The leadership in Southern province, Police and the Muslim leadership have joined efforts to raise awareness against emerging security threats and to woo the general public and the Muslim community in particular to fight against radicalisation.
During a meeting held on August 29 and brought together 75 Imams (heads of mosques) in the region, the Southern Province Governor, Alphonse Munyantwali said that the few cases of radicalisation that have so far been identified should be a lesson to base on in creating a partnership in fighting these tendencies.
The meeting was also attended by the Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Dismas Rutaganira and the head of the Islamic community in Rwanda Mufti Sheikh Salim Habimana.
“Sustainable security and development requires efforts from everyone including faith-based organisations; endeavor to show your followers the right path and their roles in building a safer country because there could be some individuals that want to take advantage of their vulnerability to lure them into criminal activities,” Governor Munyentwari said.
The Mufti echoed the same message saying adding that “Islam prohibits violence.”
“People shouldn’t be made to believe that radical organisations or terrorism has links with our religion. Whoever engages in such will be going against the beliefs of Islam,” Sheikh Habimana said.
Speaking on the process of radicalisation, ACP Rutaganira noted that terrorists use online platforms to lure innocent victims to their ranks, as well as propagating utter falsehoods and radicalism.
He appealed to everyone to join efforts to preach against radicalization and crime prevention in general and share timely information on anyone that could be involved in any unlawful acts.
“Stopping the genocide and rebuilding the country to what it is today came at a very high cost, we can’t afford to go back to dark days, neither should we allow anyone or any group to stand in our way in development,”ACP Rutaganira said.
Following the meeting, Muslim leaders pledge to create a forum where they can always interact with security and local authorities to raise the bar high in raising awareness and exchange of information on any suspected criminal or criminal activities.
Elsewhere, similar campaigns were held in Bugesera,Rwamagana, Musanze and Kicukiro districts where police officers met with different groups of Muslims including youths and Imams in productive sessions that were characterised by discussions on public safety.