Malawi Muslim women threaten boycotting Itijma over PP colours

Some Muslim women in the country are threatening to boycott this year’s Muslim women annual conference known as Ijtima in Arabic should the main organizing committee press ahead with using the new cloth for the event which has been printed in the ruling’s People’s Party (PP) colours.

Women who wanted to buy the cloth from the members of organizing committee on Friday in Blantyre returned without buying it after noticing that some signs on the cloth are in PP’s orange  colours contrary to previous cloths made for the similar event.

“We can’t buy that chitenje (cloth) as if we are into politics. Are we PP members?” Queried Mariam Yusufu, one of Muslim women who led a team of Muslim women to buy the cloth.

Previously the Ijtima cloth has been printed in green with white moon, star and inscriptions while this year’s cloth is printed in dark colours with orange moon and a star.

Muslim women at last year's Ijitima
Muslim women at last year’s Ijitima

Yusufu said it is very unfortunate that “our leaders are turning religion into business contrary to the teachings of Islam.”

Another woman Khadija Chipunga said she was not surprised with the move saying the main organizing committee has done this to please President Joyce Banda who is expected to grace the occasion which expected to be held in Blantyre.

“I am not surprised with the move because last year it was the same committee which received K2million from the President during the official opening of the similar event in Mzuzu. So this year they want to make more money as they want to use the function to sell PP agenda,” she said.

Another group of woman led by Abiti Aman has asked the organizing committee to explain why they put pink colours on the cloths.

“Let religious functions be separated from political events and those who want politics should not do it behind the Islam.”

Nyasa Times has also learnt that even the speech which the chairlady of Muslim Women Organization Fatima Ndaila is expected to present during the event has been drafted by the employees of the state broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting corporation in  which they have highly applauded President Banda for appointing Muslims in government’s top positions.

Muslim women in Malawi have of late been accused of putting the religion into disrepute for their tendency of mixing religions with politics.

Former president Bakili Muluzi and several Muslim clerks recently faulted Muslim women who were seen dancing during the political rally organized by President Banda at Nancholi township  in the commercial capital Blantyre.

But PP’s lawmaker Yusuf Matumula  M accused former president Muluzi of double standards, saying  Muslim women were singing and dancing for him when he was in power.

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