Christians and Muslims condemn the abuses of religion that wrongly seek to justify violence, revenge and destruction of life.
By Dr. Elisabeth Nduku
“No to violent extremism, yes to peace and joint action. No to legitimization of terrorism by misinterpreting religious texts and yes to counter-narratives emphasizing the correct teachings of each faith.” This plea is an outcome of the “Interfaith Consultation on Violent Extremism” organized by Globethics.net East Africa in Nairobi (Kenya) in early March. Over 36 scholars and experts with Christian and Muslim background from academic and religious institutions in Kenya explored ways and means to overcome violent extremism. The consultation suggested several measures, such as the following:
- Formulate and promote counter-narratives on non-violent solutions, rooted in Christian and Muslim faith and African heritage.
- Condemn the abuses of religion that wrongly seek to justify violence, revenge and destruction of life through literal and out-of-context interpretation of holy texts. Religion must not be used to kill in the name of God.
- Cooperate between denominations and religions to build “peace without borders’.
- Protect sisters and brothers of other religions as much as of their own (impressive example of young Muslim women who protected young Christian women in a terrorist bus attack in Kenya);
- Support victims of terrorism and their families
- Preaching to Christian and Muslim communities ought to be contextually relevant, dealing with current social needs and concerns.
- Convince peers not to join terrorist groups;
- Improve prior access to intelligence and security information in time for preventive action;
- Cooperate internationally to promote peace.