The Washington-based Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences yesterday held a one-day open symposium in Los Angeles. The symposium, on the fringes of the inauguration of the King Fahd Mosque, included five sessions and discussed a number of contemporary Islamic issues by a number of ulema (religious scholars), researchers and individuals interested in Islamic affairs, from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States and a number of Islamic countries. Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Dr. Abdullah Ibn Abdulmohsin Al-Turki opened the symposium which began with a session on "the impact of the mosque in preserving the identity of a Muslim". The closing session discussed "attempts at cooperation between Muslims in the U.S. and those in the Islamic world". Addressing the gathering, Sheikh Abdulrahman Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Sideis, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, praised the Islamic presence in the United States and called on Muslims everywhere to be dedicated and sincere to the call of God. A book and publications exhibition was held on the sidelines of the symposium.
The Institute, an affiliate of Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, is considered one of the most prominent Islamic educational institutions in the United States. Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University has established a number of similar institutions all over the world to help spread knowledge about Islam as well as the Arabic language.