Is Islam the problem or the victim of violence? Selective interpretation of sacred texts and the threat to living together in Africa
This chapter explores the role of interpretation of religious sacred texts by Muslim clerics in justifying acts of atrocities against the other. It highlights the complex influential power that the interpretation of sacred texts has in the conflicts reported in various parts of Africa. Though it is not only the rigid interpretation of one particular sacred text that has generated religious-based conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, the chapter focuses on the complex role the interpretation of the Qur’anic text in Islam has played in instigating conflicts witnessed on the continent. It interests in examining if there is doctrinal evidence in Islam that supports violence against the other. Frequent sectarian violence between the jihadists and other religious groups in sub-Saharan Africa is certainly a major feature of apparently difficult conflicts on the continent. Without exploring the context of the revelation of verses, the jihadi groups have categorically employed similar Qur’anic texts as their inspiration and sources to commit violence against non-Muslims.