Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

May 2006
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Cover Story

Help Palestinians: ISESCO Appeals to the Muslim World

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization -ISESCO- has appealed to the Muslim world to extend immediate financial aid to the Palestinian people. The Organization has exhorted Muslim countries to take urgent action to relieve the siege imposed on the legitimate Palestinian government and to express solidarity through providing immediate financial support and fulfilling the commitments they have undertaken in Arab and Islamic summit conferences towards the Palestinian cause.

In a communiqué it addressed to its 51 Member States as well as to the international and regional organisations with which it has signed cooperation agreements, totalling 145 organisations, ISESCO declared that Palestinian schools, colleges and universities are threatened with closure, and thousands of students run the risk of being deprived of their right to schooling granted by international laws and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ISESCO revealed in its communiqué that the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in the Palestinian government is completely unable to pay salaries of teachers and professors.

In this respect, ISESCO called upon the entire Muslim world to support the Palestinian people, to back its legitimately-elected government, and to take prompt action to provide it with all necessary means, especially the financial ones.

Qiblah and Prayers in Space
Kuala Lumpur

As it prepares to send its first astronaut to space soon, Malaysia is seeking answers to important questions on determining prayer times and the Qiblah in space. Over 150 astronauts, scholars, academicians and professionals came together last month to find answers to these and other questions. The two-day conference was organised by Malaysia’s National Space Agency (Angkasa). Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, 34, Dr Faiz Khaleed, 26, S. Vanajah, 35, and pilot, Mohammed Faiz Kamaluddin, 34, have been short-listed to be selected as Malaysia’s first astronaut. Two of the four, who include three Muslims, will be trained by Russia before one is chosen to participate in the expedition of its spaceship to the International Space Station (ISS) next October. Angkasa Director-General, Mazlan Othman said the ISS would circle the earth 16 times in 24 hours (which means there will be 16 daylights and 16 nights a day). And under the circumstances, it would affect Muslim astronauts in performing their prayers. The agreement to send a Malaysian aboard the Russian spacecraft was part of a billion-dollar deal to buy 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets.