Tanzania: VP Warns Clerics Over Hate-Speech

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Moshi — THE Vice-President Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal has called on religious leaders to continue preaching peace, love and unity and warned those inclined to preach hatred to stop it henceforth, saying any breach of peace would cost the nation dearly.

Addressing Eid-El-Hajj Baraza at Jihad Mosque in Vuchama, Mwanga district in Kilimanjaro region yesterday, the Vice-President said the recent violence that erupted in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam was a result of unnecessary hate-speeches made by some Muslim clerics.

“For many decades, Tanzania has not witnessed religious-motivated conflicts. This will not be allowed to happen again. Worshippers need to know that conflicts resulting from trivial issues like fighting for ownership of a mosque are uncalled for. Chaos taints the good image of the worshippers,” Dr Bilal said.

He stressed that the government would take appropriate measures against the perpetrators of violence, saying it is easy to break peace but very costly to restore it. Dr Bilal reminded the faithful to read carefully the Holy Quran and treasure its many verses which teach about peace and unity and implored religious leaders to use the scripture to talk about peace instead of hatred.

“Our elders cherished peace and unity. They did respect individual’s faith. It is now our turn to pass the good deeds to the future generations,” he said. Vuchama people will remember Dr Bilal for a rare Eid gift. He contributed 5m/- for Vuchama Mosque Islamic Centre during a fund-raiser that aimed at collecting money for construction of a nursery, primary and secondary school in the area at an estimated cost of 4.3bn/-.

Speaking on the occasion, (Eid Baraza), Acting Mufti of Tanzania Alhajj Ismail Habib Makusanya urged the government to take action against all religious leaders and politicians bent on causing violence and hatred. He said the country has enjoyed peace, unity and stability for years but today some selfish people are using religion and politics to cause chaos.

“We are for peace and harmony. Total freedom of worship is our right,” Sheikh Makusanya explained. The Secretary of the Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA) Sheikh Suleiman Lolila urged the government to conduct investigations into chaos instigated by a few individuals who he said should face justice. Eid-El-Hajj Salat led by Acting Mufti, Alhajj Makusanya was conducted at national level at Jihad Mosque.

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