Yemen's mosques began offering courses aimed at instilling a culture of moderation thorough memorising and understanding the Qur'an.
New courses began on the first day of Ramadan under the slogan "to build a moderate and patriotic generation", according to officials.
"The capital's mosques continue to carry out their religious role by teaching the Qur'an and its sciences, with 86 Qur'an memorisers graduating July 19th following the first course instalment," said Qaid Mohamed Qaid, the director general of endowments and guidance at Amanat Sanaa.
"The schools are carrying on their enlightening role in educating students, especially those more than 12 years of age, about the principles of Islam as a religion of moderation and tolerance, and immunising them against the extremism and radicalism some terrorist groups practice in the name of religion," he said.
Qaid said Qur'an memorisation schools are important, adding that they "contribute to building a generation armed with education and faith far removed from extremism".
Yemen's Minister of Endowments and Guidance Hamoud Abad echoed Qaid's sentiment.
In an interview with the official Yemeni news agency Saba, Abad said the "state and its government care about the youth and developing their capabilities in all fields, including teaching them about the Book of God, its sciences and mastering reading and reciting it, aiming to instil in them a culture of moderation".
He said the schools are set up to teach the Qur'an and religious duties under the ministry's supervision. They play a role in caring for the younger generation, educating them and filling their free time with beneficial activities, he added.
Sheikh Jabri Ibrahim, the ministry's director general of preaching and guidance, said these schools play an important role "in view of the rise in terrorist operations targeting innocent people that have recently claimed dozens of lives".
The ministry seeks, through Qur'an memorisation centres, "to educate the youth on the importance of moderation", he said.
Ibrahim described the role of these Ramadan courses, saying that terrorists often exploit them at the onset of the holy month to recruit youth for ill purposes under the pretext Ramadan is the month of jihad.
True jihad, however, "is performed in support of God's religion and the vulnerable, to protect the land, defend rights and deter the enemy", he said.
"The role of preachers and counsellors is to counter extremist thought by clarifying confusion [in interpretation] and highlighting the principles of Islam, which are based on moderation, tolerance and acceptance of others, including non-Muslims, as long as they do not usurp Muslim land," said Sheikh Ahmed Hussein Hafeez, the preacher at Sanaa's Radwan mosque.
Courses "also explain that jihad is not represented by terrorists who carry out their attacks in Muslim countries and kill innocent people", Hafeez said.
"We have made it clear to our students that terrorist elements use young people to carry out their bombing operations and that this is forbidden in Islam," he said. "Terrorism has no religion and God has imposed a severe penalty for taking a life. [The Qur'an says that] killing one man is the same as killing all mankind, and saving one life is like saving all mankind."
"We have been keen to teach our students not to kill people of other faiths, for our Prophet has said: I acquit myself of whoever kills a muaahid [non-Muslim promised safety]," Hafeez said. "This is proof of the error committed by those who speak in the name of religion, but [in reality] are far removed from it, because [non-Muslims] have entered with the permission of the guardian of the Muslims."