Grand Imam of Egypt’s Al Azhar Mosque, Sheikh Ahmad Al Tayeb, has called for setting up a college of learning affiliated to Al Azhar University in the UAE.
He said this as the UAE signed a delivery protocol with the university for UAE-funded projects that include a residential unit for female students and a state-of-the-art library. Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the Coordination Office of the UAE-funded Development Projects in Egypt, signed the protocol on behalf of the UAE on Wednesday.
Sheikh Al Tayeb called for creating a new thought of Islam that is based on the moderate teachings of Islam.
“We have introduced Islamic culture as a subject that debunks the message propagated by terrorists.
“We have two million graduates every year as well as a UAE-sponsored Muslim panel. We have undertaken 11 missions carrying the Islamic message of peace.
“Today, we are passing through an anarchic phase … and we are planning to open branches of Al Azhar University abroad to fight terror … I urge ministers of education to chalk out plans in this regard.”
The UAE has been funding and supervising several projects at Al Azhar University in Cairo. This is in line with the foundations laid by the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which led to the establishment of the Shaikh Zayed Centre for Arabic at the university, in which more than 1,200 students from 102 countries study.
The UAE-funded projects at Al Azhar include setting up a hi-tech library linking Al Azhar University with the world online; building four residential buildings for students; providing 81 residential units for the expatriate students; and setting up Al Azhar Islamic Unit Institute, which can accommodate 1,500 students. The library will be built on a total area of 14,000 square metres.
© Khaleej Times