Sufis reject ‘jihadi’ madrassa syllabus ‘hijacked’ by radicals

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Abdul Khadir Adnan the chairman of East African Sufi Council addressing journalists at Mamburui Magarini Sub County after Iftar on June 20

The influential East African Sufi Council has rejected parts of a proposed madrassa syllabus, saying it promotes extremism and violent jihad.
“The radical Muslims hijacked the madrassa syllabus. If it is approved, radicalisation will go up in the country,” council chairman Abdulkhadir Adnan said on Tuesday in Mamburui after an Iftar dinner. He presented prizes to madrassa students and teachers.
The council says it represents about 80 per cent of Kenya’s Muslims, while radicals represent around 20 per cent.
It aims to ensure that key subersive components are removed because they were included by radical Muslims.
It says it will use its numbers to change the syllabus to reflect “the real Islam”.
The proposed syllabus is before the ministry of Education for review and is in the final stages of adoption.
The Sufi Council did not provide examples or specify what they consider objectionable.
Speaking for the council, Adnan said the group would support a presidential candidate who is firmly opposed to radicalisation and will insist on removal of the controversial chapters and their replacement with ‘correct’ teachings.
The current administration will also be lobbied, the chairman said.
He said the council has launched a campaign to consolidate their votes, estimated at more than 1.2 million, and ensure they vote as a bloc on August 8.
OPPOSE RADICAL INPUT
Since they have numbers, they will vote as a bloc, the chairman said.
Adnan said the new syllabus has been taken over by Mahawadh, or radical Muslims.
“They (radicals) have their input in the syllabus and we oppose it. The Jamia Mosque Friday bulletin stated they are done with the syllabus,” he said.
The Sakina Jamia mosque was taken over by radicals in December 2013. The mosque was raided by police in Nomber 2014. Radicals were ejected, the mosque was closed for a while and moderates were put in their place.
Adnan said the council is travelling around the country to preach “the real Islam”. So far they have toured 12 counties.
“We want peaceful religion for all people without any conflicts. We are going round sensitising people to preach peace, particularly during the electioneering period,”Adnan said.
In February last year, the Sufi Supreme Council of Kenya said Muslims should increase their knowledge of Islam to avoid being misled by rogue clerics.
The council said the image of Islam has been tainted by terrorists and the time has come to fight extremist ideologies.
In October 2015, moderate Muslim clerics and scholars urged the government to stop using excessive force in the war on terror.

They said war will be won if the government and other parties commit to countering deep-rooted extremism. The Sufi Muslim Supreme Council of Kenya said they are helping the government spread the deradicalisation message.
They held six conferences in all Coast counties — Lamu, Tana River, Kilifi, Kwale, Taita Taveta and Mombasa.
Lamu, Kwale and Mombasa have borne the brunt of terror attacks by al Shabaab militia.
counter extremist beliefs
Sheikh Abdulkadir Al-ahdi said they would counter extremist beliefs by preaching peace in all counties.
“We will not allow our youth to be drawn into extremist beliefs and drug abuse,” he said.
A month earlier, clerics and scholars had called for review of the Islamic religion syllabus in schools, colleges and madrassas, saying some content is misleading. They urged a ban on books promoting radicalisation.
The Muslim Sufi clerics (Ahlu Suna Wal Jamaa) said they support all efforts to fight al Shabaab.
According to them, misleading teachings stem from an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam from Saudi Arabia.

Source: The Star

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