IMaMs and madrassa teachers have been urged to come together to form a national and county boards for regulating religious teachings in madrassa across the country.

speaking during a forum for madrassa teachers in Mombasa, Deputy County commissioner Mahmoud salim said Muslim scholars, madrassa teachers and professionals should come up with measures and modalities to facilitate the formation of such boards to tame radicalisation of youth. salim said religious lessons for children have been turned into extremism teachings adding that it is crucial for community leaders to put in place measures to counter such and prevent rogue Muslim preachers and teachers from using madrassas to propagate extremist ideologies. He noted that the formation of the boards will assist address the plight of madrassa teachers countrywide who are facing with various challenges and contribute to enhancement of madrassa education in the country.

Mahmoud further pointed out that peaceful coexistence among different communities in the country was of paramount importance for socio-economic development. The commissioner further called on Muslims to come out and support madrassa teachers in order to motivate them to effectively serve the community without any obstacles for the benefit of young learners. at the same time Mahmoud said a healthy dialogue among different faiths and ethnic communities should be reactivated in order to help combat youth radicalisation and extremism. He said the war against terrorism and violent ideologies can only be won if the government, religious and community leaders settle for dialogue stressing that dialogue has been an effective tool for winning the hearts and minds of radical elements.

“We need to take bold steps and commence dialogue revolving around militancy. The faith community has no option but to debate candidly on the reasons behind the current wave of youth radicalisation in the country and the region,” Mahmoud said. On his part chairman Tijara Youth Group, Hassan shariff Karama called on the government to involve madrassa teachers in the nyumba Kumi initiative committees as they are in a better position and more familiar with the local youth and their parents, adding the move will facilitate peaceful cohesion and understanding at the grass roots. Meanwhile, nakuru County Muslim leaders have called upon the government to recognise madrassas as educational centres while at the same time slamming plans to alter the madrassa syllabus. The move by the government to alter madrassa syllabus came up from the  belief that the syllabus being taught in some madrassas are radicalizing the youth undertaking the islamic Education.

Early June, the Muslim leaders led by Council of imams and Preacher of Kenya (CiPK) Chairman sheikh abdallah ateka, said that they will oppose any move to alter the syllabus which is believed to have been delivered to the Kenya institute of Curriculum Development for approval by the Muslim community. But in nakuru, the United Congregations of imams (UCi) secretary sheikh athman Masoud said that the government has no mandate to change the syllabus of madrassa since it doesn’t have a common syllabus.

He said that many madrassa teachers use some of the syllabus that they underwent in their studies which differs from others. “Madrassas do not have a common syllabus all over the country but madrassa teachers purely depend on what basics and teachings they got in their islamic studies. some studied in sudan, some in saudi arabia and many other local madrassas which they refer while teaching,” said sheikh athman. He added, “Most of the madrassas are not registered and each one has its own sources of funds including different donors. some are financed by parents, others external donors and so it is difficult to monitor.” The Muslim leader urged the government, as they roll out the radicalisation process, to come up with procedures for registration and management of Madrassas and further recognize these madrassas as educational centers. “Madrassas are not even recognized as education centers by the government and  no procedures to be followed if one needs to establish one as in the establishment of all other educational centers under the ministry of Education,” said Masoud.

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