An Islamic university will be established in Latin America
Latin American Islamic associations recently gathered in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo to sign an agreement on the establishment of the Islamic University of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The educational institution will allow Muslims to study in their region, without having to move to the Middle East and other Muslim countries.

Imams in Latin America have been discussing this idea for years. Now the Brazilian Center for the Spread of Islam in Latin America, known by the Portuguese abbreviation CDIAL, and the Supreme Council of Imams for Islamic Affairs in Latin America and the Caribbean have finally made this possible.

CDIAL and the council have entered into an agreement with the Islamic University of Minnesota, which will provide academic courses and materials for the new educational institution.

Initially, the main administration will be located in Sao Paulo, where classes will be held in Portuguese, and in Mexico City, where classes will be held in Spanish.

The Vice President of CDIAL, Riad Saidi, stated that the program was inspired by traditional Islamic courses, such as those offered by the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia and Al-Azhar University in Egypt.

Even students who are not Muslims will be able to enroll in classes, said Sheikh Abdelhamid Metwally, an Egyptian native who will be president and academic director of the university.

"We also just want to educate people about Islam. Both Muslims and non-Muslims should understand our religion better," he added.

At first, the university will work with distance learning, given the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Latin America.

There will also be no distinction between Sunni and Shiite students, and both men and women will be able to enroll.

In the future, the Brazilian branch will be planning to accept students from other Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Angola, Mozambique and Cape Verde.

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