The True Story about Mangochi Muslims Incident

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    Ibrahim Matola: Addressing the PP supporters who gathered at Thundu FP School in Zomba on Saturday
    Ibrahim Matola: Addressing the PP supporters who gathered at Thundu FP School in Zomba on Saturday

    Last week there was a population weekend. And both two big Muslim organisations in the country Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) and Qadriya Muslim Association of Malawi (QMAM) decided to take part in the exercise which was spearheaded by USAID aimed at sensitizing People on the benefits of family planning.

    Before the event, there was a pre-meeting where it was resolved that MAM should do the exercise at Mangochi town while QMAM should go to Mangochi Rural.

    MAM conducted its exercise at Chomba Mosque which is behind ADMARC while QMAM was at Miwale Mosque in Katema Area T/A Mponda. They were all accompanied by state owned MBCTv crew.

    However, in Katema the TV crew managed to do one on one interview but at Chomba Mosque they just recorded a lecture and decided to do the interview at Mangochi Islamic Information Bureau with Sheikh Ahmed Mwanyali and other Muslim women. That was around 11am. But TV Cameraman wanted a background for his story so went to Mangochi Main Mosque where he started shooting while Muslims were making their udhu (ablution). To him, informing Mwanyali was enough that’s why he didn’t ask for permission from the Muslims he found at the mosque.

    But Muslims got angry and confiscated the camera since they were not informed why they were being captured.

    After noting that things were getting out of hand, the TV crew approached two cabinet ministers, Honourable Ibrahim Matola and Ralph Jooma who were in town for their own businesses for their intervention in pleading with the irate Muslims to retain the camera.

    The first to arrive was Honourable Jooma who was accompanied by his board guard and a certain  Sheikh. So, after reaching at the venue, the sheikh (who was with Hon. Jooma) was the first to talk to the Muslims but this yielded nothing and people started beating the sheikh.

    Then there came Honourable Matola who upon after hearing the story, didn’t say anything and just left the venue together with his colleague Jooma.

    Matola who is a Muslim, left the place for  Zomba where he was a main speaker at the People’s Party PP rally held at Thundu Full Primary School.

    The TV crew then went to Police where they admitted that they were wrong and urged the Muslims to get back the camera which proved futile. Right now, the camera is at the mosque, with Muslims refusing to release it until they are told the reason  behind the shooting without permission.

    But no any bodyguard of either two ministers was beaten nor was Honourable Matola except Honorable Jooma, who according to  eye witnesses was slapped twice as he was leaving the place.

    8 COMMENTS

    1. they deservd to be beaten…zea z no logic n wat ze camera operators did 1. how can zey shoot a background far from ze rill event wat was ze essence of that 2. wat am geting from ze camera operators z wen sam1 steal/ snatch our property we shud report to ministers? as u call ze above story true am caling ze beaten of ze camera operators as justifiable

    2. It was entirely wrong for the cameraman to start shooting without permission. The good thing is he apologized because he realized he did not act professionally.

      I am a Muslim myself and wholly support the action my fellow Muslims took in confiscating the camera. what I do not agree with however is the beating up of the minister (Jooma) if it really happened. My understanding is that he came to make peace and if possible ask the Muslims to give back the camera. I do not therefore understand why a negotiator had to be beaten up. In any case even if the minister was the culprit he did not merit any beating, dialogue should always be given a chance.

      I also would want my fellow Muslims to accept the apology that was made by the camera man much as he was not present at the police station on Monday. I can understand why he did not come. With the beating incident he is likely to fear for his life and he was justified to stay away.

      My support for the confiscation of the camera stand as long as the intention is to point out wrong doing on the side of MBC tv and I suppose a lesson has been learnt by the cameraman. For me this is enough, give back the camera.

      Let us remember that our reaction to issues also portray what sort of people we are. In this regard there is a wrong image of Islam that we are creating. Islam means peace, the teachings of Islam do not support violence and we have just to abide by the teachings. We must also realize that as far as the incident is concerned, it did not have any traits of arrogance or ill will against Islam. Unless am missing something in the whole incident, it was just a miss in the protocol of journalism and this I guess is no grave error to warrant an overreaction on our part as Muslims.

