The Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) has appealed to youth in the religion to prioritise education to clear misconceptions that Islam does not encourage education and was behind high illiteracy levels in some parts of Malawi.
MAM executive member for Balaka and Ntcheu, Sheikh Salim Abdul-Maliki George, said Islam continues to receive negative publicity on the entrenchment and promotion of education because of few numbers of Muslim youths who have successfully completed their education.
George made the remarks last Friday in Balaka during a family planning awareness ceremony.
The ceremony was jointly organised by Futures Group-Health Policy Project (HPP) and faith leaders to discuss family planning issues and the need to control population growth while citing relevant verses from the holy books.
“Since time immemorial, people have associated Islam with vices such as early marriages. I’m able to understand them because the number of educated Muslim youths, especially in Balaka and Ntcheu, isn’t impressive,” said George, who is also public relations officer for Al-Barakah Trust (Dawa Department).
He was, however, quick to dispel rumours that Islam discourages its followers from attaining education.
Sheikh George said, just like many other religions, Islam regards education as an integral component in the achievement people’s spiritual, social and economic transformation.