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How illiteracy, ignorance of Islamic teachings fuel banditry, by Masari

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Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari yesterday declared that illiteracy and ignorance of the teachings of Islam are major factors fuelling banditry and other crimes in the country.

Masari said 90 per cent of bandits operating from forests in the state and elsewhere, do not have any form of Islamic education, or were not properly taught in religious knowledge.

The governor made the assertion at a two-day seminar organised by the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) for Imams who lead Friday prayers across the state.

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He said although bandits and other criminals claim to be Muslims, their activities could not be said to be Islamic, as they goes against the core tenets of the religion.

He, however, accused the Imams of abdicating their responsibility by failing to enlighten suspected bandits and other criminals on the basic teachings of Islam.

He, therefore, charged the Imams to ensure that they make people aware of the tenets of Islam to Muslim faithful during public gatherings, including naming ceremonies.

On his part, Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Usman urged the Imams to avoid names calling or promoting any political party and their candidates in their sermons.

Usman also admonished them to preach only Islam and not use their Friday sermons to cause confusion among Muslim adherents.

He, however, commended organisers of the event, which he said was timely in view of its impact on activities of Imams in the state.

Speaking, secretary general of JNI, Dr. Khalid Aliyu said the organisation would soon commence the screening of Imams and preachers who give sermons during Friday prayers.

Aliyu said the purpose of the screening was to sanitise the group, to help them carry out their responsibilities effectively.

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