The International Islamic University, which is expected to be established in Istanbul at the latest by 2019-2020, will “fight intellectually against organizations exploiting religion such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and Boko Haram” apart from its academic studies, daily Yeni Şafak reported on July 28.
The university’s priority is to raise religious scholars for the world and to limit the movement area of organizations and structures that interpret Islam in a deficient or wrong way.
Another target of the university will be to reportedly find solutions for sectarian tensions in the world through scientific diplomacy work, the daily said. The university will provide education in the languages of Arabic, Turkish and English.
The Istanbul-based university will partially model itself on Cairo’s al-Azhar University or Umm al-Qura University. It plans to bring thousands of students from abroad and many foreign Islamic scholars will be employed here. Additionally, over 100 academics who have taken refuge in Turkey from Syria’s Damascus and Aleppo will also take on responsibility during the establishment of the university. They will then be given positions at the university.
Apart from offering Arabic language courses, the university will give education on areas such as a biography of the prophet, Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds and Islamic law. After its establishment, the university officials will launch the needed processes for it to be recognized by higher education councils of other countries.
The university will offer more than just an undergraduate education. Each department plans to raise hundreds of future experts in their areas to serve Muslims in the whole world.
Preparations for this university project have been talked about since 2014 but the authorities have only recently given an expected time for it to be finished.
Professor Dr. Mehmet Görmez, the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), had said back in 2014 that they had applied to Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) to open an Islamic university.
Görmez had said the institution would rival the influential seats of Islamic learning in Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
“I have been working on the issue for three years and see that the curriculums of these universities do not help in providing solutions to problems faced by Muslims,” Görmez had said.