Religious leaders charged to do more to prevent terrorism


Religious leaders have been charged to unite and device strategies to eradicate terrorist groups.

Alhaji Khuzaima Mohammed Osman, Executive Secretary, Tijaniya Muslim Mission of Ghana (TMOG), who made the call, said religious leaders were important in countering terrorism because of their unique position of authority, credibility, and ties with the community.

He explained that terrorism was not a battle between different faiths, or different sects, but a battle between barbaric criminals seeking to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions.

He stressed: The fight against terrorism is a battle between good and evil.”

Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Tema, Alhaji Osman said fighting terrorism was a collective effort and advised religious leaders to disassociate terrorism from religion emphasising that “through corrective interpretation of dogma, formal, and informal religious curriculum and preaching, terrorism can be prevented.”

He warned religious leaders that inaction on their part would bring suffering, death, and despair, stressing that “religious leaders must mobilize to take the lead in stamping out radicalization.”

Alhaji Osman acknowledged the fact that society perceived most victims of terrorism as Muslims, however, Islam was one of the world’s most peaceful religions.

He stressed that interfaith groups were required to strengthen the ability of communities to resist forms of extremism by addressing community needs through collaboration, interfaith engagement, and solidarity.

He also dismissed Islamists as the foot soldiers of evil, with no religious legitimacy, effectively putting distance between Islam and the ideology that fuels terrorist groups like Boko Haram, and A Shabab among others.

Alhaji Osman also described violence and coercive use of power as a tool of control, stressing that it constituted oppression and therefore had no legitimacy in Islam.

He stressed that there were a lot of misconceptions surrounding Islam and domestic violence underlying that people who were not Muslims thought Islam condoned violence which was not the case.

“There is no place for domestic abuse in Islam, let’s come together as Muslims to eradicate domestic abuse from our society,” he added.

Alhaji Osman noted the fact that domestic violence was a blight on society emphasizing it was a mental and social illness that went through every part of the society and therefore it was important for the citizenry and the society to address such issues in the country.

He beseeched victims of domestic violence to be bold and voice out to the necessary authorities to enforce the law on the culprits.

He advised Islamic Scholars and Imam to end the silence on the issue by discussing the issue of domestic violence in their sermons.

Alhaji Osman noted that marriage in the Islamic context was a means of tranquillity, protection, peace, and comfort thus abuse of any kind on women conflicted with the principles of marriage.

According to him, under no circumstances was violence against women encouraged in Islam, adding that, the Quran and Hadith encourage couples to live with mutual love, respect, and kindness.

He explained that any husband that insulted and raised a hand against his wife was like raising his hand and insulting God and his prophet.

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