MUSLIM-FRIENDLY:At the first general assembly of RISEAP to be held in Taiwan, Ma said that the nation views Islam like an ‘old friend’ and welcomed Muslims
Date: Dec 15, 2015
By: Staff writer, with CNA
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said at the opening ceremony of the
16th General Assembly of the Regional Islamic Dawah Council of Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RISEAP) in Taipei, that Taiwan is friendly toward Muslims and he would welcome more Muslims to the nation.
More than 80 religious leaders, academics and experts attended this year’s meeting, with representatives of 23 nations and 53 organizations in attendance. This was the first time Taiwan hosted a RISEAP general assembly in its 35-year history.
Ma said that from a historical perspective, Islam is like an old friend, adding that Islam was introduced into China early in the 7th century via traders, and that admiral Zheng He (鄭和), commander of Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) naval expeditions, was a Muslim.
He said that Muslims in Taiwan had only numbered about 50,000 in the past, but with more Indonesian migrant workers coming to Taiwan, the number has increased to 250,000, giving Taiwanese an opportunity to learn about Islam and Muslims. [FULL STORY]