Minister of lands, Housing and Urban development, Hon. John Bande has urged Muslims to practice their religion which literally means peace. Bande who is also Member of Parliament for Blantyre City East, was speaking at Mpingwe Sports Club in Limbe, Blantyre where he was guest of honour at this year’s National Holy Qur’an Competition.
Pointing at some words inscribed on the banner which read “Read The Holy Qur’an, The Last Testament” Bande said, “I like the word Holy. This is a good programme because our youth will grow with spiritual life. Islam is a religion of peace. But there are some youth who want to dent this true image of Islam. Their conduct is contrary to the practice and teachings of the religion. Said Bande who looked composed through his speech.
“Just recently, a certain group of young Muslims in Makheta were castigating and attacking Christians throughout their program in the name of comparative religion. Likewise, there is also an apostolic group that has been insulting Islam and Muslims.” He noted. “I don’t want this in my area”, he emphasized. “And I will make sure that the culprits are treated accordingly. You know his Excellency the president promotes peace and unity. We should live in harmony so that together we can develop this country.”
The minister continued his speech amid nods of heads from most dignitaries at the function. “This could degenerate into bad scenes. We should not allow our young ones who are the future of the country, to bring some chaos. Let us preach about love. Islam advocates for peace. Christianity advocates for peace.” said the humble and soft spoken minister.
Bande, a Christian, also recalled how he used to recite Islamic scriptures when he used to attend madrassa at Mkwate (Makheta) along with Muslim friends as a boy. “This reflects how good we co-exist. I know a lot of things about Islam.”
The minister also expressed his gratitude to Muslims who he said are in the fore front of several charity programmes that are taking place in his constituency in particular and the nation at large. “I am really humbled to be among these people.” He said, facing the front row that consisted of some respectable figures in the Muslim community.
“I am touched by the humble attitude of the Muslims who always assist but refuse to be mentioned. They just assist because they see the need to do so. Their help complements government’s efforts and programme of helping the less privileged and marginalized. Said Bande. He also assured Muslims that his door is always open when they need assistance.
Some of the distinguished guests and notable faces at the function were; Mufti Abbass Kassim, Al Barakah Director Brother Ibrahim Milanzi, Islamic Information Bureau Coordinator Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, IZF and Radio Islam Director Muhamad Osman, Mr Muhammad Nahd of Petroda, Abbass Panjuwan, Babu Aziz, Sheikh Muhammad Uthmaan, Chair lady of Muslim women Organisation and many others.
Holy Qur’an Competition is an annual event that is aimed at encouraging Muslims to learn the last Testament which was revealed to the last Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).