Southern Province local government officials, security personnel and Islamic leaders have raised alarm on countering extremism and terrorism following recent incidents that were heard in the country where some terror suspects were shot dead.
The alarm was raised yesterday during a meeting that brought together the military, police, Southern Province local leaders and Islamic faith leaders on security concerns.
The meeting aimed at holding discussions and training Muslims representing others on preserving security, fighting against extremism and terrorism ideology.
The governor of Southern Province, Alphonse Munyantwali said that the meeting was organized in collaboration with Muslim leaders in the entire province.
“We have met to identify causes of and fight against extremism and subversive elements especially these days as some people are involved in such acts claiming to be Muslims. It has been a vital meeting bringing together security officers and other leaders along with youth representatives mainly from the university,” he said.
Munyentwali explained that discussions on countering terrorism and extremism will be extended to local administration units where citizens will be given tips on security preservation.
The Mufti of Rwanda, Sheikh Salim Hitimana said that Islam had bad luck since terrorists matched their acts with Islam adding that Rwanda’s Muslims have pledged to partner with the government to address the matter.
“It is bad luck. Some people commit crimes dressed in Islamic garbs and speaking Arabic. ,” he said.
Sheikh Hitimana said that Islam leaders in Rwanda do implement measures of countering terrorism putting emphasis on mobilizing the youth since they are mostly prone to temptations.
Some Muslims who attended the meeting pledged to pass over pacification lessons to their colleagues.
Following reported incidences of terror suspects where individuals claimed to be Muslims, Islam has decided to ban Niqab, Muslim’s clothing hiding the face over anxiety it would be also used for terrorism.
Recently, police shot dead three terror suspects in Bugarama sector which was preceded by another incident where a terror suspect was shot dead in Nyarutarama, a Kigali suburb after fire exchange with security personnel.
In January, Rwanda National Police shot dead Sheikh Muhamed Mugemangango as he tried to escape. He was a leader of a Mosque in Kimironko suburb in Kigali city and was held for suspected terror acts including recruitment of people to the Islamic State.