Professor Salim T S Al-Hassani, the President of FSTC, has been chosen for the third time as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims.
The recently released third edition (2012) of The 500 Most Influential Muslims has bestowed a deserved distinction on Professor Salim T S Al-Hassani, the President of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC). Professor Al-Hassani was chosen one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims before, back in 2010 and in 2011.
The publication is an initiative of the The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (MABDA), which itself is an independent research entity affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, headquartered in Amman, Jordan. Prof. Al-Hassani was selected as one of the Muslims who, by their work, represent a worldwide influence on the Muslim community, this influence being the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant positive impact on the Muslim World.
From the "The 500 Most Influential Muslims" book, p. 151.
A New Way of Promoting Social Cohesion
Prof. Al-Hassani's message is short and simple: "To build a better future, we must learn from our past." Achieving this is not as easy as it seems, because history, as we know, is not a simple flow of events through time. There is a lot of information that has been lost, hidden, corrupted and biased. It is in this critical area of revisiting the history of what the Western education systems refer to as the Dark Ages, which Muslim history calls The Golden Age, that Professor Al-Hassani has devoted so much time and energy during the past two decades.
Prof. Al-Hassani founded FSTC with his colleagues around a new concept of charity and volunteer action aimed towards creating a solid ground for inter-community and inter-cultural understanding and cooperation, far away from political and religious boundaries. By choosing also to articulate the work of the Foundation around science and technology, rather than the classical initiatives of inter-religious and cultural dialogues, he proved to be sensitive to the call of the modern world. Science and technology represent our best tools to build a better future for the coming generations. But the history aimed at implementing such a nobel goal should not suffer from oblivions or gaps, nor be the locus where complexes are born. A complex of superiority on one hand, from the triumphant Western Civilisation, nor a complex of inferiority within the modern heirs of Muslim Civilisation. These complexes do not promote dialogue or self-esteem, but antagonism and extremism.
Turning his attention to the past, Salim Al-Hassani kept his eyes on the present. The central slogan of his work "Muslim Heritage in Our World" depicts this twofold and informed gaze. The present is built on the past, and in order to be able to learn from the latter, we must re-discover it and make clear the ties it has with the present. From this perspective we can all work together in the present to build a better future for all our heirs.
Projects like "FSTC", "1001 Inventions", "MuslimHeritage.com" and "CE4tF" represent this central tendency which guided the work of Salim Al-Hassani in promoting Muslim Heritage and its ramifications in our present day world. Phrases like "Cultural Cohesion", "Social Understanding", "Respect for Diversity", "Working Together", "Building Bridges", "Creating Awareness" and many more promoting inclusion found their real meaning through these projects.
1001 Inventions Exhibition at the National Geographic Museum from Turkish-American TV on Vimeo
FSTC and Its Projects
In 1999, Professor Salim Al-Hassani and other colleagues founded the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC). Professor Al-Hassani was, until the end of 2011, the Chairman of the Foundation. He is now the President of FSTC, Professor Mohammed El-Gomati is now Chairman. FSTC is a not-for-profit educational foundation which aims to generate social cohesion, inter-cultural appreciation, and to promote science and learning as an alternative to negative and extremist behaviour. It does this by illuminating the shared scientific heritage of humanity, with its initial efforts centring on uncovering the very significant scientific contributions by the Muslim Civilisation. In its various projects, from books to lectures, seminars, exhibitions, films and electronic publications, FSTC is supported by a large network of historians of science, academics, writers and intellectuals.
The projects carried on by FSTC are a compilation of stories that tell the history of science, technology and culture dating back to a thousand years, which are absent from school books, particularly in the West. This thousand-year time frame corresponds to a period after the fall of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance in Europe, the period commonly known as the ‘Dark Ages.' This is a misnomer, as this period was not really dark, and outside of Europe people were living in a golden age, in the s