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Muslims push for proposed Islamic university

By | October 26th 2009

By Patrick Beja

Muslims have embarked on plans to build a fully-fledged Islamic university.

The Sh1 billion Mombasa Islamic University is expected to open its doors to the public in January 2011.

A committee pushing for the project said 84 acres of land have been acquired at Utange in Mombasa for the varsity.

Project co-ordinator Mohammed Twaha said the first phase would cost Sh100 million.

"We are raising funds from Ummah (public). It is a private university and has received good response so far," Mr Twaha said.

The proposed university is expected to be granted a Letter of Interim Authority (LIA) from the Commission for Higher Education once buildings are put up.

According to Twaha, Muslim leaders and academicians have been trying since June 2001 to get permission to start the university.

"The General Election of December 2007 seem to have provided favourable political winds towards demands by Muslim leaders for the establishment of the university," Twaha said.

In 2001, former Cabinet Minister Shariff Nassir and former Coast Development Authority managing director Juma Lugogo spearheaded efforts to establish the institution. However, the project stalled over unclear reasons.

President Kibaki has since appointed a committee to look into grievances raised by Muslims over the years, including lack of an Islamic university.

Former University of Nairobi lecturer Mohamed Hyder is chairman of the board of trustees for the proposed university.

Other trustees are Khalfan Mazrui, Mohamed Rajab, Shaukat Abdaulrazak, Sheikh Abdulhamid Slatch and Sheikh Ahmad Abdalla.

The proposed university is expected to admit students from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, among others.

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