Operational License

The National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) has granted the International Open University a three year Provisional License to operate as a higher education institution in The Gambia effective 29 April, 2019. This license also serves as an institutional accreditation of International Open University, the Gambia, by National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority.

Please click here to view the license.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has granted to the International Open University a license to operate an online university in The Gambia with effect from May 13, 2014.

Please click here to view the license.

The National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) has granted the International Open University a three year Provisional License to operate as a higher education institution in The Gambia effective 29 April, 2019. This license also serves as an institutional accreditation of International Open University, the Gambia, by National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority.

Please click here to view the license.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has granted to the International Open University a license to operate an online university in The Gambia with effect from May 13, 2014.

Please click here to view the license.

Certificate of Equivalence

In this month of March 2018, the International Open University (IOU) was pleased to announce that the government of Indonesia issued a Certificate of Equivalency to the IOU with regard to its MAIS program. It was issued by the Director-General of Learning and University Student Affairs Ministry of Research, Technology, and High Education of the Republic of Indonesia.

The Certificate of Equivalency for IOU’s MAIS program is as follows: Original (Bahasa) Document and Translated Document

In this month of March 2018, the International Open University (IOU) was pleased to announce that the government of Indonesia issued a Certificate of Equivalency to the IOU with regard to its MAIS program. It was issued by the Director-General of Learning and University Student Affairs Ministry of Research, Technology, and High Education of the Republic of Indonesia.

The Certificate of Equivalency for IOU’s MAIS program is as follows: Original (Bahasa) Document and Translated Document

Memorandums of Understanding with Different Financial Organizations

Alhuda Center of Islamic Finance and Economics and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding

Please click here to view the MOU.

Maldives Islamic Bank, Maldives and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2017

Please click here to view the MOU.

Sterling Bank, Nigeria and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2017

Please click here to view the MOU.

Alhuda Center of Islamic Finance and Economics and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding

Please click here to view the MOU.

Maldives Islamic Bank, Maldives and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2017

Please click here to view the MOU.

Sterling Bank, Nigeria and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2017

Please click here to view the MOU.

Memorandums of Understanding with Universities Worldwide

The Islamic University of Maldives and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2017.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Zikura International College, Maldives and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding July 2017

Please click here to view the MOU.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Fatoni University, Thailand, and the International Open University (IOU) has been signed on December 15, 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

The Institute of Business & Technology (Biztek), Karachi, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 10, 2015.

Umma University, Kenya, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on October 30, 2015. 

Please click here to view the MOU.

Indus University, Pakistan, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on August 24, 2015. 

Please click here to view the MOU.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria, and the International Open University (IOU) has been signed on June 26, 2015. 

Please click here to view the MOU.

The Al-Qalam University, Katsina, Nigeria, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

The Virtual University of Pakistan (VU) and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

The Royal University of Dhaka (RUD), Bangladesh and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Hamdard University, Pakistan and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Isra University, Pakistan and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2015

Please click here to view the MOU.

Riphah International University, Pakistan and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Bayan Institute of Higher Education, Afghanistan and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement in May 2016.

Please click here to view the MOA.

Islamic University in Uganda and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

The College of Sharee’ah and Islamic Studies at Kuwait University, Kuwait and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2014.

Please click here to view the MOU.
Click here to view the English translation of the MOU.

Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) of Malaysia and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Letter of Intent in July 2014 to execute a formal Memorandum of Understanding.

Wisdom International School for Higher Education Studies (WISHES) of Philippines and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2010.

The Islamic University of Maldives and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2017.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Zikura International College, Maldives and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding July 2017

Please click here to view the MOU.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Fatoni University, Thailand, and the International Open University (IOU) has been signed on December 15, 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

The Institute of Business & Technology (Biztek), Karachi, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 10, 2015.

Umma University, Kenya, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on October 30, 2015. 

Please click here to view the MOU.

Indus University, Pakistan, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on August 24, 2015. 

Please click here to view the MOU.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Fountain University, Osogbo, Nigeria, and the International Open University (IOU) has been signed on June 26, 2015. 

Please click here to view the MOU.

The Al-Qalam University, Katsina, Nigeria, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in June 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

The Virtual University of Pakistan (VU) and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

The Royal University of Dhaka (RUD), Bangladesh and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Hamdard University, Pakistan and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Isra University, Pakistan and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in March 2015

Please click here to view the MOU.

Riphah International University, Pakistan and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Bayan Institute of Higher Education, Afghanistan and International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement in May 2016.

Please click here to view the MOA.

Islamic University in Uganda and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2015.

Please click here to view the MOU.

The College of Sharee’ah and Islamic Studies at Kuwait University, Kuwait and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2014.

Please click here to view the MOU.
Click here to view the English translation of the MOU.

Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) of Malaysia and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Letter of Intent in July 2014 to execute a formal Memorandum of Understanding.

Wisdom International School for Higher Education Studies (WISHES) of Philippines and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2010.

IOU Membership in Higher Education Quality Assurance Networks

The International Open University is an associate member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), which is a world-wide association of over 200 organizations active in the theory and practice of quality assurance in higher education.

INQAAHE is a quality assurance community with shared interests, a common language and an understanding of how things are done with regard to a very specific field of work. It provides a forum for the discussion of global issues, such as cross border education that go beyond national or regional boundaries. Members have the opportunity to learn from what others are doing, from both their successes and their failures, and thus have now set the ground for the development of a quality assurance profession.
The membership can be verified here.

The International Open University is an associate member of the African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN), which has been set up to provide assistance to institutions concerned with Quality Assurance in higher education in Africa. The Network has been set up by the Association of African Universities (AAU) with financial support from Global Initiative on Quality Assurance Capacity (GIQAC)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Network is committed to the enhancement of the quality of higher education on the African continent and the collaboration with similar organizations on other continents.

