Leaders need knowledge and analysis skills to help them negotiate a complex global landscape, particularly in areas of religion and conflict.
We aim to ensure that where there is conflict with religious dimensions, there will be people of influence equipped to understand and engage with it.
Highly respected around the world as a centre of learning for over a thousand years, Al-Azhar is one of the world's oldest universities. Under the leadership of The Grand Imam, it is also one of the leading authorities within Sunni Islam. In 2015, the Foundation formed a strategic relationship with the World Association of Al-Azhar Graduates.
This partnership establishes a collaborative relationship to deepen understanding and the communication of mainstream religious thinking and co-operation in a globalised world, in order to support cohesive and stable societies.
The first initiative under this agreement was a ten-week course for 53 Al-Azhari Islamic Studies graduates selected from countries across Africa. The course equipped participants to play a leading role in promoting positive narratives of inter-religious understanding and engagement to counter the narratives of hatred and division within their home countries.
"The most important ideas are those that enable us to address and counter the threats of extremist ideology and interpretations... We must now be responsible for spreading this understanding, and benefiting all societies around the world." – Course Participant
"I presented many workshops that prepared religious leaders to confront the thinking of terrorist groups in their societies."
"In my role as a facilitator, I presented many workshops that prepared religious leaders to confront the thinking of terrorist groups in their societies... The trainees came from different countries, different cultures and different societies, but had the same intention, the same vision and the same purpose of confronting terrorist groups and maintaining the values of moderation and tolerance in their societies. These leaders look forward to build their communities. They trust in themselves and believe in the education, culture and religion as a base to build the societies and to face the terrorist groups. They are excellent leaders who really believe in the necessity of building bridges with the West and also with different civilisations from all over the world as an important tool to face the terrorist groups that threaten the entire world and destroy civilizations in the name of religion. I believe in the abilities of those young leaders to maintain moderation and tolerance in their communities and also in their ability to achieve progress if they are provided with the appropriate tools and facilities that allow them to create tolerance, moderate and progressed communities." – Abd Algaber, Course Facilitator