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Princess Basma Receives Honorary Doctorate Degree from Indonesia University
17 May, 2011

Jakarta- HRH Princess Basma received on Monday an honorary doctorate degree of laws from Indonesia’s As-Syafi'ya Islamic University (UIA) in recognition of her advocacy and support for women, promoting the empowerment of youth, as well as her long-term contributions to national development efforts.

The degree was presented to Her Royal Highness by the University Rector H.E Professor Tutty Alawiyah who stated “the university is deeply honoured that Princess Basma has accepted our Honorary Doctorate honoris causa degree, as for many years her remarkable contributions to the Jordanian people, her activities working with women, youth and the poor and her outstanding role in the empowerment of the Muslim Ummah has come to our attention”.

In her acceptance speech which focused on contemporary Muslim women the Princess highlighted the multiplicity of perspectives of Muslim women in particular in relation to modernity and Muslim women and the diverse contexts in which Muslim women live today.

“…one cannot but admire contemporary Muslim women scholar-activists who are playing a key role in the reinterpretation of their religion and the modernization of their societies. In Southeast Asia, in the Arab region and in the West, the critical discourse of such courageous women demonstrates that Islam can be at the heart of the more general endeavours in search of modernity and democratization,” HRH Princess Basma said.

“My own belief is that Islam will return to the spirit of modernism when it returns to the spirit of creative synthesis -- learning from others, letting others learn from Islam, and maintaining Islam's own core of authenticity. Such a process would allow us to recognize and respect the strengths and values that exist in different forms in our increasingly interconnected world, and would allow others to do the same,” Her Royal Highness added.

The Princess further noted that such a process "would allow us to recognise and respect the strengths and values that exist in different forms in our increasingly interconnected world, and would allow others to do the same”.

Also Monday, the Princess attended a meeting to discuss the challenges that Muslim women face today and ways to improve their status in public life and decision making both nationally and internationally.

During the gathering which was held by ‘Majelis Taklim Coordinating Board’ (BKMT) with members of the International Muslim Women’s Union, ministers and prominent Indonesian figures Her Royal Highness noted

“In a time characterized by selfishness and ego, we are reminded of the importance of duty in Islam; duty to oneself, through elevated self esteem, education and knowledge, as well as the practice and upholding of religion and spirituality, duty to the family, in making a home and rearing children, and duty to our society, and those in need, and duty, to the world around us as global citizens”.

The Princess also visited an orphanage accommodating 300 orphans supervised by Alawiyah and was briefed on its services.

The UIA is a leading Islamic Higher Education Institution established in Jakarta in 1933. It aims to uphold Islamic Values in all its programmes and implement the education process based on the integration of science and religion.

The BKMT is one of the largest Muslim Women Organisations in Indonesia. It was established in 1981 by Professor Alawiyah and today has 13 million members nationwide. The organisation holds an annual conference in Jakarta which is attended by over 100,000 women.