Abuja – Dr Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo, Egypt, said that the Al-Azhar University had resolved to grant 50 scholarship to Nigerian students every year.
El-Tayeb made this known on Tuesday at an International Conference on “ Islam, the Religion of Peace”, organised by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) in Abuja.
He said there were over 1,000 Nigerians studying different courses in the institution, adding that 400 of them got scholarship from the school.
He said that the institution had designed a new syllabus to deepen understanding of the teaching of Islam with a view to discouraging terrorism which was against the teaching of the religion.
Al-Tayeb, who condemned terrorism in its entirety, linked extremism to bad interpretations of the Holy Qur’an and the ignorance about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him).
The Grand Imam, who is also the Chairman, Muslim Council of Elders, Egypt, emphasised that Islam was a religion that preached peace, tolerance and rejected all forms of extremism.
He, therefore, distanced the religion and its followers from shedding blood, adding that there was no compulsion in Islam.
He said that Islam recognised diversity and religious freedom, saying that Islam could cope with any system that granted equity and justice.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, advised Muslims to seek proper knowledge of the Holy Qur’an with a view to correcting wrong perception some people have about the religion.
The Vatican representative in Nigeria, Bishop Augustine Kasujja, urged religious leaders to promote peaceful coexistence in the society by encouraging their followers to seek for knowledge about their religion.
“ The worst form of terrorism is not about those that carry guns but the terrorism of ignorance,“ Kasujja said. (NAN)