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05/17/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – RNS reports that an American professor teaching at Cairo’s American University has lost his position after refusing to emphasize Islam over other religions during his Religions of the World Class.

Professor Adam Duker has taught Comparative Religions at the university since 2016. His dismissal reportedly comes after a conflict with Saudi billionaire Tarek Taher, who maintains close ties to the university.

Taher had requested that Professor Duker focus more heavily on Islam. When Professor Duker refused, his contract was terminated effective October 2019. Professor Duker says that Taher asked him to encourage non-Muslim students to convert to Islam and that Taher wanted his lectures pre-approved before teaching.

The endowment for the Taher Chair is valued at $3.5 million, reportedly the largest endowment for the humanities in the Arab world. The chair was dedicated to supporting religious tolerance and peace.

Islam is the official religion of Egypt. Conversion away from Islam remains a highly sensitive issue. While technically not illegal, converts can face government and social pressures as consequence of leaving Islam. Legal penalties can apply for those charged with proselytizing.

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