By YOUSUF MUHAMMAD | ARAB NEWS
MADINAH: A defective education strategy was a major factor in the spread of the “takfir” ideology among young Muslim men and women, according to two scholars who spoke at a seminar on the phenomenon in Madinah on Thursday.
On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif opened the three-day Conference on the Phenomenon of Takfir (the practice of branding those who don’t agree with one’s beliefs as infidels) on Tuesday.
More than 150 scholars from Muslim countries discusses the causes and consequences of takfir and its remedies at the event organized by the Prince Naif International Prize for the Sunnah of the Prophet and Contemporary Islamic Studies. Ahmad Hassan Al-Qawasima and Abdul Shafi Ali of Egypt said they found in a study that most students believed that unscientific education was the cause of takfir tendencies among youths. The two researchers said they surveyed more than 300 students at King Faisal University for the study. While many students attributed the spread of the takfir ideology to teachers, others blamed the school environment and the curriculum for breeding the mindset.
King Abdullah said in his inaugural speech read out by Prince Naif that Muslims never resorted to violence or extremism to spread the message of Islam. The king said any reader of the history of Islam learns that one of the strong attractions of Islam was its moderation. “Anyone who does not believe in the moderation and peacefulness of Islam is burning himself with the instruments of extremism,” the king warned. The king reiterated the government’s determination to continue hunting down deviants and bringing them back to the right track.