Imams should educate on population growth and economic development, says Sana’a U. professor [Archives:2008/1179/Local News]

August 7 2008

SANA'A, Aug. 5 ) In a lecture delivered at Saba Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. Ahmed Al-Rafiq, Professor of Economics at Sana'a University, said that Imams are responsible for educating the public on economic matters too, as well as the usual moral and societal issues.

Al-Rafiq said that Imams should be aware of the economic and social situations in the country in order to reflect these issues in their sermons and deal with them in a moderate way, away from extremism that is a result of ignorance of society's real issues.

Al-Rafiq said that some preachers don't include economic and development issues in their sermons nor do they show the relationships of these issues to dangerous practices such as terrorism, extremism, drug selling and smuggling, adding that each of these issues has an economic effect on the entire country.

He confirmed that educating extremists and guiding them back onto the right path is the duty of preachers, who should also hold dialogue sessions with extremists to teach them about Islam's real principles, including tolerance.

In his lecture Al-Rafiq, stated that the high rate of population growth is one of the issues that preachers should pay attention to more often in their sermons and religious lectures, particularly given that Yemen's population is growing at an estimated 3.5 percent per year – one of the highest growth rates in the world. Al-Rafiq maintained that this high rate should leave no scope for more argument as its risks are clear to all people in the society.

“Every five minutes