Muslims Distance Themselves from Efforts to Curb Religious Intolerance

January 11, 2006

Source: The Daily Times

On January 11, 2006 The Daily Times reported, "Moselms from the Northern Region have distanced themselves from recent efforts by the Public Affairs Committee (Pac) aimed at curbing religious intolerance in the country, saying they were not consulted. The religious community comprising all major religious groups in the country met in February last year under the umbrella of Pac to deliberate issues concerning religious co-existence in the country. This led to the inception of the 'Peace and Unity to all Malawians' initiative that seeks to promote tolerance among the country’s religious groups... Northern Region Moslem Association of Malawi (Mam) chairman Lifa Binali said in an interview they have not been part and parcel of discussions to bring peace among different religious groups in the country... 'We therefore call upon Pac to start afresh at the grassroots level for Muslims to fully understand their message before it is preached in our mosques,' reads part of [a letter sent to Pac recently by the Northern Region Mam]. But Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP deputy general secretary Maurice Munthali, who is also Pac executive member, said the initiative is not meant to consult individual churches at grassroots level. 'You don’t debate matters of religious tolerance. If they say they don’t want religious tolerance, what else do they want?' he said. Munthali said religious tolerance has to be there no matter what it takes."