After Muslim leaders failed to sort out the Mangochi pork saga, President Joyce Banda on Monday met religious leaders in the district where he asked them to bury the hatchet and start living as brothers and sisters as it was before.
This comes barely a month after Muslims in Mangochi produced a banner written “No haraam foods in Mangochi, the Islamic State” which brought controversy and tension in the peaceful secular nation.
People talked and talked. Conclusions were made but no official statement “strongly” condemning the “provoking” banner from the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) was made.
Then it had to take President Banda to call for a roundtable discussion with religious leaders at Chikoko Bay in order to find the lasting solution to the problem.
During the meeting, President Banda appealed to both clerks to desist from doing things that will bring tension saying Malawi’s Penal Code encourages co-existence among people regardless of religious affiliation.
“I urge you to please put your religious differences aside and make sure that you live peacefully among yourselves. The issue of pork selling should not divide the people, I appeal to market leaders to designate specific places for pork sellers to avoid friction amongst the people. Those selling pork should also respect other people that do not eat pork” said President Banda.
On the Islamic state, the President appealed to all religious leaders in the country to avoid confrontation at all times.
“If you start chasing non-Muslims from Mangochi, what will happen to Muslims from Mangochi who are scattered across the country. Please let us avoid bringing anarchy in the country” warned the Malawi leader.
On his remarks, MAM Secretary General for Mangochi district Sheikh Ali Makalani, thanked President Banda for convening the meeting and promised that there won’t be any friction between Muslims and Non Muslims in the district.
“We understand that what is happening in Mangochi is giving Muslims a bad image. Pork sellers will be given designated places in our markets and we will peacefully coexist,” he said.
Pali zinthu zina sumafunika kulowelera amfumu ngati shop yaikulu ku BT inakana kusiyanitsa ma fridge a hallal ndi harram sanafune kuona ufulu wa anthu osadya nkhumba anthu aku Mangochi aloreji nkhumba kungulisidwa sizoona mau omwe ayakhula amfumuwo ndiofuna kuti MGH awole ndi umve ngati simukuziwa nkhumba ,mowa zinakabwela kale kale nthawi ya amfumu ana mwalira aja koma kunalibe okumwa ndi okudya ndiye anapanga pulani yakuzingulira malo kuchosa anthu ku chilomwe ku chisena ndi kuchingoni kubwela nawo ku MGH ndi cholinga choti azamwe mowa. Ndi Nkhumbazo abale azanga chonde zinthu zinazi tiziona kenako ayamba kungawa nkhumba mmalo mwa ng’ombe
In fact the issue here is a very sensitive one. It needs matured and sound political understanding of both fields ( Islamic as well as Secular politics ). The pork seller is one of those who always want to test waters. If they observe silent feedback, now they seem to have found a loophole for their agenda just as Chimbalanga and his Aunt Tiwo did was just to test waters of the constitution of Malawi and its tradition.
All in all what is needed is to respect other people’s religious rights as well as individual ones. And as for Muslim leaders, it is our duty to educate our followers how Islamic politics is all about. Not only that but the Muslim public of Mangochi in particular and Malawi as a whole also need to abide by one major principle in Islam and that is to listen and obey our leaders so long their guidance is in line with Shariah as regards to co-existence of citizens in a non-Islamic State like Malawi itself. For the leaders to fail to settle down the matter until they involve the State President shows that we do not obey our leaders and they are just rubber stamps to us, but is it like that? I strongly believe it isn’t. Thanks for Sh. Alie Makalani for his assurance to the Malawians in general that insha-Allah by all means him and his colleagues in leadership will make everything possible to compromise the situation and continue living together in peace and harmony. Jazaakallah Sh. Ali Malani. That’s competent leadership.