The Muslim community in Mozambique on 2 May celebrated the end of the fasting month of Ramadan with appeals to peace and harmony, particularly in the northern province of Cabo Delgado which has been ravaged by terrorist attacks perpetrated by jihadist groups since October 2017.
In Nampula province, Sheik Abdul Latifo stressed that Muslims repudiate armed violence and will cooperate with the government to identify those who are using Islam to manipulate and murder.
“We are facing the problem of terrorism in Cabo Delgado”, he said. “They are killing our fellow countrymen, burning down houses, destroying public and private buildings, and looting property. These bandits are trying, without success, to use the name of Islam, they have tried to use the name of Allah in their raids.
“They are trying to besmirch the good name of Islam”, said Latifo. “They have forgotten that, in Islam, human blood is sacred and must not be shed.”
Addressing the terrorists, he said, “We shall show society what Islam is. We shall warn our young people not to fall into your poisonous traps. We shall block any attempts to turn our youths into your instruments”.
Nampula provincial governor Manuel Rodrigues added, “We would urge our Muslim brothers to multiply their efforts to make our society a space for peaceful and harmonious co-existence between citizens of different religious beliefs”.
In Cabo Delgado, provincial governor Valige Tauabo, visiting Palma, one of the districts worst hit by terrorism, stressed the role of the Muslim community in resilience against armed violence.
He urged the public to remain vigilant against people trying to disturb the province in the name of religion.
In Maputo, Muslims spoke up against the renewed wave of kidnappings in the city, and the inability of the police to deal with them.
Recently, two young men were kidnapped in the city and nothing has been heard of them since. The kidnappers’ main targets are businesspeople, many of whom are Muslims.
Khalid Cassam, said, “the police should improve their work. We know it is not easy with the existing resources, but something must be done. We should not be living constantly in fear. The stability of a country depends essentially on the security of its people”.
This was the first time in three years that Mozambican Muslims celebrated the end of Ramadan in large public gatherings.
In 2020 and 2021, such gatherings were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. — AIM