The objectives of AfriQAN are to:
  1. Promote a culture of quality assurance in higher education in Africa;
  2. Foster collaboration and linkages among quality assurance bodies within Africa;
  3. Advance good practices in the enhancement and maintenance of quality higher education in Africa;
  4. Collaborate with quality assurance bodies in Africa in capacity building;
  5. Facilitate research into the practice of quality assurance in higher education for purposes of improving the quality of higher education in Africa;
  6. Provide advice and expertise for the development of new national and sub-regional quality assurance bodies in Africa;
  7. Assist members of the Network to articulate standards of institutions operating in member countries;
  8. Foster harmonization of standards for quality assurance across countries in Africa
  9. Facilitate international recognition of qualifications to enhance mobility of staff and students in Africa; and
  10. Promote the interests of Africa in other networks and international organizations with related focus.

The International Open University is an associate member of the Association of Quality Assurance Agencies of the Islamic World (IQA) established in an effort to promote and enhance quality higher education in the countries of the Islamic world.

The goals of IQA are:
  • To enhance the capacity of quality assurance agencies in countries of the Islamic World
  • To facilitate collaboration and exchanges of best practices, experiences and expertise among quality assurance agencies of countries of the Islamic World; and
  • To encourage cooperation with regional and international quality assurance organizations.

The International Open University is an associate member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), which is a world-wide association of over 200 organizations active in the theory and practice of quality assurance in higher education.

INQAAHE is a quality assurance community with shared interests, a common language and an understanding of how things are done with regard to a very specific field of work. It provides a forum for the discussion of global issues, such as cross border education that go beyond national or regional boundaries. Members have the opportunity to learn from what others are doing, from both their successes and their failures, and thus have now set the ground for the development of a quality assurance profession.
The membership can be verified here.

The International Open University is an associate member of the African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN), which has been set up to provide assistance to institutions concerned with Quality Assurance in higher education in Africa. The Network has been set up by the Association of African Universities (AAU) with financial support from Global Initiative on Quality Assurance Capacity (GIQAC)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Network is committed to the enhancement of the quality of higher education on the African continent and the collaboration with similar organizations on other continents.

The objectives of AfriQAN are to:
  1. Promote a culture of quality assurance in higher education in Africa;
  2. Foster collaboration and linkages among quality assurance bodies within Africa;
  3. Advance good practices in the enhancement and maintenance of quality higher education in Africa;
  4. Collaborate with quality assurance bodies in Africa in capacity building;
  5. Facilitate research into the practice of quality assurance in higher education for purposes of improving the quality of higher education in Africa;
  6. Provide advice and expertise for the development of new national and sub-regional quality assurance bodies in Africa;
  7. Assist members of the Network to articulate standards of institutions operating in member countries;
  8. Foster harmonization of standards for quality assurance across countries in Africa
  9. Facilitate international recognition of qualifications to enhance mobility of staff and students in Africa; and
  10. Promote the interests of Africa in other networks and international organizations with related focus.

The International Open University is an associate member of the Association of Quality Assurance Agencies of the Islamic World (IQA) established in an effort to promote and enhance quality higher education in the countries of the Islamic world.

The goals of IQA are:
  • To enhance the capacity of quality assurance agencies in countries of the Islamic World
  • To facilitate collaboration and exchanges of best practices, experiences and expertise among quality assurance agencies of countries of the Islamic World; and
  • To encourage cooperation with regional and international quality assurance organizations.

IOU Membership in International Educational Organizations

The International Open University (IOU) is an approved member institution of the Association of African Universities (AAU).

he Association of African Universities is an international non-governmental organization set up by universities in Africa to promote cooperation among themselves and between them and the international Academic community.

The AAU is the apex organization and principal forum for consultation, exchange of information and cooperation among the universities in Africa; and where appropriate, the AAU works in collaboration with other national and international organizations, including governments.

The AAU has affiliations with an increasing number of organizations within and outside Africa, and has signed Memoranda of Understanding with a number of others.

I. Organizations with which AAU is affiliated

  • International Association of Universities (IAU)
  • Association of Arab Universities
  • Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • Association of Partly or Wholly French-speaking Universities (AUPELF)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education (CAMES)
  • International Foundation of Science (IFS)
  • Accorded Observer Status at the African Union (AU)
  • Accorded Observer Status at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Accorded Observer Status at the United Nations University (UNU)

II.  Organizations with which AAU has signed Memoranda of Understanding

  • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)
  • National Association for Equal Opportunities in Higher Education (NAFEO)
  • New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
  • African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

The IOU membership can be verified ?  here??.

The International Open University (IOU) is an approved member institution of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).

The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) was founded in 1938 in Canada as the International Council for Correspondence Education and today, the ICDE is the leading global membership organization for open, distance, flexible and online education, including e-learning, with members from 60 countries representing every continent.

ICDE is a non-governmental organization supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and in formal consultative relations with UNESCO. ICDE works together with UNESCO in the service of international cooperation and development since 1967. This status grants ICDE’s members a voice at UNESCO.
The IOU membership can be verified? here??.

he International Open University is an associate member of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). The Association, AAOU, is a non-profit organization of higher learning institutions that were established to widen the educational opportunities available for all people in Asia and to improve the quality of the institutions in terms of their educational management, teaching and research.

The AAOU promotes education by distance teaching systems, as well as professional and ethical standards; develops potentialities of open and distance education; cooperates with official bodies and others directly or indirectly interested in education at a distance; and facilitates cooperation with other similar regional and international bodies.

The objectives of the AAOU are:

  1. To widen the educational opportunities available to all the people of the region and to improve the cost of member institutions by exchanging management information, teaching materials and research;
  2. To help promote education by distance teaching systems, and develop its potentialities;
  3. To help promote professional and ethical standards amongst distance educators;
  4. To cooperate with official bodies and others directly or indirectly interested in distance education;
  5. To facilitate cooperation with other similar regional and international bodies in all the above objectives;
  6. To do all other things incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives.

