Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta has pointed out that Islam is not an enemy, saying Kenya must resist radical fanatics and embrace religious diversity.
President Kenyatta commended the Dawoodi Bohra Community for promoting tolerance and peace, noting that the community truly represents what Islam stands for.
The President said the Dawoodi Bohra Community has also entrenched the spirit of Islam as a religion that respects humanity and encourages people to live in harmony.
"As a country and Government, we would like to work with you because Islam is not an enemy. The enemy are those few individuals who chose to use violence to harm others," President Kenyatta said.
"Let's work together to show that Islam is not a religion of violence but of peace. Despite our cultural differences, we all pray to the same God," the President said today when he inaugurated Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah Arabic Academy Complex at Karen in Nairobi.
The institution is financed and managed by the Bohra community, which has two other similar facilities in Egypt and Pakistan that mainly offer Arabic education to young men and women.
The President assured the Dawoodi Bohra community of support, saying the government has given priority to the provision of quality and relevant education.
He pointed out that structures have been established to monitor and review quality and relevance of education in the country.
President Kenyatta said the physical facilities in the institution attest to the readiness and commitment to the vision of education in Kenya.
"The values in this institution, which I have had the privilege of touring, attest to your rich and diverse culture," he said.
"I have no doubt that this complex will also serve as the next tourism and investment attraction in the country."
The Head of State pointed out that education is an important feature of any society as it facilitates acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.
"It is an indispensable part of life and has a positive effect on human life and the human civilisation," said the President.
He noted that the global significance of education is immortalised in the fourth United Nations development goal, focusing on inclusive and quality education for all and promoting life-long learning.
"It is worth noting that my Government is conscious of this critical role played by education in the development of an individual, society, nation and the world," the President said.
President Kenyatta commended the institution for not only providing faith-based education but also for planning to offer formal academic programmes in the near future.
He urged the leadership to regularly review the institution's programmes with a view to ensuring that they are in tandem with the national and global development agenda.
"I implore you to consider widening the scope of your programmes to help tackle various challenges in life.
The President also encouraged the academy to consider opening up to other communities and to embrace other faith-based communities in its activities.
He assured the leaders of the institution that his government would continue providing an enabling environment for private investment in education.
The international spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community, His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin thanked President Kenyatta and the Government for facilitating the development activities of his community in Kenya.
During the occasion, President Kenyatta honoured the Dawoodi Bohra Spiritual leader with the Elder of Golden Heart (EGH) award for his role in promoting peace and development in Kenya and across the world.
Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang'i (Education), Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs) and Najib Balala (Tourism), and National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale among other senior Government officials and members of the diplomatic corps attended the event.