The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), a center of Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS) at Hamad bin Khalifa University, opened its annual activities for the new academic year with a public lecture on ‘Islamic Ethics in the Era of Genomics’.
Religious scholars and biomedical scientists participated in the seminar, organized in collaboration with the Qatar Supreme Council of Health, on Thursday 2 October 2014. It focused on the topic of Genomics, a branch of molecular genetics concerned with the study of genomes – specifically, the identification and sequencing of their constituent genes and the application of this knowledge in medicine, pharmacy and agriculture.
Recent developments in the field of Genomics brought about many changes and unprecedented ethical issues in the medical field.The lecture clarified the Islamic perspective about those issues and challenges with the participation of a renowned group of religious scholars and biomedical scientists.
Prominent speakers included Dr Khalid Alali, Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs in Qatar University, who addressed the main ethical recommendations and standpoints adopted by UNESCO in the field of Genomics, and their possible relevance for Muslim countries.
Hatem Elshanti, MD, Scientific Director of Medical Genetics Center at the Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) and Dr Mohammed Naim Yasin, Professor in the Faculty of Sharia at Jordan University, highlighted key ethical dilemmas that genomic technologies bring, and discussed Muslim religious scholars’ responses to the ethical questions.
Dr Tariq Ramadan, CILE Executive Director, explained how to ensure ethical practice for the on-going Genomics projects in the Gulf and Arab region.