The membership of IOU at the AAOU may be verified here.

In its quest to change nations through education by raising a generation of individuals aware of their social duties towards their communities, the International Open University has joined the Talloires Network, which is an international association of institutions committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. The Talloires Network is a global coalition of 315 universities in 72 countries with a combined enrollment of over 6 million students.

General Benefits of the Talloires Network Member Institutions

  1. Eligibility to apply for the annual MacJannet Prize, which provides monetary awards and public recognition for innovative and effective university civic engagement programs
  2. Connections to peers (administrators, staff, faculty, and students) at institutions around the world who have similar interests in civic engagement
  3. Opportunities for joint initiatives, including institutional partnerships and regional conferences
  4. Access to a shared global platform, through the Talloires Network’s website, monthly newsletter, and other communication tools to increase the visibility of the Islamic Online University’s civic engagement work
  5. Access to expertise on civic engagement through online toolkits and resources
  6. Announcements of opportunities that may be of interest to the Islamic Online University, such as grant opportunities and regional conferences

Benefits for the Students

The IOU membership can be verified ?  here??.

  • Access to information on civic engagement and experiential learning, which builds critical thinking skills, leadership skills, and a sense of social responsibility
  • Platform for student voices and a framework for more communication with other stakeholders than might be possible inside a single institution

The International Open University is committed towards its civic engagement and realizes that universities should play a major role in creating a generation of individuals who are aware of their social responsibilities and would benefit their communities as responsible citizens. The IOU’s civic engagement activities’ summary and membership status can be verified here.
The International Open University Civic Engagement Report (August 2015) may be viewed here.

The International Open University is a member of the International Council of Islamic Finance Educators (ICIFE) which is the Global Body for Professional Certification and Accreditation for the Islamic Finance Education. The ICIFE aims to increase and maintain the professionalism of educators in the Islamic Finance field at the national (Malaysia) and international level.
Some of the Objectives of ICIFE are:

  • To design and develop a world class curriculum for the Islamic finance education.
  • To review and update the Islamic finance curriculum continuously to be relevant to market needs.
  • To develop training modules for knowledge and skills development of talents for teaching, and training students and professionals in Islamic finance.
  • To publish text and reference books, journals, magazines and newsletters.

Benefits of Joining ICIFE:

  • Membership in ICIFE will give IOU professional recognition in the field of Islamic banking and finance educators as ICIFE is the leading authority here.
  • Access to a pool of experts who can be relied upon for information and advice on the recognition, accreditation and authenticity of curriculum in Islamic banking and finance and the related areas.
  • Opportunity to participate in specialized programs and courses organized for the benefit of ICIFE members and associates in the field of Islamic banking and finance and its related areas.

Benefits for the Students:

  • The students will receive a world class curriculum in Islamic economics and finance education that will be updated continuously to cater to the needs of the market.
  • There will be networking opportunities for students to develop their careers further in the respective fields of study in the area of Islamic banking, economics and finance.

The membership of IOU at the ICIFE can be verified here.

The IInternational Open University (IOU) ?has ?established ?ICIFE (International Council of Islamic Finance Educators) ??country chapters in four countries: India, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Somaliland?.

The country chapter certificates may be viewed here:

The International Open University (IOU) is an approved member institution of the Association of African Universities (AAU).

he Association of African Universities is an international non-governmental organization set up by universities in Africa to promote cooperation among themselves and between them and the international Academic community.

The AAU is the apex organization and principal forum for consultation, exchange of information and cooperation among the universities in Africa; and where appropriate, the AAU works in collaboration with other national and international organizations, including governments.

The AAU has affiliations with an increasing number of organizations within and outside Africa, and has signed Memoranda of Understanding with a number of others.

I. Organizations with which AAU is affiliated

  • International Association of Universities (IAU)
  • Association of Arab Universities
  • Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • Association of Partly or Wholly French-speaking Universities (AUPELF)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • African and Malagasy Council for Higher Education (CAMES)
  • International Foundation of Science (IFS)
  • Accorded Observer Status at the African Union (AU)
  • Accorded Observer Status at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Accorded Observer Status at the United Nations University (UNU)

II.  Organizations with which AAU has signed Memoranda of Understanding

  • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC)
  • National Association for Equal Opportunities in Higher Education (NAFEO)
  • New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
  • African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

The IOU membership can be verified ?  here??.

The International Open University (IOU) is an approved member institution of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).

The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) was founded in 1938 in Canada as the International Council for Correspondence Education and today, the ICDE is the leading global membership organization for open, distance, flexible and online education, including e-learning, with members from 60 countries representing every continent.

ICDE is a non-governmental organization supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and in formal consultative relations with UNESCO. ICDE works together with UNESCO in the service of international cooperation and development since 1967. This status grants ICDE’s members a voice at UNESCO.
The IOU membership can be verified? here??.

he International Open University is an associate member of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). The Association, AAOU, is a non-profit organization of higher learning institutions that were established to widen the educational opportunities available for all people in Asia and to improve the quality of the institutions in terms of their educational management, teaching and research.

The AAOU promotes education by distance teaching systems, as well as professional and ethical standards; develops potentialities of open and distance education; cooperates with official bodies and others directly or indirectly interested in education at a distance; and facilitates cooperation with other similar regional and international bodies.

The objectives of the AAOU are:

  1. To widen the educational opportunities available to all the people of the region and to improve the cost of member institutions by exchanging management information, teaching materials and research;
  2. To help promote education by distance teaching systems, and develop its potentialities;
  3. To help promote professional and ethical standards amongst distance educators;
  4. To cooperate with official bodies and others directly or indirectly interested in distance education;
  5. To facilitate cooperation with other similar regional and international bodies in all the above objectives;
  6. To do all other things incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives.

