Dec 6 2010
CANADIAN Muslims jealous of NASA Outreach Program so 'Muslims can feel good about themselves in science'
So, the head of the Muhammad Institute for Space Science, dedicated to putting the Islamic world back at the ‘forefront of scientific discovery,’ wants to build a Muslim space-launch facility in Canada.
MSN CA (H/T Lee S)–Redouane Al Fakir’s goal has been to return Muslims to the place of pride they held, centuries ago, as world leaders in astronomy. His proposed commercial space port would be the first of its kind in this country — and Al Fakir says it’s about time.
Its goal would be to launch missions into Earth’s orbit and to other solar-system destinations like the moon, Mars and beyond.
Al Fakir is looking at two coastal sites for the facility: Tofino and Prince Rupert, which are fairly secluded locations but are accessible by road — ideal conditions for a space port. He says he’s secured $250,000 in startup money from overseas and has begun an international fundraising drive to raise the estimated $100 million it would take to build the facility.
Al Fakir recently travelled to Doha, Qatar, to talk with officials close to the government about his plans. He says he’s excited about the support he’s received.
Aside from Qatar, he hopes to work with other Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“Of course, these countries are really one big entity culturally — and we kind of wanted to group our collaboration under the Islamic world with the Gulf states and other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia,” he said.
Al Fakir also hopes to use the Muhammad institute’s connections to get non-government investors for the project.
His non-profit institute, founded in 2008, is located on the campus of the University of British Columbia.
It cites on its website two chief goals:
— “Giving the Islamic world community a top-level scientific space institution it can call its own.”
— “Contributing to the promotion of British Columbia as a world hub for space science and technology.”
“The Muhammad Institute for Space Science is a framework for collaboration between Canada and the Islamic World at large, which includes not only the Muslim World community but also the many religious and ethnic minorities that are culturally part of the great Islamic civilization,” says the group’s website.