The activities of terror groups are against the teachings of Islam thus religious leaders should continue to condemn acts of terror and parents should teach their children to reject violence, a respected Nigerian Muslim leader, a participant in the ongoing Global Peace Forum (GPF), said on Tuesday.
Sheikh Khidir Maraya Abdullahi, a prominent Muslim imam and teacher from Kaduna State, Nigeria, stressed that terrorist activities perpetrated by groups like the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) are contrary to the teachings of Islam and other religions.
“It is very important for religious leaders to be always making concerted efforts in condemning terrorist-related activities without considering the identity of the perpetrator and that of the victim. It’s very, very important,” he said.
The Muslim cleric called on faith-based groups, particularly Islamic religious leaders, to help fight extremism by condemning the activities of terror organizations.
Maraya also called on parents to teach their children the tenets and teachings of Islam amid the aggressive recruitment campaign of terror groups through social media.
“Teach them that this is how you are expected as a Muslim, that you are expected to treat all humans with dignity and good conduct. That is how recruitment through social media will be mitigated,” he added.
Maraya said this method was adopted by Nigeria to prevent the recruitment of Nigerian youths by the Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group based in northeastern Nigeria.
“What we’re trying to do is to see to it that young men from particular communities were working so that they do not give themselves in to recruiters to be used as terrorists. We can say we’re gaining ground,” Maraya said.
He also condemned the beheading of German Jurgen Kantner by the Abu Sayyaf Group.
The GPF is an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peace building.
It was launched in Manila in 2009 and has been organized annually in five different countries before its return to the Philippines this year.
It is founded and chaired by Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, also the founder of the Unification Church.
Stakeholders from business, faith leaders, civil society, academe, and the government sectors will be share peace strategies during the four-day forum with the theme, “Moral and Innovative Leadership: New Models for Peace and Development.”
Participants will share best practices and draw up collaborative strategies to promote peace and development through moral and innovative leadership.
A major highlight of the four-day convention is the 2017 Global Peace Awards which pays tribute to exemplary government, civil society and faith leaders whose commitment to achieving peace and development has significantly improved the lives of others.