Contrary to what has become common perception among both Muslims and non-Muslims, radicalisation, extremism and terrorism is not jihad. These remarks

were made by the Malindi Masjid Ihsaan Imam Ustadh Omar Athman. While addressing a youth workshop, Ustadh Omar said that Jihad was introduced in Islam as a defensive mechanism and it came with conditions that had to be observed before it was declared. “Islam does not permit jihad for purposes of killings or acquiring booty or for one group to retaliate on other,” Omar said. He advised Muslim youth to adhere to Islamic moral values and teachings ascribed in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for successful living and shun extremism and misguided groups. Omar further urged youth to steer away from taking part in violence and other conflicts that pit Muslims against each other and other people from diverse faiths and instead be at the forefront in preaching peace and mutual understanding for peaceful coexistence and prosperity. The Imam went ahead to encourage Muslim youth to engage themselves in productive activities that could improve on their livelihood stressing that this can only be achieved through self discipline and hard work.

“The non-Muslim world views jihad as an Islamic means of terrorizing other religions aimed at denying them the right to practice their own beliefs. Islam is far from these views being held by both Muslims and non-Muslims on jihad when it comes to terrorism and denying people their rights,’’ Ustadh Omar said. On Muslim terrorism, he noted it was a creation of Western media against Muslims and that it was prudent and in the interest of Muslims to participate in media activities and start their own to fight and eliminate misconceptions against Islam.

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