President Muhammadu Buhari has said indiscriminate killing of innocent people, kidnapping of female students and forcing them into marriage and conversion were contrary to teachings and personal examples of the Prophet Muhammad.
He described extremism as a cancer that needs to be attacked early before it grows malignantly out of control and harm the society.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari, in his goodwill message, on the occasion of the Maulud celebration also charged Muslims to follow the Prophet’s shining examples of non-violence, peaceful disposition and remarkable virtues of patience.
President Buhari said: “Putting into practice the great virtues for which the Holy Prophet Muhammad is historically famous and revered would have a far greater impact on changing our attitudes and behaviours than the best sermons ever will.
“The indiscriminate killing of innocent people, the kidnapping of female students and forcing them into marriage and conversion is contrary to teachings and personal examples of the Prophet Muhammad.
“Violent extremism is the single biggest challenge facing the image of Islam today which has been hijacked by a minority of misguided elements who are using religion to cover-up their criminal agenda.
“There is the urgent need for increased vigilance by Muslims in order to frustrate and stop the spread of violent ideologies that are causing human havocs and tragedies around the world.
“Extremism is like a cancer that needs to be attacked in its early stages before it grows malignantly out of control and harm the society.”
He also advised Muslims not to allow their children to be lured and recruited by extremists who will ultimately destroy their lives and future.