Egypt is holding training camps for imams throughout the country in order to renew religious discourse, fight extremist ideologies and spread moderate teachings of the religion.

Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top seat of Islamic education, is organizing the camps in cooperation with the Ministry of Religious Endowments in the border areas, southern governorates, the Delta region and coastal cities.

Mohamed Mokhtar Gomaa, the minister of religious endowments, said that such training camps aim at honing the skills of imams and qualifying them to combat extremism and terrorism and to teach “true” and moderate teachings of Islam.

Lawmaker Amna Noseir said holding such training camps is a move in the right direction as it would help undermine the ideologies that the extremist groups want to spread.

“If imams are well-trained at those camps on how to convey the correct image of Islam, the training would make a difference and would be a sound move by Al-Azhar and the Ministry of Religious Endowments,” said Noseir, who is also a professor of Islamic Studies at Al-Azhar University.

She noted that the training camps can enable imams to correct many religious misconceptions instilled in the minds of the people in border areas.

“Those areas are in dire need of a renewed religious discourse that can eliminate misunderstandings about Islamic teachings,” she added.