The ICIT’s work can be divided into the following six categories: Media; Internet; Publishing; Conferences and Seminars; Teaching and Lecture Courses; and Research
The Crescent International, edited by Iqbal Siddiqui, is the international flagship of the ICIT. It has been published since before the Islamic Revolution. It is published in Toronto and Pretoria, with distribution centres in London and Pakistan. Its main editorial office is in London. Its worldwide circulation is about 30,000.
Crescent International has both news and current affairs analysis, as well as discussions of political, methodological and other issues concerning the contemporary Islamic movement. It is also presently serialising a new Tafseer of the Qur’an by Imam Muhammad Al-Asi.
Crescent International is also published on the Internet, under the name Muslimedia.
An Arabic version of the Crescent, called Al-Hilal Al-Dawli, was published from 1987-91. Plans for relaunching this are at an advanced stage, as are plans for publishing an Urdu edition of the Crescent in Pakistan.
The Internet is the new world medium, with massive potential. The ICIT is committed to developing a major and effective Internet presence to promote and serve the Islamic movement. The ICIT’s website, www.islamicthought.org, is online but remains under development. It will, insha’Allah, be developed as a major central news and reference centre for the Islamic movement over the next few years. This will work closely with Muslimedia, the Crescent website, and other Islamic movement sites.
The ICIT has affiliated publishing companies in many of the countries in which it operates, including UK, Canada, South Africa, Pakistan and Malaysia. These have been used largely for publishing and distributing the works of Dr Kalim Siddiqui and for distributing Crescent. Video-tapes have also been produced and marketed.
The ICIT plans to step this work up in the immediate future, commissioning and publishing works on all aspects of the Islamic movement and contemporary history, both by authors within the ICIT and others. The ICIT’s first publication, in 1998, was Dr Kalim Siddiqui’s final paper, ‘Political Dimensions of the Seerah’.
The ICIT’s publishing programme for the year 2000 includes papers by Muhammad Al-Asi, Zafar Bangash, Dr Basheer M. Nafi, Dr Kalim Siddiqui, Dr Perwez Shafi and Iqbal Siddiqui.
The works of Dr Kalim Siddiqui, which make a massive and original contribution to contemporary Islamic political thought, are not as well known as they should be. ICIT also plans to use videotape, CD ROM and Internet technology to spread the ideas and understanding of the Islamic movement.
Conferences and Seminars
Over the last 20 years, international conferences have proved effective means of communicating the Islamic movement perspective to large numbers of people in the UK, North America, South Africa and Pakistan. We have also been able to contribute substantially to Islamic conferences in other parts of the world.
Since its establishment early in 1998, the ICIT has already held major conferences in South Africa, the UK and Pakistan, designed to convey our Islamic movement perspective of history and current affairs to intellectuals, opinion-makers and ordinary people.
Seminars, of a higher academic level than conferences, are also important for developing the ideas of the Islamic movement, and the understanding of Muslims all over the world. The seminars that Dr Kalim Siddiqui convened in London in the 1980s played a major role in developing Muslim understanding of the Islamic Revolution in its early years. But the amount of intellectual work which remains to be done is enormous.
The ICIT is planning to launch a programme of intellectual seminars and other work in London, North America and other centres. The first of these will be on the political ideas of the Islamic movement. The proceedings of these seminars will be published in monograph form for widespread distribution.
Teaching and Lecture Courses
Teaching and lecture courses are also an effective way of spreading the Islamic movement’s ideas and perspective. Under Dr Kalim Siddiqui, the Muslim Institute ran courses on Islamic culture and history before the Islamic Revolution, and then shifted its emphasis to Islamic political thought, culture and philosophy, as well as to the study of the Revolution itself. In recent years, Crescent has run courses in journalism for Muslims in North America and South Africa.
The ICIT plans to develop this work. All major western universities have large numbers of Muslim students studying secular and western subjects but also looking for Islamic education. The ICIT plans to run supplementary undergraduate-level courses for Muslim undergraduates in London to give them the fundamentals of Islamic history and political thought from an Islamic movement perspective. This is especially important to counter the secular ideas being deliberately inculcated among young Muslims by the enemies of Islam.
The political thought of the Islamic movement also needs to be developed, and work in other areas, including history and other social sciences, is also essential. Scholars working from an Islamic perspective are generally disparaged and marginalised by the mainstream of academia. They need to be assisted, encouraged and given a platform.
One idea the ICIT hopes to implement for this purpose is the publication of a quarterly journal of Islamic political thought. It is hoped that this will be launched during 2000-01.