The membership of IOU at the AAOU may be verified here.

In its quest to change nations through education by raising a generation of individuals aware of their social duties towards their communities, the International Open University has joined the Talloires Network, which is an international association of institutions committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. The Talloires Network is a global coalition of 315 universities in 72 countries with a combined enrollment of over 6 million students.

General Benefits of the Talloires Network Member Institutions

  1. Eligibility to apply for the annual MacJannet Prize, which provides monetary awards and public recognition for innovative and effective university civic engagement programs
  2. Connections to peers (administrators, staff, faculty, and students) at institutions around the world who have similar interests in civic engagement
  3. Opportunities for joint initiatives, including institutional partnerships and regional conferences
  4. Access to a shared global platform, through the Talloires Network’s website, monthly newsletter, and other communication tools to increase the visibility of the Islamic Online University’s civic engagement work
  5. Access to expertise on civic engagement through online toolkits and resources
  6. Announcements of opportunities that may be of interest to the Islamic Online University, such as grant opportunities and regional conferences

Benefits for the Students

The IOU membership can be verified ?  here??.

  • Access to information on civic engagement and experiential learning, which builds critical thinking skills, leadership skills, and a sense of social responsibility
  • Platform for student voices and a framework for more communication with other stakeholders than might be possible inside a single institution

The International Open University is committed towards its civic engagement and realizes that universities should play a major role in creating a generation of individuals who are aware of their social responsibilities and would benefit their communities as responsible citizens. The IOU’s civic engagement activities’ summary and membership status can be verified here.
The International Open University Civic Engagement Report (August 2015) may be viewed here.

The International Open University is a member of the International Council of Islamic Finance Educators (ICIFE) which is the Global Body for Professional Certification and Accreditation for the Islamic Finance Education. The ICIFE aims to increase and maintain the professionalism of educators in the Islamic Finance field at the national (Malaysia) and international level.
Some of the Objectives of ICIFE are:

  • To design and develop a world class curriculum for the Islamic finance education.
  • To review and update the Islamic finance curriculum continuously to be relevant to market needs.
  • To develop training modules for knowledge and skills development of talents for teaching, and training students and professionals in Islamic finance.
  • To publish text and reference books, journals, magazines and newsletters.

Benefits of Joining ICIFE:

  • Membership in ICIFE will give IOU professional recognition in the field of Islamic banking and finance educators as ICIFE is the leading authority here.
  • Access to a pool of experts who can be relied upon for information and advice on the recognition, accreditation and authenticity of curriculum in Islamic banking and finance and the related areas.
  • Opportunity to participate in specialized programs and courses organized for the benefit of ICIFE members and associates in the field of Islamic banking and finance and its related areas.

Benefits for the Students:

  • The students will receive a world class curriculum in Islamic economics and finance education that will be updated continuously to cater to the needs of the market.
  • There will be networking opportunities for students to develop their careers further in the respective fields of study in the area of Islamic banking, economics and finance.

The membership of IOU at the ICIFE can be verified here.

The IInternational Open University (IOU) ?has ?established ?ICIFE (International Council of Islamic Finance Educators) ??country chapters in four countries: India, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Somaliland?.

The country chapter certificates may be viewed here:

Affiliations with Government Bodies

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) of the Government of The Gambia, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on June 15, 2015.
Please click here to view the MOU.

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) of the Government of The Gambia, and the International Open University (IOU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on June 15, 2015.
Please click here to view the MOU.

Accreditation

The Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Culture and Higher Education has granted a university license to the International Open University, adding it to its list of accredited universities in Somalia which are recognized by the UN and therefore recognized by accredited universities globally.
Please click here to view the initial license and here to view the renewed license.

B.Sc. IBE Program Accredited by ICIFE

CIFE, global body for professional certification and accreditation for Islamic finance education, carefully examined the IOU B.Sc. in Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance (B.Sc. IBE) program and decreed that it fulfills all the requirements and passed all the prescribed assessments. Hence, the ICIFE awarded the B.Sc. IBE program with ICIFE Certificate of Conformity on Accreditation Standards accordingly. 

ICIFE was established on December 18, 2013, from an initiative known as Entry Point Project (EPP) 7 under Malaysian government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) has been appointed to spearhead this project jointly with other selected universities with the purpose of developing and internationally acceptable Curriculum and Talent for Islamic finance education. This body plays an important role as guardian and global authority on Islamic banking and finance. ICIFE aims to increase and maintain the professionalism of the educators in Islamic Finance field at the national and international level. IOU continues to be a proud member of the ICIFE. The certificate renewal process is currently underway and will be reflected shortly. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further queries.For the copy of the certificate, click here.

The Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Culture and Higher Education has granted a university license to the International Open University, adding it to its list of accredited universities in Somalia which are recognized by the UN and therefore recognized by accredited universities globally.
Please click here to view the initial license and here to view the renewed license.

B.Sc. IBE Program Accredited by ICIFE

CIFE, global body for professional certification and accreditation for Islamic finance education, carefully examined the IOU B.Sc. in Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance (B.Sc. IBE) program and decreed that it fulfills all the requirements and passed all the prescribed assessments. Hence, the ICIFE awarded the B.Sc. IBE program with ICIFE Certificate of Conformity on Accreditation Standards accordingly. 

ICIFE was established on December 18, 2013, from an initiative known as Entry Point Project (EPP) 7 under Malaysian government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) has been appointed to spearhead this project jointly with other selected universities with the purpose of developing and internationally acceptable Curriculum and Talent for Islamic finance education. This body plays an important role as guardian and global authority on Islamic banking and finance. ICIFE aims to increase and maintain the professionalism of the educators in Islamic Finance field at the national and international level. IOU continues to be a proud member of the ICIFE. The certificate renewal process is currently underway and will be reflected shortly. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further queries.For the copy of the certificate, click here.

