As part of the efforts to ensure a conflict-free and peaceful society through alternative narratives, Dar al-Andalus Centre held a two-day literary workshop on “Shari’ah Intelligence, Constructive Alternative Narratives and the Role of Writers in the Prevention of Extremism and Violence for Northern Writers,” which took place from Monday 4 – Tuesday 5 April 2021, in Kano State.
The workshop objective was to expose Hausa writers to the discourses that lead to violent and extremist ideologies. With this knowledge, they can incorporate the themes into their plots and use the skill of storytelling to unravel the ideologies. To achieve this, a total of 30 authors were invited from Kano. While the majority of them are writers of fictitious Hausa novels, some have also ventured into script-writing for Hausa movies and television series. A good number of them have over 10 publications.
The workshop addressed 4 key topics, which were all delivered in the native Hausa language. These are:
- Constructive Alternative Narratives
- Shari’ah Intelligence
- Strategy to Writing a Literary Work
- Media Ethics
Constructive Alternative Narratives
This topic uses the theme of the newly published DAAC book titled “Jihad Against Extremism and Violence: Alternatives to the Discourses of Extremist Groups” written by a group of Islamic scholars. The two-part session addresses the contemporary issues spread among some youths in Nigeria. It attempts to clarify all the cloudy areas around the faulty translation and interpretations of some texts Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that are used in justifying violence. It uses the orthodox methodologies to clear misconceptions and misinterpretations around the texts usually quoted out of context.
How does a person detect and recognise misdirection and faulty fatwas (religious verdicts). This topic exposes participants to the basics of Usul (foundation of Islamic jurisprudence) and Maqasid (ultimate objectives of Islamic laws) as the critical thinking tools in the field of Islamic law and its application.
Strategy to Writing a Literary Work
Delivered by a renowned professor of Hausa Literature, this session covers the major areas where people overlook while writing. For example, proofreading, second-hand proofreading, word separations etc. For word separations in Hausa, it is not always easy to know where a word ends and where another begins. As most published writers did not attend a formal education in Hausa Literature, this is a common occurrence in their writeups. The session looked over of the most commonly mis-separated words for the participants.
The topic covers the ethical foundations for working in the media sector. It promotes and defends values such as a universal respect for life and the rule of law and legality. It also defines and deals with ethical questions about how media should use texts and pictures provided by the people.
At the end of the sessions, the participants were grouped into 5 and given a topic with which to come up with a story surrounding it. For two hours they brainstormed and produces their pieces. The workshop ended with certificate presentations and group pictures.