      I may write and write but the bottom line of what I am saying is that we have managed to send the signals to MBC tv and the cameraman that as citizens we need respect, in this case being approached so that we give consent to them to shoot videos. We must accept the apology and give back the camera without delay. We should appreciate that our national TV station is poor and that single camera that we are keeping has paralyzed the operations of the station.

      I also hope that the authorities of the mosque where this happened will see it fit to apologize to Honourable Jooma, not because he is a minister but because he was wronged.

      • I don’t understand the role of the said ministers. If wronged, don’t we in Malawi have places where to lodge the complaint? Why calling the ministers first place instead of relying on the law enforcers? I can smell a rat in the whole saga. If I knew i neighbor a minister that’s not warrant enough to lodge my complaints to them. I think the cameraman has a real motive which he really has to elaborate before we talk of forgiving him. Even if the police were said not to be helpful he needn’t call the ministers. he’s got an intimidatingly mentality thinking that with the mention of the ministers the people would fear or respect him.
        I find nothing wrong in faulting the minister Jooma! When did he become a peace keeper? Ndipo anamenyedwa pang’ono anayenera kumenyedwa zenizeni ameneyo asiye kulowelera ntchito zosakhala zawo.

      • Chaiwone wawo. Very well put, message has been sent and the camera needs to returned. We need to forgive others when wronged. It does not mean weakness, it just shows how dignified the person/a group is.

    3. I worry for my Religion. It is a good Religion but the majority of its members are very violent. Imagine a person is just coming from a Mosque and he is beating people just outside the Mosque. What was there which needs hiding forever? I have seen pictures of people taking their ablutions. Anything wrong with that? The conduct of taking ablution before prayers is ordained by God Himself. There is no privacy in this conduct. It is done at an open place and any person can take pictures of that conduct if he or she is interersted to have those pictures. Without seeking any permission from any body. Or are we ashamed of this conduct?

      • This is absurd and backward thinking. I don’t think it’s coming from a genuine muslim. It’s not being ashamed being shot while taking ablution No! understand the situation my dear brother/whatever you are. I don’t think it’s proper to take pictures of people without their consent. It wouldn’t matter whether the people are engaged in a good course or not. Taking a photo of someone dressed or naked you need to have their permission, period!

    4. As far as I am concerned, no any amount of public relations will make a non-Muslim think or treat a Muslim with any kind of dignity he/she deserves. To a non-Muslim, a Muslim is a violent person not because he is but because this what they are taught from cradle to the tomb. Now when I hear my Muslim brothers say that we should not portray a bad picture of Islam by avoiding violence, I say this that NO AMOUNT OF PUBLIC RELATION CAN MAKE THESE NON-MUSLIMS STOP THINKING NEGATIVELY ABOUT MUSLIMS. Stop being apologetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5. Almost the three quarters of our islamic society in the world is in deep unrest, people are praying on grounds during war, women and children are raped and killed day by day, portraits written Lailaha illa llah lifted up but stained with blood, the religion of peace!
      What peace! Killing innocent people is that peace? All this is because when islam is led by people who can’t even read surat fatiha, it will remain in wrong direction. We will be misled for unaccountable years. Where is tolerance? Forgiveness?, respect, love? and all these good manners we claim to learn from our prophet?(SAW)
      They say what we show in public is what we’re taught in our families.
      Don’t misbehave you let people insult your parents, don’t insult other peoples gods you will let them insult your Lord and prophet and you will be a reason.
      Every muslim who is behind these has charges to answer on the day of judgement before the Lord for the insults of non muslims to Allah and the prophet because of other reckless, indecent, indespline, individuals in our ummah, who want islam to live by their evil example.
      Islam will remain the best religion ever but your bad manners will follow you into your grave,may Allah forgive you.

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