Use words not force in terror war – clerics

By: CHARLES MGHENYI

Moderate Muslim clerics and scholars have urged the government to stop using excessive force in the war on terror.

The war will be won if the government and other parties gear up to counter the deep-rooted extremism ideology, they said.

The Sufi Muslim Supreme Council of Kenya said they are helping the government spread the de-radicalisation message.

They have held six conferences in all Coast counties – Lamu, Tana River, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Mombasa.

Lamu, Kwale and Mombasa have borne the brunt of the terror attacks from suspected al Shabaab militia.

On Saturday, the clerics held their sixth conference at the Aga Khan Jubilee Hall in Mombasa where more than 200 youth were educated on how to counter terrorism in the region.

Sheikh Abdulkadir Al-ahdi, the chairman of the council, said they will counter extremist beliefs by preaching peace in all counties.

“We are not going to allow our youth be drawn into extremist beliefs and drug abuse,” he said.

Last month, the clerics and scholars called for review of the Islamic religion syllabus in schools, colleges and madrassas, since some books have misleading content.

They also called for banning religious books that teach about radicalisation and extremism.

The Muslim Sufi clerics (otherwise known as Ahlu Suna Wal Jamaa) said they support all efforts to fight the hard line al Shabaab.

According to the clerics, these misleading teachings stem from an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam from Saudi Arabia.

They said rigid teachings distort Islam.