Norwegian Ambassador Asjborn Eidhammer has hailed Muslims for enhancing coexistence and religious tolerance in Malawi.
He was speaking on Monday at College of Medicine Sports Complex in Blantyre where he joined some 600 people to celebrate Malawi’s first ever Muslim awards event.
The coveted award ceremony which was organised by Malawi Muslims Official Website which is run by Muslim youth, sought to recognise Muslims contribution to Muslim community as well as Malawian society.
The Ambassador, who was the Guest of Honour, commended the Muslim community in the country for keeping peace.
“I hail Malawians and young Muslims in particular for making Malawi a peaceful country. Young Muslims are taking an active role in building the new Malawi. Malawi is a role model for other countries in the world as Muslim organisations and the churches work together,” Eidhammer said in his speech.
Making his remarks, Chairman for the organising committee Marshall Dyton said ‘‘ the aim of this event was to recognize, honour good practice, and celebrate the exemplary work of the illustrious brothers and sisters who have done a lot to the development of Islam and to the Malawi nation.’’
He added that the awards were one way to ensure that their contributions are not marginalised or overlooked.
Muslims and Organisations reaching up to 50 combined received their awards in different categories ranging from Dawah organisations, relief organisations to nasheeds.
He also said that this initiative was also designed to clear misconception that non-Muslims have towards Islam.
“Let me reiterate that terrorism has no religion and that Muslims are not violent people. As you have witnessed today through their profiles, you will see that Muslims are not enemies but citizen of this country as well as partners in development,” Dyton said.
Dyton also commended organisations and companies who sponsored the event in different ways.
Among the awardees were former president of Malawi Dr Bakili Muluzi who was given a special award for championing freedom of worship in Malawi, Muhammad Sidik Mia as the best Politician, Sister Mwalone Jangiya former legislator for Machinga Likwenu for being the first Muslim lady to put on hijab in the national assembly, former Malawi national football team player Swadick Sanudi for being a role model amongst Muslim youth, Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, Muhammad Uthman and sheikh Abdulkarim Kamwendo among other sheikhs for their tireless effort of lifting Islam in Malawi.
The best media Personnel went to Radio Islam’s Maulana Leman for his Islamic Hard talk program. And he got a scholarship to study a bachelor’s of arts in Journalism at Amity University.
While Mama Khadija Academy and Lilongwe Islamic secondary school were chosen as the best Islamic school.
Islamic Zakat Fund IZF was chosen as the best Islamic organisation.
Abdurrahman Chitemwe scooped the comedy and was awarded a scholarship at HBI Media services. With the best Nasheed artist award going to Ishmael Katawala but the best Nasheed award went to Amao which was done by Abdul Salam Mpira.
The event was sponsored by General Vision and Screen Printers, AMA Fashions, Radio Islam Malawi, Superior Halaal Meats, Kriss Offset and Screen Printers, HBI Media services.