Kwale County Governor Salim Mvurya has urged Muslim youth to reject religious extremism in all its forms and embrace peace, unity and tolerance.
Governor Mvurya said Islam stands for peace and solidarity and that radical ideologies and violence has no place in society.
He said peace should be the true reflection of Islam and that is the message that needs to be promoted to end extremism that only seeks to spread fear and religious bigotry.
“The youth should desist from vices such as radicalization, crime, drug abuse and refrain from all divisive tendencies that could jeopardize their future,” he said.
Mvurya spoke in his office in Kwale town when he received 15-year-old Yunus Masoud who was the winner of this year’s annual Quran competition held in Tanzania. The competition encourages young children to memorize and recite the holy Quran.
The annual competition on Quran memorization and recitation is usually held in Zanzibar and the 2021 closing ceremony last week was attended by Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and President of Zanzibar Hussein Mwinyi.
The finalist who is a native of Kwale was accompanied by his parents and teachers from his Madrassa (Islamic school) in Msambweni Sub-county run by the Sharjah Charity International based in the United Arab Emirates.
Countries represented in the 2021 edition included Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Niger, Sudan, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.
The weeklong Quran recitation contest that seeks to promote peace and solidarity, coincides with the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan as it is the month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Mvurya said the competition is a good way of encouraging the youth to carry on with the time honoured Islamic tradition of Quran recitation.
Mvurya said parents need to inspire their children to be morally upright and work hard to climb higher in both secular and religious educational ladders.
He said instilling moral uprightness in children will help prevent social vices like radicalization and drug and substance abuse.
He urged Muslims to observe righteousness throughout the holy month of Ramadhan and to let this virtue become part of their daily lives even after the end of the fasting period.
By Isaac Otieno and Hussein Abdullahi