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Muslim Clerics in new syllabus to end radicalisation

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By Benard Sanga | September 14th 2015

Moderate Muslim clerics and scholars from six countries have resolved to push for the review of the Islamic syllabus in schools, madrassas and colleges in a bid to tame radicalisation.

Over 200 clerics and Islamic scholars who practice the Sufi brand of Sunni Islam from Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo met at MacKinnon township under the auspices of the ‘Sufi Order’ to plan for planned campaigns against radicalisation scheduled to start in Mombasa on September 26.

The Sufis have lived in East Africa since the early years of Islam, and claim to have spread the religion from its cradle in Saudi Arabia, but have come under intense pressure following the advent of radical Islam after the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s.

The Sufis blame radical extremism and terrorism on some violent Salafist groups like Al Shabaab that practice Wahhabi doctrines promoted by Saudi Arabia and countries like Somalia and Sudan.

In Somalia, Sufis have taken arms under the banner of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a to combat Al Shabaab in areas like Garbaharrey to defend their faith, heritage and followers.

They believe that Wahhabi madrassas or Islamic schools teach extremist doctrines against Muslims they consider heretics, Christians and other non-Muslims.

Yesterday, the Sufi scholars said they were in the  process of producing 500,000 educational material in the form of pamphlets, books and DVDs to be distributed to mosques, madrassas and colleges.

They said Kenya and other countries in the region should borrow a leaf from Egypt, which carried out a campaign to confiscate and destroy books supporting religious fundamentalism.

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In Egypt, the Ministry of Religious Endowment is currently carrying out a campaign to remove the books of scholars that belong to the Wahhabi or Salafi movement.

At the same time, reports indicate that over 7,000 books, CDs and other materials have been confiscated from mosques and other religious institution and destroyed.

According to Omar Said Omar, the secretary general of the Ahlu Suna Wal Jamaa in Kenya, about 60 per cent of mosques and madrassas in Kenya are funded by the Wahhabi movement.

He said there was need for the Government to take decisive action to rid the country of the Islamic literature that supports Islamic extremism.

“Majority of the Islamic teaching materials in most countries were prepared by the Wahhabi,” he said.

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