Niger State Governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu has said that Islam is a religion of moderation that should not be linked to any form of extreme practices being witnessed now like attacking people of other faiths.
The governor, who stated this yesterday at the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop for 210 Imams and Islam leaders from the north central at the UK Bello Art theatre Minna, argued that Islam rejects any eccentric and extreme practices.
He said Islam should not be associated with Boko Haram, stressing: "We all know that Islam is a religion of moderation and abhors extremism in all aspects".
According to him, it is not fair that the activities of Boko Haram were often linked to Islam even when the sect's actions negate the basic principles of the Islam.
He said: "so it behoves on us as Muslims not to attack another religion in the name of jihad". Aliyu observed that many Muslims lack the simplest rudiments of the religion because they lack the basic knowledge of Islam.
Aliyu said that parents should not shy away from the responsibilities of teaching their children basic knowledge of the religion and formal schools stressing that they should encourage moral or religious teachings to eschew extremism and eccentric religious practice.
"As religious leaders, you are expected to mould and reform the society through wise preaching, sincere and honest admonitions, spiritual advice and community support at all times" Aliyu also charged the Imams.
He stated further: "You are entrusted with the guidance (AMANA) of everybody in the society, the leaders and the led, rich and the poor, young and the old, father and son, husband and wife, that you see as servants of God".
He also charged the Imams to be in the vanguard of mutual understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims as well as guide political leaders in the right direction.
The Imams drawn from Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue, FCT and the host state, Niger are participating in the three-day workshop which aims to encourage peaceful co-existence among the people of other religions in the zone.