Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Singapore Minister for Communications & Information, the Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs and the Minister in charge of Cyber Security has made visits to students at Islamic academic institutions in Turkey and KSA as part of a trip whose main focus is the Haj Ministerial Meeting in KSA.
In a visit with Singapore students studying at the Islamic University of Madinah Al-Munawarrah and Umm Al-Quraa University in KSA Minister Yaacob noted, "I was glad that the students understood the important role asatizah have to play in Singapore and how our young and upcoming asatizah
should continue to upgrade their skills to improve the way religious
content is communicated, contextualised and disseminated to
multicultural societies such as Singapore."
He added that insights gained will shape Singapore's own Islamic college, an idea which was mentioned as far back as July 2016.
The Singapore connection to Turkey is strong as several of Singapore's madrasah graduates received scholarships for tertiary education in Turkey, he said. Minister Yaacob went to the Istanbul, Marmara and Ibn Khaldun Universities, where he met with key
administrators and renowned scholars of Islam, including the Mufti of Istanbul, HE Professor Dr Hasan Kamil Yilmaz, the Rector of Istanbul University, Professor Mahmut Ak, the Rector of Marmara Üniversitesi, Professor Mehmet Emin Arat, and the Dean of Faculty of Islamic Studies at Ibn Khaldun University, Professor Bilal Aybakan.
Discussions centred around Turkey’s philosophy in education and how it integrates religious traditions with modern sciences. "We also discussed practical issues such as employment prospects for graduates of Islamic studies or Faculties of Theology," he said.
He also talked to Singaporean students teaching and studying for their PhDs in Islamic law in Istanbul. "I was also heartened to hear their aspirations of giving back to the community and Singapore upon their return," he shared.