Islamic Arts Museum Reflection Of Islamic Achievements, Woes – PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 2018 (Bernama) — Marking the 20th anniversary of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it stands as a reminder of the achievements of the Muslims and the Islamic civilisation as well as how they could slip down the road.

The Prime Minister noted that in setting up the museum, it was not merely to glorify the Islamic past or intended to look down at other civilisations.

He said exhibitions at the museum should serve as a reminder of how Islam reached the pinnacle of its glory and became a global phenomenon and that, at its height, Islamic knowledge and sciences provided the light to the darkness in the western world.

“These exhibitions should also remind us of how Muslims have deviated and slipped off the track, withdrawing into a cocoon in the name of the religion.

“Muslims should then reflect on the works and artefacts that the worldly attitude and the thirst for all types of knowledge and sciences that made the religion and Muslims great,” he said when addressing IAMM’s anniversary celebration as well as the 40th anniversary of the Albukhary Foundation, at the museum here today.

The Prime Minister said the government was committed to supporting the endeavours pursued by local museums, including the IAMM.

“I’m aware of the difficulties faced by the curators in sourcing exhibition materials, especially when they involve other nations and foreign authorities. Wherever possible, the government is prepared to assist,” he said.

At today’s event, Dr Mahathir also opened the Albukhary Foundation Scholar’s Library at the museum which has a collection of more than 20,000 volumes of books and journals sourced from all over the world.

Coming in different languages and being multi-disciplinary, the volumes cover the fields of Islamic arts and architecture, history, religion, bibliography, library science, language and literature, as well as with an emphasis on philosophy, science, medicine, sociology, anthropology, military sciences and technology.

The new facility also has a dedicated section of rare and limited edition publications with printed books that go as far back as the as early 17th century.          “It is, I am also told, to be the largest and most comprehensive museum library in Southeast Asia and its primary mission is to support the study and research of the museum’s collection,” he said.

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