While the academy’s head, Major General Essmat Mourad, admitted to accepting a big influx of students hailing from Islamist backgrounds, he said there was no change in the enrollment criteria, the Egyptian newspaper al-Sabah reported.
“This year we accepted sons of al-Azhar scholars and members of religious parties,” Mourad said during a speech in the academy, adding “we also accepted the sons of bearded men and face-veiled women.”
The head confirmed that the academy will not judge students based on their backgrounds and all will be given equal opportunities as long as they meet the requirements needed.
He said the 2,400 new students were Muslims, Christians, rich and poor from cities and the countryside.
“We also have students from regions in Egypt that suffered marginalization for a long time like Sinai and Nubia. These make up 6 percent of the students.”
The students come from different backgrounds but share one common denominator and that’s their allegiance to Egypt, he added.
“Here they do not belong to any political party or religious faction. They only belong to Egypt.”