A Muslim cleric in Mombasa has underscored the significance of places of worship in countering the extremism mindset among the youth by spreading messages of peace.
Sheikh Abdulkadir Al-Ahdal asked clerics to counter terrorism in their teachings, saying it was time Muslim scholars stood up against those sowing seeds of discord and disunity in the country.
Sheikh Al-Ahdal who is the East Africa Sufi Council chairman said this during the unveiling of the new ultra-modern mosque and Madrassa (Islamic school) to help fight radicalization among the youth.
Masjitul Zawiya Qadiriya mosque was opened in Majengo area, which is known for having the highest number of radicalized youth in the coastal city.
Sheikh Al-Ahdal said the new place of worship will promote peace, unity and harmonious co-existence among people of diverse faiths and would be ‘involved with efforts to combat violent extremism in the communities.’
“We know the religion of Islam has been taken over and captured by few radicalized elements but we are determined to combat violent ideas in all its forms,” he said.
The moderate Muslim cleric said the basic tenet on Islam is that of peace and unity and the tenet of this mosque will be to propagate the same.
“We will reach out to the youth with the aim of deterring them from falling into the trap of radicalization and embracing violence,” said Sheikh Al-Ahdal.
A visiting Muslim preacher from Malindi, Sheikh Abdalla Mohamed said Islam has been abused and misunderstood by many.
“There is need to teach youth peace and tolerance and that nothing in our religion justifies the killing of innocent people,” he said.
Sheikh Mohamed said Islam teaches unity, harmony and brotherhood, and there is a dire need for adopting these principles for a prosperous world.