ISESCO Prize for Redressing Misconceptions about Islam and Muslims
As part of celebrating its 30th anniversary, and in line with its action plan for 2010-2012, especially the part related to supporting university research and encouraging researcher professors, ISESCO has announced the winner of its Prize for Media Studies and Researches to Redress Misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. A host of universities members of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), representing the three geographical regions ISESCO operates in, from Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Senegal, Nigeria, Pakistan and Malaysia, participated in the competition. After studying the nominations, the jury announced that the winner of the prize is Dr Bouthaina Ahmad Abu al-Majd Issa, from the Arab Republic of Egypt. The winner is an English Literature Professor at the Faculty of Humanities in Al-Azhar University, in Cairo, and she received the prize for her research on Stereotypes about Islam and Muslims in English Literature. In her research, she used numerous literary references and works. She also examined the reasons behind creating negative stereotypes about Islam as a religion and culture, the Islamic law (Shariaa), the history of Islam and the messenger of Islam (PBUH). Likewise, she cited some studies that raised suspicions about the message of Islam and the revelation, and highlighted the stereotypes produced about the Islamic countries and how they were described by orientalists, historians and writers. Dr Bouthaina ascribed the reasons of producing stereotypes about Islam to three factors, namely hatred, ignorance and misunderstanding of Islam and its civilization. At the end of her research paper, Dr Bouthaina concluded that the creation of stereotypes about Islam in the West comes from its need to create an imaginary enemy as reflected by the many western literary and orientalist works in this connection.