FREE Course: Money Myth

Islamic Online University presents Money Myth, a course taught by Sr. Hamida Mubasshera, where you will learn about the dynamics of the current monetary system. The course commences on Sunday, 19th of February, 2017. For details about this course and to join this FREE course, click here.

Islamic Online University presents Money Myth, a course taught by Sr. Hamida Mubasshera, where you will learn about the dynamics of the current monetary system. The course commences on Sunday, 19th of February, 2017. For details about this course and to join this FREE course, click here.

International Open University Chancellor Visits UTG Vice-Chancellor

PRESS RELEASE

International Open University Chancellor Visits UTG Vice-Chancellor

On Friday 10 February 2017, the Chancellor and founder of the Islamic Online University (IOU), Dr. Bilal Philips and the Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor of the UTG, Prof. Anjum at his Office,the UTG Chancery, MDI Road, Kanifing.  VC Anjum and his Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Dr. Momodou Jane, welcomed the guest and emphasized on the need for collaboration between the UTG and IOU.  According to Dr. Philips, the purpose of their visit was to explore possible areas of collaboration with the UTG especially on joint programmes. The UTG VC mentioned that the UTG intends to introduce a Bachelor of Science in Halal science in the near future. Dr. Philips shared his experience and efforts on collaborating with scholars in Pakistan and Malaysia on programmes in Halal Sciences.He also stressed upon the lack of commitment he has found in appointing someone to be an active part of this initiative. He implored VC Anjum to assist him in networking with a qualified individual to serve as the focal person in Halal Sciences. In his response, VC Anjum assured him of his full support in providing the curriculum and recommending someone.

Dr. Philips also recommended close collaboration on joint online programmes with the UTG, using his six-years of university experience in online programme preparation, and the IOU stressing the latter could be of immense support to the UTG in preparing online courses. He added that IOU is not in competition with the UTG but that both institutions should seek to complement and support each other in order to reach the unreachable.  For his part, acting VC Barry of the IOU emphasized the need for the two institutions’ collaboration to be complementary and of a mutual interest that would result in the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formalize the collaboration. According to VC Barry, the proposed MOA will focus on resource sharing, joint research and programmes.  He further emphasized that higher education in the Gambia is mainly centered within the urban areas. He also said it would require a strong partnership between the public and private universities in order to breach the gap between rural and urban Gambia through a hybrid online programme to enhance and promote access to higher education throughout the country and beyond.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Philips said recent research has shown that in the US about 80% of those who graduate from university had done some courses online. Prof. Anjum for his part concluded by commending both Dr. Bilal Philips and Dr. Barry for the visit and for identifying UTG as a partner for collaboration. He reassured them of his full cooperation to establish and enforce the agreement.

PRESS RELEASE

International Open University Chancellor Visits UTG Vice-Chancellor

On Friday 10 February 2017, the Chancellor and founder of the Islamic Online University (IOU), Dr. Bilal Philips and the Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor of the UTG, Prof. Anjum at his Office,the UTG Chancery, MDI Road, Kanifing.  VC Anjum and his Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Dr. Momodou Jane, welcomed the guest and emphasized on the need for collaboration between the UTG and IOU.  According to Dr. Philips, the purpose of their visit was to explore possible areas of collaboration with the UTG especially on joint programmes. The UTG VC mentioned that the UTG intends to introduce a Bachelor of Science in Halal science in the near future. Dr. Philips shared his experience and efforts on collaborating with scholars in Pakistan and Malaysia on programmes in Halal Sciences.He also stressed upon the lack of commitment he has found in appointing someone to be an active part of this initiative. He implored VC Anjum to assist him in networking with a qualified individual to serve as the focal person in Halal Sciences. In his response, VC Anjum assured him of his full support in providing the curriculum and recommending someone.

Dr. Philips also recommended close collaboration on joint online programmes with the UTG, using his six-years of university experience in online programme preparation, and the IOU stressing the latter could be of immense support to the UTG in preparing online courses. He added that IOU is not in competition with the UTG but that both institutions should seek to complement and support each other in order to reach the unreachable.  For his part, acting VC Barry of the IOU emphasized the need for the two institutions’ collaboration to be complementary and of a mutual interest that would result in the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formalize the collaboration. According to VC Barry, the proposed MOA will focus on resource sharing, joint research and programmes.  He further emphasized that higher education in the Gambia is mainly centered within the urban areas. He also said it would require a strong partnership between the public and private universities in order to breach the gap between rural and urban Gambia through a hybrid online programme to enhance and promote access to higher education throughout the country and beyond.

In his concluding remarks, Dr. Philips said recent research has shown that in the US about 80% of those who graduate from university had done some courses online. Prof. Anjum for his part concluded by commending both Dr. Bilal Philips and Dr. Barry for the visit and for identifying UTG as a partner for collaboration. He reassured them of his full cooperation to establish and enforce the agreement.

Chancellors interview with The Point newspaper

“We will work very closely with UTG”: IOU founder, Dr. Bilal Philips

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

In an exclusive interview with The Point newspaper, the founder of the Islamic Online University (IOU), Dr. Bilal Philips, has reiterated his commitment to establishing a close partnership with the University of The Gambia.

Excerpts from the interview:

 

The Point: First of all, congratulations to you and your staff on your recent graduation ceremony.  How do you feel graduating yet another batch of students?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Well it’s of course Alhamdulillah, a great blessing from God that we have managed to achieve what we have achieved in such a short span of time; it is indicative of Allah’s blessings on it and we hope that it will continue to grow as it has in the past. The degree to which the society is aware of what we are offering determines its growth. Actually, we have not spent very much on promotion, what we have is what Allah gave us but we hope in the coming years to come, we will increase our promotional activities so that more and more people are aware of what we are offering. That should make an even greater difference for the future expansion of the programmes that we are offering.

