HBKU CIS Examines the Islamic Ethics of Altering Genomes | HBKU
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HBKU College of Islamic Studies Examines the Islamic Ethics of Altering Genomes

07 Oct 2019

Panelists discuss the intersection of ethics and genetic alteration

HBKU College of Islamic Studies Examines the Islamic Ethics of Altering Genomes

As part of its mission to deliver stimulating and thought-provoking debates on Islam, the College of Islamic Studies (CIS) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) will hold a panel discussion entitled Moral Discussions on the Concept of 'Altering God's Creation' (taghyir). 

The panel will comprise members of faculty delivering CIS’ newest Master’s program in Applied Islamic Ethics: Dr. Mohammed Ghaly and Dr. Mutaz al-Khatib from the Research Center of Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE); and Dr. Samer Rashwani, visiting professor from the Center for Islamic Theology in Tübingen University, Germany.

The event will highlight recent case studies that have sparked controversies worldwide and raised ethical questions in terms of research and clinical applications in the field of genetics and genomics. It will look into the various approaches towards trying to understand and respond to complex moral issues, and the Islamic theology and guidance in developing these approaches. Can parents be given sole authority to make decisions on their children’s biological development? If and to what extent is modern technology permitted in its application towards taghyir?

Speaking about the upcoming event, Dr. Ghaly, Program Coordinator for the Master’s program in Applied Islamic Ethics, said: “The topic of this lecture shows what we try do in our new MA program, and how concepts like taghyir – which is deeply rooted in the Islamic tradition – can engage with moral deliberations on cutting-edge issues such as gene editing. We simply want to argue that the scholarly discipline of Islamic Ethics can contribute to, and similarly benefit from, global moral discourse.” 

Such topics of debate and the discussion of many more critical issues comprise the crux of the new program. The aim of the program is to develop in students critical skills to be able to investigate and establish ethical positions to complex ethical issues by drawing on both scientific research and religious traditions. The curriculum is one of its kind in the world of Islamic-based ethics and hopes to cultivate a generation of critical thinkers to rise up to the challenge of analyzing sensitive disputes.

The College of Islamic Studies regularly hosts public lectures and conferences to promote a deeper understanding of the various aspects of Islam among the wider community and to encourage discussion and debate on the critical issues that are faced by Muslim societies worldwide. 

The public event, Moral Discussions on the Concept of 'Altering God's Creation' (taghyir) will take place from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm on October 9 at the Auditorium, Minaretein (College of Islamic Studies Building).

The lecture will be held in Arabic and English with simultaneous translation available. For more information, or to register to attend, please visit cis.hbku.edu.qa.