Muslim Communities Council conference launches plan to immunize African youth against extremism

Kampala The International Muslim Youth conference, organized by the World Muslim Communities Council in Uganda's capital Kampala on April 26-27 under the theme "The role of Muslim Youths in the Africa of tomorrow", launched a comprehensive plan to immunize young Muslims against terrorism and extremist thought and to enable young people to contribute to African's development.

In its recommendations, announced on Saturday by Secretary-General of the World Muslim Communities Council Dr. Mohammed Al-Bishari, conference praised Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's efforts in making Uganda a model for embracing pluralism. It also adopted the President's address to the conference as a basic document.

The conference, held in cooperation with the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, also commended the efforts the UAE leadership in sponsoring and launching initiatives aimed at spreading peace and promoting harmony as well as fostering a culture of peace based on respect for religious specificities and pluralism.

As part of its immunization plan, the conference called for an African strategy aimed at providing African youth with the opportunities needed to achieve their goals; urging Islamic institutions to increase their efforts to promote the role of youth and encourage them to engage in the development process; and highlighting the importance of heeding to the advice given by the reliable scholars and legitimate Islamic institutions.

The participants stressed the importance of adhering to the middle-way approach as well as rejecting differences and concepts that weaken the unity of the nation. They called for rejecting the methods of hyperbole and misconceptions about Islam and society.

The conference called on the governments of East African countries to intensify cooperation to achieve development based on the decent living of all components in their societies. It urged African universities to pay attention to graduates and strengthen their role in building nations, and called on businessmen to provide the opportunity for African youth to be integrated into Africa's development process.

The participants stressed the importance of supporting imams and preachers to immunize young people against hyperbole, extremism and sectarian transformation. They also demanded the participation of influential platforms in the new media and its investment in communicating with youth, spreading awareness among them and utilizing their energies to highlight the true image of Islam and confront the challenges.

The conference called on the member states of the African Union (AU) to conclude a binding agreement criminalizing electronic terrorism and asserting that freedom of opinion and expression does not justify non-professional practices in the dissemination of images offensive to Islam and its symbols, as well as intimidation and hate speech against Muslims.

The participants called on the AU and other regional organizations to come up with a plan to prevent brain drain by raising the standard of living in accordance with a comprehensive strategy to achieve life stability and intellectual security. They further called on East African countries to strengthen their cooperation with Islamic institutions to protect their societies from the extremist and armed groups.

The participants expressed appreciation of the efforts being exerted by the World Muslim Communities Council, headed by Dr. Ali Al-Nuaimi and its Secretary-General Dr. Mohammed Al-Bishari, to care for the issues of Islamic societies and consolidate a culture of peace and dialogue. They also applauded the efforts of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council in the coexistence and national harmony.

Source: International Islamic News Agency