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Main » 2011 » January » 6 » Cambridge hosts training session for British Muslims
8:51 AM
Cambridge hosts training session for British Muslims

Cambridge hosts training session for British Muslims

University of Cambridge collaborate with Egyptian students to offer training session to teach them about pastoral care, interfaith working and community leadership

The first course launched by Al-Azhar University in collaboration with the University of Cambridge has come to an end.

Al-Azhar University in Cairo offered British Muslims studying at the Prince Alwaleed Centre of Islamic Studies in Cambridge the chance to attend its Imam training. The course was especially designed for young British Muslims studying in Darul Ulooms (Islamic seminaries) which often produce future Imams and Muslim chaplains.

The 15 week programme hoped to provide students with a challenging series of seminars, lectures and personal study assignments that will help them with potential roles as leaders in their faith communities.

During the course, students spent time at both Cambridge and Al-Azhar and met with representatives from community organisations of different faiths to learn about pastoral care, interfaith working and community leadership.

Beth Caldwell, a British Council English teacher, said, "Our students are now engaging with the world – the real and the virtual – on a level which would have been impossible with their level of English just a short time ago.”

Al-Azhar student Alaa Eddin Ibrahim is using his English to speak to others via social networking. He said, "Al Azhar graduates need to have the opportunity to interact with the world outside of Egypt, to show the world, particularly the West, the right image of Islam.”

This course marks just one of the ways in which Al-Azhar has a blossoming relationship with British universities. In 2008 Al-Azhar set up an English Training Centre which has opened the door to a whole host of opportunities in non-Muslim countries.

Professor Yasir Suleiman, Director of the Centre of Islamic Studies at Cambridge, spoke enthusiastically of the international achievements of the course.

"Inter-cultural, inter-faith and intra-faith discussions, debates and collaborations cannot be but useful in demystifying how people imagine themselves and how they can pursue together integrative goals rather than just pursuing instrumental objectives.”

 He continued, "Azhar’s collaboration with Cambridge as a world leading university… is important in dispelling the myths of unavoidable conflict that often fill the dark recesses of the bigotted mind.’

 A third year Theology student at Cambridge said, "I would like to tell the British about true Islam, because there are misconceptions and our duty is to correct them. True Muslims do not act like they are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

With valuable links between scholarly Islamic centres in the Middle East and universities in Britain it is realistic to expect a series of programmes that breed co-operation, tolerance and excellent learning opportunities for both sets of students in the near future.

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Category: Islamic World News | Views: 3969 | Added by: pemdatokyo | Tags: al azhar, muslim collaboration, misconceptions on islam, british muslims | Rating: 0.0/0
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