The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Muslim Community in Fight Against Drug Abuse

Rwanda Muslims Association (AMUR), on Tuesday, resolved to set up a mechanism through which they can contribute to the country's efforts against drug abuse.

In a meeting that attracted over 500 members at AIPER Secondary Muslim School in Nyandungu Sector, Gasabo district, Muslim leaders acknowledged that drug abuse among the youth was among the main vices compromising the young generation.

"In addition to being against the Islamic faith, drug abuse has a very dangerous impact on human beings, especially to the young generation who are expected to take over as future leaders," said Mufti Abdul Karim Gahutu, the head of the Rwandan Muslim Community.

He told participants, especially Imams, to utilise the time of preaching the message of Allah, to also remind believers of the need to desist from drug abuse.

Gahutu said that the campaign should be taken right to the grassroots to impact the society.

The meeting also discussed the participants' role in strengthening the Islamic faith and promoting various development programmes.

Among other officials who attended the meeting was the Minister of Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harerimana.

The minister commended the Muslim community for the initiative, saying that it complements the national campaign against drug abuse.

"We need to work together in making sure that our country and indeed children's future is not destroyed by illicit drugs," Harerimana said.

He explained that concerted efforts by government and religious leaders will help reduce drug abuse significantly.

Most illicit drugs consumed in Rwanda are said to be smuggled into the country from neighbours Uganda and DRC.

Police reports indicate that women make the biggest percentage of drugs dealers.

Last year's police statistics indicate that 263 women were arrested possessing cannabis, while 183 were arrested with Kanyanga, an illicit brew.

Police says that 165 women were apprehended with cannabis in just eight months this year. And 106 women were arrested with illicit brew.

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