Secretary-General of the Muslim World League (MWL) Dr. Mohammed al-Issa kicked off on Saturday the inaugural conference of African Ulemas in the Gambian capital Banjul.
The event brings together senior muftis, scholars and ministers of religious affairs in Africa with the aim of coordinating their pivotal efforts in promoting societal harmony and tackling security challenges, most notably extremism, violence and terrorism.
Speaking at the event, Gambia’s President Adama Barrow called on Muslim scholars to intensify their role in promoting moderation and correcting misconceptions about Islam.
Issa underscored the important role played by scholars in Islamic societies and humanity.
They are the means through which extremism, violence and terrorism, which has greatly harmed Islam, are confronted, he added.
He stressed that scholars during our age play a great role in fighting calls to extremism, violence and terrorism and promoting values of moderation.
Calls to violence are usually met by those who are ignorant have no knowledge of Islam, he lamented.
Moreover, he said the MWL is pleased with the participation of African scholars in drafting one of the most important Islamic documents in modern history, the Makkah Declaration, which was sponsored by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
He stressed that the MWL is “one of the good deeds the Kingdom has presented to the Islamic world.”
He further noted that the document is now adopted by various Islamic and non-Islamic countries to train Imams.
The document has gained popularity and great influence among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, proving that it was published at a very crucial and sensitive time.
It reflects the reality of Islam by underlining the values of moderation, calling for peace and harmony among peoples, and addressing key contemporary issues with an enlightened Islamic approach, he went on to say.
Issa also hailed the African scholars who were determined to form the “African Scholars Council” under the umbrella of the Muslim World League, which, he said, is delighted to host a periodical meeting for African scholars in Makkah.
Issa arrived in Banjul at the invitation of the Gambian president, who held a reception at the presidential palace in his honor. He praised the MWL’s global efforts and thanked it for choosing Gambia to hold the Conference of African Ulemas.
Barrow described the event as “historic,” adding that it will have a great impact on Africa.
He later decorated Issa with the Ambassador of International Peace medal, in recognition of his efforts in promoting peace and international cooperation.