…Cleric asserts “Economic and political factors as bane of community violence.”
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
An NGO, the ‘Community Initiative to Promote Peace’ (CIPP) in collaboration with Mercy Corp, have trained some religious leaders and stakeholders in Kaduna state on prevention of all forms of violence arising from religious extremism in the course of preaching in the state.
This was disclosed in the 3-Day training workshop on “countering and preventing extremism” held in Kaduna, as part of activities to mark the 2020 World Day of Peace.
The workshop, which drew participants from four key local government areas and communities across the state, among others, had an Islamic cleric, who observed that the bane of community violence is predicated on economic and political factors.
Speaking during the workshop, the project director of CIPP, Pastor Dr. James Movel Wuye, said the essence of the training was to look at practicable ways to prevent religious extremism.
He also state that the essence of inviting religious leaders was to train and developed them on how to speak-and-preach in ways that would be inclusive that make people not to go into extremism.
“We want to ensure that a new curriculum is developed that is inclusive to prevent people from taking extreme positions in their day-to-day lives, particularly those that affect religious leaders, which could invariably prevent violence resulting from extremism,” he said.
While he expressed satisfaction with the training workshop, especially in terms of frankness and openness of participants to each other, Wuye noted that, ideas and feelings were freely exchanged and shared, while fears were shared and agreed by all participants to henceforth watch out.
He also expressed pleasure that participants were blunt and telling each other to their faces, on the need to stop the “hard preaching” and relied on what will unite the people together.
Also speaking, Imam of Kano Road Juma’at Mosque, Kaduna, in the same vein pointed out that the bane of community violence is predicated on economic and political factors.
He also called on followers to be tolerant, patient and considerate and also inculcate the fear of God in people so that Kaduna would have apeaceful and tolerant community and society.
Similarly, a participant and Zaria-based man of God, Rev. Stephen, said his take home from the workshop “is that the two major religions share the Abrahamic root; hence the need to coexist as brothers and sisters for peace to reign in our communities and society.”
Also, in a communiqué issued at the end of the 3-day workshop on Friday, stated that Christian and Muslim participants bared their minds on likes and dislikes on the practice of each other’s religion.
Issues that border on stereotypes and prejudices were debunked during the intra/inter session of the workshop, which led to connections between the Muslim and Christian participants.
Common grounds in the belief and practice of both religions were also highlighted.
The intra and inter interactive sessions were dominated with salient issues on countering and preventing extremism-induced violence, among other practices.
Indicators, radicalization, root causes of Violent Extremism (VE), recruitment tactics/Cyber Sanctuary, typology of Violent Extremism, Local and Global types of VE were highlighted.
Drivers of Violent Extremism Economic Exclusion, Limited Opportunity for Upward Mobility, Political Exclusion, Shrinking Civic Space, Selective Mistreatment, among others, were also discussed.
Recommendations were also made that Christian and Muslim religious leaders should be courageous enough to eschew, expose and stand by the truth in fighting violent extremism in their respective communities, report any indicators of possible instances of religious extremism.