A Garissa based senior Muslim cleric has thanked the government for recognizing his advocacy role in countering violent extremism.
While thanking the President for recognizing him, Sheikh Hassan Abdullahi said what he has been doing is nothing but what they (clerics) are required to do by the religion.
Sheikh Abdullahi is celebrated as one of the respected elders known for promoting peace in the county through the sub-county security and peace committee. He is the chairman of Garissa sub-county peace committee.
Displaying his certificate to the press in Garissa town today, a delighted Sheikh Abdullahi said he has been at the forefront making sure people understand the teaching of the holy Koran.
“Extremist groups have used the Koran to portray Islam as a violent religion that doesn’t accommodate other faiths,” Sheikh Abdullahi said.
The cleric was also recognized for his efforts in reconciling warring clans that has been witnessed in various areas as a results of border disputes and politics.
Scores of life have been lost in Northeastern Region with terror groups targeting security officers and civil servants along the border.
Last week, 11 GSU officers were killed in Liboi, a few kilometers from Somalia border after their vehicle run over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
“There is nowhere in the scriptures that says you must kill another to go to paradise. I have been giving sermons in the mosque and any other public forums against actions of terrorism. I thank the President for recognizing these efforts,” he said.
Sheikh Abdullahi who is also a member of Supreme council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) said he will continue sensitizing people against effects of terror and the need to ensure there is peace in the country.
Giving examples of failed states, the cleric said every Kenyan has a responsibility to ensure there is stability. “We have nowhere to escape to in the event of violence,” he said.
Sheikh Abddullahi has also been involved in several peace meetings involving reconciling communities
Shabel Amran Aden was also recognized as an Anti-FGM crusader and a role model to many youths in the region. She had been instrumental for championing education initiatives for the girl child.
“We have been asking youths to shun away from anything destructive that can have negative impacts on their future lives,” she said.
By Jacob Songok