Advisory council decries shortage of Muslim lecturers

Kenya National Muslims Advisory Council (KEMNAC)'s Sheikh Juma Ngao during a briefing in Mombasa Count. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The country is facing a shortage of Muslim lecturers, a cleric has said.

Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council (Kemnac) national chairman Juma Ngao said universities lacked Muslim scholars, and urged those with the prerequisite training to seek employment in local institutions of higher learning.

Sheikh Ngao wondered why Muslim scholars were not applying for positions in local universities.

"Up to now, Islamic teaching is being done by non-Muslim scholars in learning institutions countrywide," he pointed out.

Ngao said he could not imagine non-Muslims teaching Islamic religious studies and urged his critics to speak out on the matter instead of burying their heads in the sand.

He was speaking during celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the Grand Kenya Mufti held at the Royal Court Hotel in Mombasa at the weekend. The Grand Mufti, also called Chief Mufti, is the head of muftis. Muftis are Islamic jurists qualified to issue an opinion on a point of Islamic law.

Tanzania's chairman of the Inter-Religious Peace Committee Sheikh Alhad Musa Salum graced the occasion.

Petty politics

The mufti Sheikh Omar Abubakar committed to working closely with the government of the day.

He called on Kenyans to also give the government time to streamline service delivery.

Sheikh Ngao challenged Muslim scholars to make use of their knowledge to teach in learning institutions instead of wasting their experience in petty politics and shunning such noble roles.

He claimed that non-Muslim teachers teaching IRE were more than Muslims from the enrollment done by the Ministry of Education.
"I have my statistics and I've established these facts," he added.

He urged Muslim scholars to take Islamic teaching seriously.

Ngao reminded the forum to keep away from petty politics and instead spare energy to uplift the standards of Islamic education.

He pointed out that the recent government intake of teachers is dominated by non-Muslims, despite Muslims being the majority in the county.

"Leave Kenya Muslims National Advisory Council out of the challenges facing Muslims in the country," he pointed out.