Al-Azhar denies granting Jewish rabbis honorary PhDs

Al-Azhar University has denied granting Jewish rabbis honorary PhDs, dismissing the rumor as a lie intended to tarnish the image of Al-Azhar.
According to independent daily El Tahrir, the story was published in Israeli newspaper Maariv, and linked the rabbis to the religious scholar "Sheikh Omar Salem" who it claimed was awarded an honorary PhD alongside the rabbis. 
In a statement on Monday, the university slammed all websites that quoted the report, which claimed Rabbi Jacob Nagan and Rabbi Youssef were disguised in Pakistani attire to enter Al-Azhar University, following which they received honorary PhDs.
The university dismissed the notion that the rabbis would need to disguise themselves, given that Egypt already receives many Israeli tourists — including rabbis.
The statement added that Al-Azhar University officials only receive foreign delegations after the approval of Egyptian security authorities.
The statement also denied that Omar Ahmed Abbas Salem is a student of Al-Azhar, underlining that he is in fact a scholar at the Religious Studies Department of Indiana University in the US, possesses American nationality and has not attained any qualifications from Al-Azhar in the past.
The statement called on media outlets to verify news before circulating it.

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