The dissemination of the correct interpretation of Islam is one way Islamic scholars could help defeat al-Shabab, according to a VOA panel discussion held Saturday in Nairobi.
Panel members agreed an ideological war, combined with military power, must be waged in the fight against the militant group.
Some panel members voiced concern that the way Kenyan security forces treat some communities is resulting in young people turning to al-Shabab.
One panel member spoke about allegations of extrajudicial killings by the Kenyan forces.
However, the panel said the most successful way to diminish the threat of al-Shabab is to confront the militant group inside Somalia, where the group has been pushed from its strongholds but continues to launch attacks.
Panel members included Gamal Hassan, Somalia's ambassador to Kenya; Abdikadir Ore Ahmed, a lawmaker from Wajir in the ethnic Somali northeastern region of Kenya; Dr. Abdirahman Baadiyow, an Islamic scholar and politician; Asha Abdalla, a former lawmaker and activist; Dr. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdi, author; and Professor Abdiwahab Abdisamad of Nairobi University.