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Eid ul-Fitr Prayer in Pemba, capital of the northern province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. [Photo; DW]
Mozambican Muslims celebrated the Eid al-Fitr, feast marking the end of Ramadan, this Tuesday (04-06). In northern Mozambique, the Muslim community repudiates actions by armed groups who “use the mantle of Islam” to carry out atrocities.
On the day that Muslims celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Fatima Momade, a Muslim living in the city of Pemba, sends a message of peace: “Civilisation is in Islam, peace is in Islam. Those people who use the Islamic religion to make their scandals, commit crimes, steal and carry out various sickening activities, are not Muslim. They are trying to tarnish Islam, but Islam will persist because it is peace.”
Villages in the northern province of Cabo Delgado have, since 2017, been targeted by insurgents who slaughter the inhabitants, loot goods and burn the houses, causing parts of the province to be abandoned.
The government is concerned and has stepped up security measures to put an end to this barbarism, provincial governor Júlio José Parruque said during prayers at the Pemba Municipal Stadium this Tuesday (04-06).
However, the Cabo Delgado governor acknowledged that no amount of security would be successful if it did not have the support of the population, and appealed for the intervention of the Muslim community.
“Security measures are visible in the province. They must necessarily be complemented by vigilance, and by denunciation of those who persist in living in the bush in order to sow disgrace, mourning and pain among the members of the Mozambican family,” Parruque said.
The governor also extolled unity. “We believe that a people united against the evildoers will never be defeated. Those who compromise with this heresy have their hands stained and want nothing more than to divert our focus on and our commitment to development.”
Muslims promise collaboration
Muslims distanced themselves from the terrorist actions that have been associated with their religion and pledged to collaborate with the authorities and denounce any suspicious activity within the communities.
“Peace is not just a matter of greeting one another, ‘Peace be upon you’ [‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’]; it has a deeper meaning,” the Imam at the Pemba Eid al-Fitr celebration said.
He went on to explain that “with us, peace begins toward our fellow men. Peace is not forcibly taking possession of the goods of the other, not engaging in intrigue or the defamation of others. Peace with our neighbours, regardless of their religion, is not in pointing weapons at the other … ”
Preparation for a better use of riches
The abundance of natural resources in Cabo Delgado does not pass unnoticed among the Muslim community, and one of the messages addressed to believers during prayers was the need to focus on the education and vocational training of their children, in order that they might take advantage of the same.
“It is in the domain of all of you that our country has been the scene of the discovery of many natural resources that demand highly qualified human capital. This is why it is urgent that we are constantly concerned about the education of our children, in order to respond to the demands of this new market,” the imam warned.
During the celebrations of the end of Ramadan in Pemba, the Muslim community also prayed for Mozambique to be an example for the pacification of the entire African continent, alluding to the agreement between the Mozambican government and Renamo, the country’s largest opposition party, to put an end to recurrent armed conflict in the country.Source: Deutsche Welle