News Release

Muslim Group Visits LDS Church Headquarters and Other Facilities in Utah


The founder and several representatives of the Ma’din Academy in Kerala, India recently visited LDS Church headquarters and other facilities in Salt Lake City and Provo and came away tremendously impressed.

Sheikh Sayyid Ibrahimul Kaleel Thangal Kizhakke Thangalakath Bukhari (Chairman, Ma’din Academy) and three key assistants, Dr. Abbas Pannakkal (Director, International Relations); Mr. Umer Chalattil Kalladithody (Director, Communications), and Mr. Ajeeb Pulikkal (Coordinator, Ma’din Media School) were hosted in their visit by LDS Church Hosting representatives, as well as by Dr. Brian J. Adams, Director of the Centre for Interfaith & Cultural Dialogue at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Dr. Adams had previously visited the Ma’din Academy in India and had worked with Sheikh Bukhari and the Academy over a four-year period prior to the Sheikh’s visit to Utah.

Established in 1997 by Sheikh Bukhari, the Ma’din Academy was organized for the purpose of educating, lifting and blessing the lives of disadvantaged individuals. Now in its third decade, Ma’din Academy has grown to have over 25 educational and other institutions under its auspices, seeking to empower cross-cultural and interfaith relationships and encourage education and understanding.

The Ma’din Academy now has a number of schools dedicated to educating girls, women, and the disadvantaged and handicapped of all kinds, including the blind, hearing-impaired and mentally handicapped. Founded upon Islamic principles, the Academy provides shelter, food, education and other facilities free of charge to people of all faith traditions in its effort to rehabilitate and bring individuals back into the mainstream society of India.

Of the group’s visit to LDS Church facilities and learning about a variety of Church programs, Dr. Adams stated, “They were simply overwhelmed by the many things they saw and experienced. They visited Church Headquarters, the Humanitarian Center, Welfare Square, Bishop’s Storehouse, the Provo Missionary Training Center, Brigham Young University, and other facilities. They also had a wonderful opportunity to dine and visit with Elder Robert C. Gay of the Presidency of the Seventy.

“The group was truly impressed by the fact that everything they saw was done with the highest standard and quality. While they marvelled at the scope and quality of all they saw, they were particularly touched by the welcome, warmth and tremendous spirit they felt on many occasions throughout their visit.

“The Ma’din Academy leaders were amazed to find countless men and women, each from varied and very successful professional backgrounds, who now donate their time, talents and energies to the Church, serving as guides, missionaries for the LDS Church, and in many other capacities.”

The group left Salt Lake City hoping and planning to maintain and build on their contacts and interaction with the LDS Church, and perhaps work together in the future with joint efforts in India.

Photos courtesy of Mr.Ajeeb Pulikkal

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