CARDIFF – A Muslim philanthropist has donated £850,000 to Cardiff University’s center for the study of Islam in a bid to help promote a better understanding of Islam in society.
“[Yousef Abdul Latif] Jameel values the fact that our research is directed towards improving knowledge of Islam and Muslim communities in Britain,” Prof Gilliat-Ray, the director of at Cardiff University’s Centre for the Study of Islam, told The BBC on Thursday.
The donation, which supports MA and Ph.D. scholarships at the center, brings the total amount donated by Jameel to £2.5m since 2009.
His gift will provide nine MA scholarships, three Ph.D. scholarships and two postdoctoral positions – one of which will be a specialist in religion/Islam in the media, and in particular, the involvement of Muslims in journalism.
As part of their studies, the students will also be asked to volunteer with the local Muslim community to foster a strong sense of social responsibility.
The center, part of the University’s School of History, Archaeology, and Religion, was set up in 2005 and has become a leading academic institution for research and teaching about Islam and Muslims in Britain.
Matthew Vince, who volunteered as a teaching assistant at a local Muslim primary school while studying for his Ph.D., said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at school, and the chance to give back was immensely important to me both academically and personally.”
Jameel, an international business leader, and philanthropist said his scholarships would allow students to research the major issues affecting Muslims in Britain in the 21st century, “helping to promote a better understanding of Islam in the wider society”.