The Point: Since the inception of the IOU in The Gambia in 2013, more than 1,500 Gambians have benefitted and recently 378 have added to that number.  Do you expect to achieve something greater in just a short period?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Not really. By establishing IOU, we are trying to address a need that we knew was huge.  So those numbers that you mentioned are great numbers from an institutional perspective, but when you look at those numbers in terms of the need of the society, this is just a drop in an ocean; we have an ocean in front of us. So there is a lot of scope and room for expansion of the programmes and increasing the benefits to the Gambian society. We aim to integrate our graduates from the madrasas into mainstream education so they can play the kind of role that they should be playing.

The Point: What are your expansion plans for IOU in The Gambia?

Dr. Bilal Philips: To reach more of the Madrasa students because the ‘Intensive English Course’ [at IOU] is mainly for such students, and those who have studied in the conventional schools and did very poorly in their English (WASSCE). We hope to reach out to them to help them improve their own skills so that they can retake WASSCE and do better. Or, if they did well, to assist them in upgrading the standard of their English. We expect to expand in those areas also.

The Point: How is your institution looking to partner with the UTG?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Well, we have already met with the Vice Chancellor of UTG, Dr. Anjum, and we have already identified the areas of cooperation.  We are preparing a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions.  We will be working very closely with UTG; providing the knowledge to help them put their programmes online as well as to offer some of our courses through their portal.  Also, the IOU as a university would benefit from the facilities like labs from the UTG.  So it is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The Point: Why was The Gambia chosen as the global headquarters of the IOU?

Dr. Bilal Philips: The IOU is actually an online university, so technically speaking it has no headquarters, it is in cyberspace. All of our staff are scattered around the world. We have been functioning for the last seven years and never met. We communicate through emails, virtual classrooms and telecommunication. So the underground headquarters became a necessity to give us credibility in the eyes of those who feel that a university is not a university unless you actually have a physical building somewhere as your headquarters.  So we decided to establish a base and we looked at different locations. The Gambia seemed to be the most promising, so The Gambia was chosen.  It was also convenient and Allah’s will to select the vice chancellor from The Gambia in the person of Dr. Cherno Barry.

The Point: What are some of the new initiatives or projects you intend to come up with?

Dr. Bilal Philips: One of our big projects is providing the Gambia College graduates with an avenue to complete their undergraduate degrees.  Instead of them having to go and do another four years of study, we are providing a means for them to complete it in two years. This has already passed through, it has been agreed upon and we are in the process of launching it. Another one is our partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to train madrasa graduates as teachers in mainstream education.

Also, we have launched the 100 Scholarships Initiative to help support good students who cannot afford higher education.  Some of them end up in the Mediterranean because of the lack of opportunity to continue higher education.  So through this initiative, we reach out to these less privileged students.  Next year, we hope to expand it to a thousand, if possible.

The Point: Can you tell us how the IOU has bridged barriers in making learning accessible to all regardless of age, distance or time?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Well, of course in the case of age, we have students in their 80s and as young as pre-teens studying with us. So, we have no age barrier.  We have students from one end of the spectrum to the other.  In terms of location, people don’t have to travel all the way to school. You can study from the comfort of your home because it’s online and that’s why 50% of our students are women for the online programmes. And lastly, our online studies allow you to set your own timetable according to your personal schedule. Whether you are a housewife, student, professional, etc. You can set a time for yourself that suits your studies.  It has that high degree of flexibility.

The Point: Can you explain about your accreditation as an online university?

Dr. Bilal Philips: In terms of our accreditation, we already have a license for operation from the Ministry of Higher Education by which our degrees are recognised.  We are currently working on full accreditation for our university as a university of The Gambia.  We also have accreditation from Somalia which is recognised as a country in the UN and that stands as our global accreditation. We are also looking into having The Gambia be our main accrediting body because of the status of The Gambia in Africa.

The Point: Most Gambians have a problem with internet connectivity, especially those in rural areas. What framework do you have in place for students encountering such problems?

Dr. Bilal Philips: We are currently working on a solution with an IT company to make PC Tablets accessible to these students wherein study materials can be uploaded so that all they will need to do is just to charge their tablets and study.  Another option is having hard drives where semester work will be uploaded.  They only need to go online to do their tests. We also have free access to the internet for all our students here in the center.  And we want to enter into an arrangement with the government to provide access to our students in their e-learning hubs countrywide.

The Point: What are some of the challenges you are facing?

Dr. Bilal Philips: One of the main challenges we face is the frequent power outage.  Another setback would be the slow pace at which the accreditation process is taking. And more importantly, many people think of us as being an ‘Islamic university’ but in reality as of 2014, we expanded into major areas like psychology, business administration, Information Technology, Islamic banking, etc.

The Point: As an institution contributing to the development of The Gambia, how would you like the new government to support you in your quest to continue in the capacity building of Gambians?

Dr. Bilal Philips: That’s a good point.  I would like them to help facilitate and speed up our accreditation process.  I would also want them to get sufficient finances to implement the madrasa bridge programme across the country.  Also, the goal of universal education for all can be achieved through us because for every UTG student, bachelor’s degree costs approximately $4000 whereas eight students can be enrolled at IOU on the same amount because we charge approximately only $500 for a whole degree programme.  We could have more students enrolled at IOU at a much lesser cost.  Therefore, the government can utilise this opportunity at IOU.  Also, we encourage charitable organisations and individuals to provide scholarships in order to get more Gambians to have access to a higher education.

The Point: What’s your advice to the new graduating students?

Dr. Bilal Philips: My general advice is for them to be focused on the real goals of their education.  They should not only focus on the material benefits but also in terms of the societal benefits so that they can have a greater impact and play an important role in the Islamic future and civilisation of The Gambia.

