Recent news stories highlighting the efforts of Al-Azhar University, the oldest university in the world, to combat terrorism through education. Al-Azhar is participating in some innovative programs aimed at promoting mainstream, moderate Islam throughout the world.
The first, is a program that teaches Al-Azhar students English, via a British Council English language training center. The first class of 68 students, just graduated from a three-year English curriculum that supplemented their Islamic studies. The hope is that they will be better able to engage the international community by being able to articulate mainstream Islam in English.
Another program involved an exchange program at Georgetown University, when 14 students from Al-Azhar interacted with religious studies students of all faiths at Georgetown. They studied American democracy and met Congressman Keith Ellison, the first Muslim American elected to Congress.