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President to open Indian Islamic Centre building in UAE

Thursday November 18, 2010 07:09:07 PM, IANS

Abu Dhabi: A new building of the Islamic Centre in Abu Dhabi, which has been serving the Indian community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 1971, will be inaugurated by Indian President Pratibha Patil Nov 23.

Though established in 1971, the Indian Islamic Centre (IIC) does not own an office building. The foundation stone of the newly-built structure was laid by then Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1981 during an official visit to the UAE.

Though the Abu Dhabi authorities allotted land for the centre in 1979, construction did not begin until 2008 due to a lack of funds, daily Gulf News reported.

The IIC, which functions from a temporary office, conducts cultural, religious and educational activities for its members as well as for the public.

"Although the centre has a religious name and members are predominantly Muslims, we are strictly functioning on the basis of India's strong secular values," an official of the centre said.

Built at a cost of 12 million dirhams ($3 million), the new building is a milestone for the centre, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2011, said IIC president P. Bava Haji.

The centre works for communal harmony by involving all Indian religious communities in its activities.

"We celebrate all important occasions of India and the UAE with the participation of all Indian communities and UAE nationals as part of promoting Indo-Arab relations and communal harmony," he said.

The centre also runs a school that takes minimum fees from pupils from middle income families from the community, said V. Mayan Kutty, secretary of the centre.

 

 

 

 

 

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