The Point:  As I conclude, I would like to ask a general question and that is: what do you think are some of the societal challenges of the Muslim Ummah today?

Dr. Bilal Philips: The most serious challenge we face today is getting back to Islam. We call ourselves Muslims, we go for Hajj, fast and pray etc. but then our Islam is still compartmentalised.  We only have it in one corner of our life and the major part of our life doesn’t involve Islam. Islam should be in everything. So the main problem is reintegrating Islam in all of the aspects of our lives. We have become splintered. Why can’t we have that ‘one Muslim nation’ as it was in the past?  The only way to do this is to bring Islam back to our lives practically, not just verbally, and to live it.

The Point: In April 2016, the Dabiq Magazine run by the notorious Terrorist group of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) listed your name together with other renowned Muslim scholars threatening to kill you for denouncing them. As a Canadian citizen, has your government offered you protection from these threats and are you worried about life?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Firstly, yes in the Dabiq Magazine, my name was listed along with a number of other renowned Islamic scholars because, according to them, it is a religious obligation to kill us for speaking out against their extremist views and operations which totally contradicts the true teachings of Islam.  When I was in Canada last year I was informed that my name had been put on the list, but I was not offered any protection.  This is probably because Muslim lives don’t really matter in the Western countries.  On the contrary, Salman Rushdie, author of the ‘Satanic Verses’ which ridiculed and talked about horrible things about Islam and the prophet, the British government has spent tens of thousands of pound sterling to protect him because he was saying things which defamed Islam and denigrated the Prophet (SAW), cursing his wives.  Such a person is protected in the West but for Muslims, no; they are in fact happy if they [Muslims] are eliminated.

The Point: What do you have to say to all your entire staff together with the vice chancellor, Dr. Cherno Barry, who has been working tirelessly to ensure that there is landmark convocation annually?

Dr. Bilal Philips: I commend them for their efforts as this is the 3rd graduation I have attended since we began in 2013 and Alhamdulillah it’s progressively getting better and better.  I heartily thank all of those who have been engaged and involved in the process.  God willing, we hope to see even greater successful events in the future.  I will be given a series of lectures on Ayatulkursy at Minaa Mosque, and a couple of other lectures as well at the Supreme Islamic Council.

The Point: What are your last words to the general public?

Dr. Bilal Philips: We need to work together as Allah has given us the opportunity to more freely express ourselves to work for the Islamic goals as a Muslim society.  

Author: Mahamadou Camara

“We will work very closely with UTG”: IOU founder, Dr. Bilal Philips

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

In an exclusive interview with The Point newspaper, the founder of the Islamic Online University (IOU), Dr. Bilal Philips, has reiterated his commitment to establishing a close partnership with the University of The Gambia.

Excerpts from the interview:

 

The Point: First of all, congratulations to you and your staff on your recent graduation ceremony.  How do you feel graduating yet another batch of students?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Well it’s of course Alhamdulillah, a great blessing from God that we have managed to achieve what we have achieved in such a short span of time; it is indicative of Allah’s blessings on it and we hope that it will continue to grow as it has in the past. The degree to which the society is aware of what we are offering determines its growth. Actually, we have not spent very much on promotion, what we have is what Allah gave us but we hope in the coming years to come, we will increase our promotional activities so that more and more people are aware of what we are offering. That should make an even greater difference for the future expansion of the programmes that we are offering.

The Point: Since the inception of the IOU in The Gambia in 2013, more than 1,500 Gambians have benefitted and recently 378 have added to that number.  Do you expect to achieve something greater in just a short period?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Not really. By establishing IOU, we are trying to address a need that we knew was huge.  So those numbers that you mentioned are great numbers from an institutional perspective, but when you look at those numbers in terms of the need of the society, this is just a drop in an ocean; we have an ocean in front of us. So there is a lot of scope and room for expansion of the programmes and increasing the benefits to the Gambian society. We aim to integrate our graduates from the madrasas into mainstream education so they can play the kind of role that they should be playing.

The Point: What are your expansion plans for IOU in The Gambia?

Dr. Bilal Philips: To reach more of the Madrasa students because the ‘Intensive English Course’ [at IOU] is mainly for such students, and those who have studied in the conventional schools and did very poorly in their English (WASSCE). We hope to reach out to them to help them improve their own skills so that they can retake WASSCE and do better. Or, if they did well, to assist them in upgrading the standard of their English. We expect to expand in those areas also.

The Point: How is your institution looking to partner with the UTG?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Well, we have already met with the Vice Chancellor of UTG, Dr. Anjum, and we have already identified the areas of cooperation.  We are preparing a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions.  We will be working very closely with UTG; providing the knowledge to help them put their programmes online as well as to offer some of our courses through their portal.  Also, the IOU as a university would benefit from the facilities like labs from the UTG.  So it is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The Point: Why was The Gambia chosen as the global headquarters of the IOU?

Dr. Bilal Philips: The IOU is actually an online university, so technically speaking it has no headquarters, it is in cyberspace. All of our staff are scattered around the world. We have been functioning for the last seven years and never met. We communicate through emails, virtual classrooms and telecommunication. So the underground headquarters became a necessity to give us credibility in the eyes of those who feel that a university is not a university unless you actually have a physical building somewhere as your headquarters.  So we decided to establish a base and we looked at different locations. The Gambia seemed to be the most promising, so The Gambia was chosen.  It was also convenient and Allah’s will to select the vice chancellor from The Gambia in the person of Dr. Cherno Barry.

The Point: What are some of the new initiatives or projects you intend to come up with?

Dr. Bilal Philips: One of our big projects is providing the Gambia College graduates with an avenue to complete their undergraduate degrees.  Instead of them having to go and do another four years of study, we are providing a means for them to complete it in two years. This has already passed through, it has been agreed upon and we are in the process of launching it. Another one is our partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to train madrasa graduates as teachers in mainstream education.

