should the Tanzanian police put Muslim clerics and their sheep under surveillance?
Muslim clerics have been warned against sermons that provoke religious tensions.
The warning was given here yesterday by Ansaar Muslim Youth Centre (AMYC) director Sheikh Salim Barahiyan, when commenting on a Muslim preacher’s sermon on Friday afternoon which annoyed Christians and Muslims after one of the Ansaar’s Sheikh Juma Ali Juma preached at a Makorora mosque.
Sheikh Barahiyan, who is also Mudir of Ansaar, insisted that Islam was a religion which embraced peace and love among its faithful and other non-Muslims. (Paskal Mbunga)
He said even the holy Qur’an stressed the importance of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims.
He condemned the use of hate sermons, saying the country could not make any stride if there was no stability.
“Supposing you aim at convincing a non-Muslim to join your religion, obviously you are going to speak the good of your religion, but if you are wise enough, you won’t scorn other people’s religions,” he said, adding: “While we call for religious tolerance, we should not entertain hate sermons.”
Last Friday in Saad bin Mwazi mosque, Sheikh Juma was quoted in his sermon as calling on Muslims not to cooperate with Christians because they were infidels. He insisted that Muslims should not take part in Christian festivals like Christmas, Easter and other celebrations, including baptism and confirmation.
The Ansaar Sheikh went further calling on Muslims not to participate in Christian funeral services, saying Christians were supposed to be buried as dogs because they were just infidels.
“Let me tell you if you came from a Christian father or mother, but you got assimilated, consider yourself you are lucky. But if one of your parents is deceased, you shouldn’t burry him or her, but just put him/her in the grave as if you doing it to a dead dog,” he said.
However, when the cleric was called by his boss, Sheikh Barahiyan in the presence of reporters, he agreed to have preached hate sermons, but regretted for offending the non-Muslims, promising not to repeat it.
Since the founding of the Saad bin Mwazi mosque in Makorora half a decade ago, most residents of the area, including Christians and Muslims have been listening to hate sermons uttered in the mosque.