The Executive Secretary of the Tijaniya Muslim Mission of Ghana (TMOG), Alhaji Khuzaima Osman, has admonished religious bodies to unite and device strategies to curb terrorism and extreme violence.
He explained that religious bodies were important in countering terrorism and extreme violence because of their unique position of authority, credibility, trust, confidence and ties with communities.
“Terrorism and violent extremism is 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 so the fight against terrorism and extreme violence is a battle between good and evil,” Alhaji Osman observed.
According to him, fighting terrorism and extreme violence was collective effort, religious leaders must disassociate terrorism from religion through corrective interpretation of dogma, formal, informal religious curriculum and preaching could be prevented however, inaction on their part would bring suffering, death, and despair.
Alhaji Osman stressed on the need for religious leaders to mobilise, take the lead in stamping out radicalisation, acknowledge society perceived most victims of terrorism and extreme violence as Muslims, however, Islam was one of the world’s most peaceful religions.
“Interfaith groups are required to strengthen ability of communities to resist forms of violent extremism and terrorism by addressing needs of communities through collaboration, interfaith engagement, and solidarity and I dismissed the assertion Islamists as foot soldiers of evil, with no religious legitimacy.
“Violence and coercive use of power as tools of control constitute oppression and has no legitimacy in Islam because there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding Islam and domestic abuse underlying people who were not Muslims think Islam condone violence which was not the case,” Alhaji Osman intimated.
He pointed out that under no circumstances was violence against women encouraged in Islam since the Quran and Hadith encouraged and acknowledged couples to live with mutual love, respect, and kindness adding that “any husband that insults and raised a hand against his wife is like raising his hand and insulting God and his Prophet”.