The Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has given a stern warning to all Islamic units and clerics to be decorous in their preaching during the month-long Ramadan period so they do not spark sectoral conflicts.
During Ramadan, Muslim Ulamas preach the word of the Holy Quran and propagate the deeds (Hadis) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
It is in this vein that the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Sa-eed, who is Chairman of REGSEC, met with the leadership of the Tijaniya, Sunni, Ahmadiya and the Shia groups in Tamale, to set guidelines for their sermons, in order to entrench peaceful coexistence throughout the fasting and prayer time.
The Minister, in an exclusive interview with Class91.3FM’s Northern Regional Correspondent, Mohammed Gadafi, indicated that the Imams have won the admiration of the Muslim populace to lead them, but was quick to say that, in their attempt to educate the people to appreciate the teachings of Islam in the Ramadan period, they veer off and impugn other Muslim sects.
Such conduct, Mr Sa-eed said, festers unnecessary tension that leads to violent confrontation.
Sometimes, he noted, it starts as a row between sects and gradually degenerates into a fight between supporters of the two main political parties – New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) – and later morphs into a chieftaincy clash between rival royal gates, Abudu and Andani.
“So, we want to caution ourselves, if you study disasters and crisis in every country or any part of the world, one of the best measures to put in place is to prevent, so, preventive measures are always cost-effective and also it spares people time, so, people are able to leverage the limited time and resources they have – whether government or whatever – to use it to do other development issues, instead of solving crisis and managing conflicts. So, that informed me as Chairman of REGSEC to invite them for a dialogue,” he stated.
Mr. Sa-eed, commended the Muslim leaders for swiftly attending the meeting.
He believes the Imams should serve as public complaints units for people to air their frustrations while ensuring and keeping the peace of the area.
It was also resolved at the meeting that a committee will be setup, comprising prominent members from all the Islamic sects, to monitor proceedings on the radio airwaves to ensure that people preach the word of the Holy Quran and not attack others. Any infractions would be reported to the Regional Security Council and punitive sanctions taken against culprits found guilty.