Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The University of al Azhar, the most prestigious theological and academic center of Sunni Islam, supports the consolidation of a "modern and democratic" State in Egypt, and does not exclude opening courses also to Coptic Christian students able to fulfill the conditions of admission, including the memorization of the Quran. This was stated by Abbas Shuman, "number two" of the prestigious center led by Grand Imam Ahmed al Tayyib, as reported by Egyptian sources such as Copts United.
As reported by Agenzia Fides, already in March 2017 the possibility to see Coptic students admitted to courses of al Azhar had provoked heated discussions in Egyptian society, after deputy Mohammed Abu Hamed announced the intention to present a draft law to enable Christians to attend courses and obtain educational qualifications at the Sunni academic institution. At the time, the same sheikh Abbas Shuman had pointed out that the studies and courses carried out at the University "are not suitable for Christians", because they imply a thorough knowledge and also the memorization of large sections of the sacred book Islam as an admission requirement. Professor Abdel Fuad, Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies, had instead rejected the whole discussion as a useless provocation, starting from the observation that Egyptian Christians have not expressed any intention to enroll at al Azhar University. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 21/2/2018)