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1st November 2016

Book men: Sir James, left, with Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim
Book men: Sir James, left, with Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim

Sir James R. Mancham has praised the author of a new book on Muslims in Seychelles.

He said of Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim: “I congratulate him who has enriched our history and by touching upon certain stories which have not been revealed before.”

Sir James has written the foreword to the book, Muslims in Seychelles–A Historical Appraisal of their Legacy.

Seychelles' Founding President wrote: “Whilst nostalgia may not be what it used to be, going through the pages of this new book by Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim, I cannot but be reminded about some of the fascinating aspects of Seychelles intriguing and vibrant history with some of the anecdotes having a sad dimension, whilst others fascinating.”

Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim's book takes the reader back in time when Arabs and pirates used to frequent the islands, and covers the French settlement, the British annexation, the road to independence, independence, the coup d’état, introduction of one-party state and re-introduction of multi-party democracy.

Ebrahim, who is from Seychelles, completed his studies in Islam at the Aleemiyah Institute of Islamic Studies (1975) in Karachi, Pakistan, and went on to complete a Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) degree at the Al-Azhar University (1977) in Cairo, Egypt. 

He then obtained M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Temple University (1983 & 1986), Philadelphia, USA. 

He is currently Professor Emeritusin the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; a Senior Professor and Researcher at the REGENT Business School, Durban, South Africa; a member of the Editorial Board of FIMA (Federation of Islamic Medical Association) YEAR BOOK and the Academic Research Director under the auspices of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Herndon, Virginia, USA.

Sir James recalled that as a child growing up in Seychelles in the 1940s some of his closest friends were the children of the highly respected Suleman Adam who was a close business friend of his late father Richard Mancham and the grandfather of the author of the book, Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim.

He said he later “personally befriended Suleman Adam and discovered that he was a man of enlightened judgment and broadmindedness”. 

Sir James went on: “Although I was myself a practicing Roman Catholic, religious belief was no barrier in terms of our social and friendly association. 

“Today, we obviously have much more Muslims in our community who are fully integrated within our society, and this give a lie to the suggestion that the Muslim world is made up of fanatics and anti-Christian activists.

“We are glad that fanaticism and extremism are not what we see as characteristics of Muslim behaviour in the world. The author of this book, Abul Fadl Mohsin Ebrahim is certainly a religious person.

“I congratulate him who has enriched our history and by touching upon certain stories which have not been revealed before. He is certainly a moderate man of religion, dedicated to reconciliation and peace, not only in Seychelles and the Muslim world but also globally. I wish him well.” 

 

* Muslims in Seychelles–A Historical Appraisal of their Legacy will be published in Seychelles before the end of the year by iMedia (Seychelles) Ltd.

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