics are the areas where there are lot of opportunities available for Pakistani students to excel.
On a question, the Rector said innovations are legacy of Muslims and the western world is still benefitting from the inventions made by Muslim scientists in the past centuries. He lamented that Muslims have lost focus on science and technology and that is why they are lagging behind.
He said we have to set and determine our priorities. Hailing the initiatives of incumbent government, he said the focus on import substitution to enhance exports and reducing imports will help improve financial situation of the country.
Hosts: Aliya Qaiser, Javed Noor
Guest: Dr. Masoom Yasin Zai, Rector International Islamic University, Islamabad
Producers: Saeed Ahmad, Asad Ullah Khan
Executive Producer: Muhammad Tariq Chaudhary