Islamic organizations in the country have been asked to start preparing themselves ahead of 2014 tripartite elections.
The call came from Dr Yusuf Aufi who is also interim leader of Maravi Peoples Party and Sheikh Abdullah Mdala at Radio Islam’s weekly programme of contemporary issues monitored by this website.
“Islamic organizations need to firstly organize themselves and work as a block regardless of party affiliations or where one is coming from because Muslims are one,” said one of the panelists Sheikh Abdullah Mdala.
Mdala further said after such a union, Muslims need to do a fact finding in order to establish a number of things, which among them is to civic educate the Muslim community the importance of elections.
“They need know the importance of voting. The Islamic organizations should help them to choose a good leader because according to Islam, leadership is based on amaana (trust) therefore whomsoever has been entrusted with such a responsibility must do so knowing that at the end of the day they will be accountable to the people that elected them and then to Allah who is the creator of the universe where we all shall return,” continued Mdala.
Another issue that came up in the debate was the issue of politics. People wanted to know whether Islam allows people to take part in politics. Some callers also wanted to know if the mixture of politics and religion won’t have any effect on the Islamic organization’s affairs.
To answer this question the panelists said that participation in voting is a right of every Malawian citizen.
“As Muslims, we also have to take part in both areas. We have a right to justice as we have a right to vote – at the same time we also have a right to be voted for at any level provided one has qualifications and has met the requirements for that role. Such being the case, the question of whether Islam permits politics or not does not arise,” said another panelist Yusuf Aufi.
Aufi further hinted that Islamic originations have a bigger role in civic educating the masses about the roles duties and responsibilities of both voters as well as candidates.
“For example, if the Malawi Electoral Code of Conduct Stipulates that parties /candidates should not insult each other, Islamic organizations have a very big role in bringing in the Islamic perspective on conduct of a Muslim towards a fellow Muslim, manners of a Muslim towards a fellow non Muslim,” he said.
The panelists however said time has come for Malawi Muslims to realize that they are Muslims first, Malawi citizens second. Therefore there is a need to work together towards a common goal of looking after the interest of all Muslims in Malawi regardless of party affiliations.
These so called muslim politicians are not trustworth. They are after our votes,when voted they treat us like rotten potatoes. For your information see Dr. Cassim Chilumpha, Uladi Musa and Ibrahim Matola just mention the few. The above mentioned so called muslim politicians, what these muslims has done to our muslim cpmmunities????
Is indeed important for the Muslim community in Malawi to know their rights as citizens of the country. This include the right to vote. So, when it comes to civic education, yes the Islamic organisations have got a duty to educate their members so that they are aware of their rights as Malawians and as Muslims. And what kind of people they should vote for if they want to be represented well.
On the issue raised by brother Ahmad Mapira, in as far as we would want our Muslim brothers and sisters who are in the political arena to do something for the Muslim community, we should understand the way governments are run. Government, does not run on someone’s pocket but on tax payers money. So, the tax payers would demand equal distribution of the national cake. So, the question is, do we as Muslim have leverage/power to lobby our representatives to bring some developments in our areas that will benefit all and not only Muslims, because Malawi is not an Islamic state. So, what we need is our organisations to have influence,leverage,power to lobby the government to do some projects that are shari’ah compliant but beneficial to all the communities.
How do we achieve this? The only way we can achieve this, is to make sure that we are educated both Islamically and secularly. That way, we will have influential people in more key decision making positions of the government. We will have more people where developmental policies and decisions are made. Hence, the chances that our people can lobby for projects to benefit Muslims as well as others will be high.
I understand that there could be more ways in which we can improve the way we are being perceived by the politicians but this is just one of them.