The Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) has strongly bemoaned the tendency by some Muslim politicians who are using Islam for their political gains.
Speaking before the Eid-al-Adha prayers in Mangochi on Friday, Secretary General for MAM Alhaj Twaibu Lawe said it is impossible for all Muslims to belong to one political party therefore nobody should claim that all Muslims are behind him because he is a Muslim.
“There two things that Muslims in Malawi are supposed to be careful of but the biggest of all is the issue of Shiasim. Shiasim is dangerous and should not be accommodated in Malawi. Second thing is that it seems other people are failing to separate the issues of politics and religion. They forget that it is not possible for all Muslims or all sheikhs to belong to one political party because we have so many political parties where we also have many Muslim leaders. Therefore, for someone to come open and claim that all Muslims or all sheikhs are behind him or belong to one political party is not true and it is impossible. We are in multiparty dispensation where everyone has the right to join a party of his or her choice,’ he said.
Lawe therefore urged Muslims not to mix politics with anything that is contradictory to the teachings of Islam.
“For example, we are at this function and people have dressed according to the event we are having. If you saw somebody here in party colors you would be surprised. The same applies to political rallies. So, the putting on of full Islamic regalia in political rallies as if it is an Islamic function is unacceptable and must stop. Don’t organize a function, cheating people it is an Islamic when in fact you want to talk about politics and visa versa.
“MAM’s policy is that everyone is free to join any political party which they want just that when they go there, they should be able to separate politics from religious stuff. We don’t want a repetition of what happened sometime back [during the after math of 1999 general elections] when Muslims in northern region lost their houses and saw their mosques demolished because of other people who were mixing religion and politics,” said the MAM SG.
It is now 18 years since some non-Muslims in the northern region of Malawi went into rampage – destroying mosques and houses belonging to Muslims after the post electoral violence on 15th June 1999. This happened because the winning President then, Dr Bakili Muluzi is a Muslim and the majority of his top gurus of his party the United Democratic Party (UDF), were also Muslims.
These Muslim top officials were allegedly forcing any Muslim to support UDF and anyone who chose to belong to any other party was labeled not a true Muslim. So, the mentality of saying just because UDF was founded by a Muslim then every Muslim should be ‘Yellow’, is what forced those disgruntled non-Muslims in the north to ignorantly associate Muluzi, his UDF and his religion.