Misreading of Islam root of Boko Haram, says Buratai
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, yesterday said ignorance among the Muslim community and “wrong interpretation” of Islam caused the Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed many lives and property in the North East zone.
Gen. Buratai spoke at a two-day seminar to enlighten and de-radicalise minds of people on terrorism and misinterpretation of Islam. The event was organized by Directorate of Islamic Affairs of the Nigerian Army at Mamalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, Borno State.
The Army boss, who was represented by the Theatre Commander of Operation
Lafiya Dole, Maj-General Yusha’u Abubakar, said: “Muslims are faced with ignorance and wrong interpretation of Islam, we have to sensitize the public to embrace the true teachings of Islam as propagated by Prophet Muhammad. Anything outside that does not represent Islam.”
According to him, the miscreants and criminals who are terrorizing people in the North-East under the guise of Islam have gone out of the real teachings and interpretation of Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad and his disciples. “They have taken the path of those trying to mislead people to the way of devil.”
The Director of Islamic Affairs, Nigerian Army, Col. S. Mustapha said: “Despite Islamic warnings against extremism and terrorism, some people did not heed the warnings, but always embark on distorting the real meaning of Qur`anic verses and Hadith, disseminating wrong information on Islam, in order to lure ignorant Muslim youths into criminal activities in the name of fighting Jihad.”
The Borno State Director of Religious Affairs, Alhaji Muhammed Abdullahi, said the Islamic Ummah in the state organizes prayer session for the Nigerian Army, so that they may triumph over the criminals who have brought agonies to the people by killing innocent persons and destroying their property under the guise of Jihad.
He corroborated Buratai that the Boko Haram insurgency and other social upheavals in the northern part of the country were results of wrong preaching that had gone unchecked for over 30 years.
“You don’t learn the teachings of Islam on the streets or buy the books from the bookshops, but through genuine scholars who understand what Islam stands for. “We have to go back to the roots and carefully study the pure version and tenets of Islam and not the adulterated one which was adopted by these miscreants called Boko Haram sect members.”
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai, who was represented by Alhaji Wali Idris, thanked the Nigerian Armed Forces for organizing the seminar, which he said would go a long way in sensitizing people about what true Islam is all about.
Idris, who is a legal adviser to Borno Emirate Council, also said: “Nigerians should be their brother`s keepers irrespective of religious or ethnic affiliations as all of us belong to the same country and cannot develop without peaceful coexistence.
“Our doors are always open to the military and other security agencies for useful advice and suggestions on how to end this Boko Haram insurgency in the North East sub-region.”