Also, we have launched the 100 Scholarships Initiative to help support good students who cannot afford higher education.  Some of them end up in the Mediterranean because of the lack of opportunity to continue higher education.  So through this initiative, we reach out to these less privileged students.  Next year, we hope to expand it to a thousand, if possible.

The Point: Can you tell us how the IOU has bridged barriers in making learning accessible to all regardless of age, distance or time?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Well, of course in the case of age, we have students in their 80s and as young as pre-teens studying with us. So, we have no age barrier.  We have students from one end of the spectrum to the other.  In terms of location, people don’t have to travel all the way to school. You can study from the comfort of your home because it’s online and that’s why 50% of our students are women for the online programmes. And lastly, our online studies allow you to set your own timetable according to your personal schedule. Whether you are a housewife, student, professional, etc. You can set a time for yourself that suits your studies.  It has that high degree of flexibility.

The Point: Can you explain about your accreditation as an online university?

Dr. Bilal Philips: In terms of our accreditation, we already have a license for operation from the Ministry of Higher Education by which our degrees are recognised.  We are currently working on full accreditation for our university as a university of The Gambia.  We also have accreditation from Somalia which is recognised as a country in the UN and that stands as our global accreditation. We are also looking into having The Gambia be our main accrediting body because of the status of The Gambia in Africa.

The Point: Most Gambians have a problem with internet connectivity, especially those in rural areas. What framework do you have in place for students encountering such problems?

Dr. Bilal Philips: We are currently working on a solution with an IT company to make PC Tablets accessible to these students wherein study materials can be uploaded so that all they will need to do is just to charge their tablets and study.  Another option is having hard drives where semester work will be uploaded.  They only need to go online to do their tests. We also have free access to the internet for all our students here in the center.  And we want to enter into an arrangement with the government to provide access to our students in their e-learning hubs countrywide.

The Point: What are some of the challenges you are facing?

Dr. Bilal Philips: One of the main challenges we face is the frequent power outage.  Another setback would be the slow pace at which the accreditation process is taking. And more importantly, many people think of us as being an ‘Islamic university’ but in reality as of 2014, we expanded into major areas like psychology, business administration, Information Technology, Islamic banking, etc.

The Point: As an institution contributing to the development of The Gambia, how would you like the new government to support you in your quest to continue in the capacity building of Gambians?

Dr. Bilal Philips: That’s a good point.  I would like them to help facilitate and speed up our accreditation process.  I would also want them to get sufficient finances to implement the madrasa bridge programme across the country.  Also, the goal of universal education for all can be achieved through us because for every UTG student, bachelor’s degree costs approximately $4000 whereas eight students can be enrolled at IOU on the same amount because we charge approximately only $500 for a whole degree programme.  We could have more students enrolled at IOU at a much lesser cost.  Therefore, the government can utilise this opportunity at IOU.  Also, we encourage charitable organisations and individuals to provide scholarships in order to get more Gambians to have access to a higher education.

The Point: What’s your advice to the new graduating students?

Dr. Bilal Philips: My general advice is for them to be focused on the real goals of their education.  They should not only focus on the material benefits but also in terms of the societal benefits so that they can have a greater impact and play an important role in the Islamic future and civilisation of The Gambia.

The Point:  As I conclude, I would like to ask a general question and that is: what do you think are some of the societal challenges of the Muslim Ummah today?

Dr. Bilal Philips: The most serious challenge we face today is getting back to Islam. We call ourselves Muslims, we go for Hajj, fast and pray etc. but then our Islam is still compartmentalised.  We only have it in one corner of our life and the major part of our life doesn’t involve Islam. Islam should be in everything. So the main problem is reintegrating Islam in all of the aspects of our lives. We have become splintered. Why can’t we have that ‘one Muslim nation’ as it was in the past?  The only way to do this is to bring Islam back to our lives practically, not just verbally, and to live it.

The Point: In April 2016, the Dabiq Magazine run by the notorious Terrorist group of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) listed your name together with other renowned Muslim scholars threatening to kill you for denouncing them. As a Canadian citizen, has your government offered you protection from these threats and are you worried about life?

Dr. Bilal Philips: Firstly, yes in the Dabiq Magazine, my name was listed along with a number of other renowned Islamic scholars because, according to them, it is a religious obligation to kill us for speaking out against their extremist views and operations which totally contradicts the true teachings of Islam.  When I was in Canada last year I was informed that my name had been put on the list, but I was not offered any protection.  This is probably because Muslim lives don’t really matter in the Western countries.  On the contrary, Salman Rushdie, author of the ‘Satanic Verses’ which ridiculed and talked about horrible things about Islam and the prophet, the British government has spent tens of thousands of pound sterling to protect him because he was saying things which defamed Islam and denigrated the Prophet (SAW), cursing his wives.  Such a person is protected in the West but for Muslims, no; they are in fact happy if they [Muslims] are eliminated.

The Point: What do you have to say to all your entire staff together with the vice chancellor, Dr. Cherno Barry, who has been working tirelessly to ensure that there is landmark convocation annually?

Dr. Bilal Philips: I commend them for their efforts as this is the 3rd graduation I have attended since we began in 2013 and Alhamdulillah it’s progressively getting better and better.  I heartily thank all of those who have been engaged and involved in the process.  God willing, we hope to see even greater successful events in the future.  I will be given a series of lectures on Ayatulkursy at Minaa Mosque, and a couple of other lectures as well at the Supreme Islamic Council.

The Point: What are your last words to the general public?

Dr. Bilal Philips: We need to work together as Allah has given us the opportunity to more freely express ourselves to work for the Islamic goals as a Muslim society.  

Author: Mahamadou Camara