EDITORIAL: Rwandan Muslims making this country proud and safe

The Muslim community is today marking the end of the official fasting period, Ramadan. The usual mass prayers will be held in Nyamirambo Stadium and one can be sure mosques will be full to the brim.

Islam has grown by leaps and bounds in Rwanda, just like everything else. At a time when fundamental Islam is cause for concern in many parts of the world, Rwanda has been spared.

But it was not just a stroke of luck; a lot of work was put into it by successive Muftis and their teams in order to protect their followers from extremism.

Immediately after the Genocide, the Islamic community was being perturbed by in-fighting. A sect that had not been seen before, heavily bearded and wearing three-quarter length pants made their apparition.

They were the Tabliqs, a sect behind in-fighting between rival mosques in a neighbouring country. Swift intervention saved the day.

When terror attacks rocked the region a few years ago, Rwanda was saved by vigilance and a forward-looking Muslim leaders who were the first line of defence against extremism. On top of that, unlike past leadership that went all the way back to colonial times; under the current secular state, all religions are treated as one.

In the past, many Muslim children took up Christian names in order to attain an education. Under those kinds of situations, one is creating a dangerous breeding ground for radicalization. That is exactly what is happening in Europe and other western nations.

Religious intolerance, discrimination and diabolizing communities are what is behind all the religious upheavals around us, luckily we are unscathed and we should make sure to remain that way.

Otherwise, Eid Mubarak to all the Muslim brothers and sisters out there.

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