President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerian Muslims to avoid extremist ideas, stating that the greatest challenge to Islam was violent extremism.
The president in his Eid-El-Kabir noted that “Extremism is like cancer, which must be detected and destroyed from its early stages of growth.
Garba Shehu, his senior special assistant on media and publicity, said the President challenged Muslims to distance themselves from those preaching violence in the society, emphasising on the importance of putting the virtues of the religion into practice and making justice and righteousness their guiding principles.
He also said “Boko Haram became a deadly force and major security scourge because Muslim societies were indifferent from the beginning to the activities of extremist preachers, who manipulate their innocent and gullible followers.”
President Buhari admonished Muslims to be the mirror “through which others see the virtues of our faith. Islam is a religion of peace and we should avoid violent extremist ideas that give Islam a wrong name.
“Violent extremism is the greatest challenge facing Islam today and the only way we can neutralise its evil influence is to distance ourselves from the activities and teachings of those who preach indiscriminate violence against innocent people.
“This flies in the face of the teachings of Islam.”
He advised parents to protect their children from the deadly exposure to violent extremists who, he said, manipulated and exploited children for their own evil agenda.
“Boko Haram became a deadly force and major security scourge because Nigerian Muslims societies were indifferent from the beginning to the activities of extremist preachers, who manipulate their innocent and gullible followers,” he said.
“Extremism is like cancer which must be detected and destroyed from its early stages of growth.”
He, however, assured Nigerians that Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping and other forms of banditry would be dealt with “uncompromisingly until we see the back of these evils plaguing our country”.