Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) says it is happy with the Taskforce constituted by the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) that has finally resolved the billboard issue erected by the Islamic Information Bureau (IIB) in Blantyre.
The billboard was removed by Blantyre City Council (BCC) and later restored with altered message that sparked anger among Muslims in the country.
Briefing the media jointly organised by MAM, PAC and Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) yesterday ,MAM Spokesperson Sheikh Dinala Chabulika said they are happy with how the billboard issue has been handled.
“We are happy that the matter has been resolved amicably. We thank EAM that they have withdrawn some words which was in the letter addressed to CEO of Blantyre City Council, the words were that ‘Malawi is a predominantly Christian state,’
“The message on the billboard was not meant to undermine any Religion, we have come here to enhance peace and co-existence that’s why you will see the billboard has been revised,” Chabulika said.
The MAM Spokesperson has also hailed Muslims in the country for maintaining peace.
“We also thank the Muslim members for observing peace,”
In a statement from EAM signed by its Secretary general Reverend Francis Mkandawire and Chairperson Reverend Dr Chatha Msangambe, some words used in the letter addressed to BCC were not correct.
A statement also talked about religious coexistence and Mutual respect for each other’s faith and values.
“We have noted that certain words and expression namely ‘Malawi is a predominantly Christian’ and ‘Christian’s will take unspecified actions if the billboard is not removed within 7 days” in our letter addressed to chief Executive officer of Blantyre City Council have become so divisive,”
“We understand that our brothers in Muslim Association of Malawi , have expressed concern with such words and expression in our said letter. In a spirit of coexistence and peace, EAM hereby withdraw them,” reads a statement.
EAM says it needs peaceful coexistence with Muslims in the country.
“EAM and all its membership, we want to express and affirm our commitment to peaceful co-existence in and tolerance amongst all faith’s in the country, respecting each other’s beliefs and values, as we all exercise our constitutional rights. We, therefore, call upon our members across the country to respect and tolerate other faith’s just as we expected other Faith’s to do the same to us within the confines of the Constitution,” reads a statement.
Chairperson of the Special Taskforce, Reverend Father Dr Henry Saindi told Journalist that the billboard dispute has been finally resolved and concluded amicably following numerous meetings that took place with all concerned parties.
“The task force was given that sole responsibility lies in the duties of PAC board of governance to manage the conflict,the objective of this intervention is to contribute to the amicable management of dispute among concerned parties namely Evangelical Association of Malawi, Muslim Association of Malawi and Blantyre City Council,” Saindi said.