Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, has urged Muslims to lead the war against terrorism and retrieve their faith from those who use it for selfish ends. He made his position known in a speech delivered on Saturday to a group of Sudanese intellectuals and students at the International University of Africa, Khartoum, capital of Sudan.
Senator Sani noted the African continent is faced with a variety of challenges, with terrorism and irregular migration being the major ones. Terrorism, he noted, not only represents a threat to global peace and stability but also Muslims and Islam.
"Islam is confronted by two dangers on two fronts from the inside and from the outside.The inside forces are those who manipulate and misuse the religion in furtherance of their extremist or political or violent agenda. And the outside are those with a mindset set and conditioned to hate Muslims and anything associated with Islam," he stated.
The senator counseled that while there is an urgent need for humanity to unite and defeat terrorism, it is Muslims that must lead the battle.
"Terrorists are anarchists.Their cruel actions and atrocious violence create bad perception and impression for the faith they falsely lay claim to.Muslim intellectuals and scholars and students must lead the battle to retrieve their faith and cast the light of peace and tolerance in the hearts of all believers in the faith," he said.
Sani reasoned that Sudan occupies a strategic and geographical position as a bridge between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa as well as a bridge between East Africa and West Africa. This position, he noted, imposes on the country a moral and historic duty to promote unity and continental peace.
"International University for Africa in Sudan should breed students who will go back to their countries to lead the fight against religious extremism and terrorism.The products of your institution should symbolize the synergy of intellect, modernity, Africanity, and faith. Any ideology that promotes mass murder of innocent souls in the mosques, churches, and schools are forces of evil we must collectively resist and defeat," Mr. Sani stated.
He argued that those who attacked the airport in Brussels, Belgium; train stations in London, a mall in Nairobi and mosques in Nigeria do not represent Islam. He urged Muslims to stop them from making the claim that they represent Islam.
"Muslim intellectuals must spearhead the neutralization and liquidation of knowledge and schools of thought that encourage extremism and terrorism. Nigeria, my country, has suffered from violence resulting in the death of tens of thousands and displacement millions.
"The dangers of silence, neutrality, and cowardice is that the forces of darkness will be left unchallenged to define our present and dictate our future," Senator Sani said.