Thursday, May 17, 2012
The St. James's Palace witnessed the attendance of several Malaysian royalties during the reception reception hosted by Prince Charles in conjunction with the granting of the Royal Charter Award to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) at St.James's Palace. The OCIS is a Recognised Independent Centre of the University of Oxford. Founded in 1985, it encourages through research, teaching and publication a better understanding of the culture and civilisation of Islam and contemporary Muslim societies. Fellows of the Centre teach in a number of faculties across the University. Its Visiting Fellowship and Scholarship programmes have brought scholars to Oxford from almost 50 countries.
Royal Charters are granted by the Sovereign on the advice of the Privy Council. The practice dates back to the 13th century. The Conferment of the Royal Charter to the OCIS is significant as it marks the first time an Islamic institution in the United Kingdom (UK) is conferred with such a prestigious status since such Charters were granted by successive Sovereigns from 1231. They are now normally granted only to bodies that work in the public interest and which can demonstrate pre-eminence, stability, permanence and a strong record of achievement in their particular field. The University of Oxford, and many of the Oxford Colleges, are similarly incorporated.
Among the Malaysian Royal guests were Their Royal Highnesses the Raja Muda (Crown Prince) and Raja Puan Besar (Crown Princess) of Perak, Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah ibni Sultan Azlan Shah and Tuanku Zara Salim Davidson. The Crown Prince is the trustee of OCIS. Also present were the consort to the Sultan of Johor, Her Royal Highness the Raja Zarith Sofia ibni Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah II.
Also attended the ceremony were Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid also as trustee and Datuk Dr Afifi Alkiti who is a fellow at the centre. Also received the invitation from His Royal Highness the Prince Charles, Prince of Wales were the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak.
The prime minister is a member of the high council while Prince Charles is the patron.
picture from Bernama