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VP cautions African Muslim scholars

16th December 2012
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Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal

Muslim Communities across Sub Saharan African region should desist from succumbing on the demands pushed by some Islamic groups and networks bent on threatening the cohesion that has existed between them and people of other religions.

Vice President Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal made the call yesterday in Dar es Salaam when addressing African Muslim scholars from 42 different African countries who gathered to deliberate matters related to the development of Islamic religion in Africa.

He cautioned scholars and requested them to continue maintaining good relationships with fellow citizens of the Christian religion in various countries, noting the fact that there are many believers of both religions. Contrary to that, Africa is likely to witness massive religious clashes like what has started to emerge in Nigeria and even Tanzania, for decades marked for its religious harmony.

A three day meeting under the theme that highlighted “the conduct of former prophets” ends tomorrow, with Tanzanian Muslims expecting to get more food for thought as there are various presentations from experts and lecturers from the Islamic University of Kuwait and others.

The meeting has been organized by a newly formed organization of Muslim Scholars in Africa which was established in 2011 with its headquarters in Bamako, Republic of Mali. Scholars from the Tanzania Muslim community joined the organization early this year.

Addressing the congregation in Swahili and translated into Arabic Dr Bilal said that he was optimistic that the meeting would critically discuss the recent religious clashes which happened in the country with a view to seeking out communicative ways to live in a peaceful manner as this is a sign of respecting followers of another person’s religion.

“A belief should not be taken as a quarrel, but it should be a means of building us morally, bearing in mind that one ethical criterion of living is to have good relations with the people you live together irrespective of their religious beliefs,” he said.
The world in which we live is a globalised sphere and there is no community which can live in isolation like an island, he said, cautioniong African Muslim scholars and other religious leaders  to look into how the globalization process in Africa will not affect their religious beliefs.

It is upon African religious leaders to direct their leadership codes to cultivate good conduct of their followers, taking note of how people of all religious persuasions would benefit from developments in science and technology revolutionizing ways of living and development in general, the VP declared.

Earlier the President of African Muslim scholars Tanzania chapter, Sheikh Amran Suleiman Kilemile stressed that Tanzania joined the organization with a view to enhance communication with scholars from other African countries and share experiences.
The network is also directed at finding a lasting solution of the numerous problems facing Muslims in the country, which he declined to specify when asked. Tanzania membership would have an advantage of knowing what is going on in other countries, the veteran religious scholar noted.

“We expect after this meeting to come up with resolutions to reform Islamic institutions and Muslims who live in the Sub-Saharan Africa region so that the organization takes up tasks of    resolving various problems in education and in the social and economic way of life. Other resolutions would relate to the promotion of the Islamic religion, the cleric added.

SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY