Paramount Chief Kawinga the supreme leader for the Yao community who was the guest of honour at this year’s Ziyara parade – the Holy Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, Milad un Nabi – in Blantyre says he sees no reason for Christians and Muslims in the country not to co-exist.
Kawinga said Islam and Christianity are but one religion and should not bring division amongst them in any area of development.
He added that just like the Holy book of Quran teaches about Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), the same Quran also teaches about Jesus Christ in Surah of Mariam.
“There is no reason why Muslims and Christians should fight each other. The same Quru’an which teaches us about Prophet Muhammad also teaches us about Jesus Christ. Therefore a Muslim who despises a Christian is not a genuine Muslim and also a Christian who despises a Muslim is not a real Christian,” said Kawinga.
The calls for coexistence come barely a week after Muslims and Christians clashed at Mangochi turn-off in Liwonde after two Muslim girls were prevented from attending class while wearing a Islamic head gear, hijab, at M’manga Primary School.
Kawinga, however, acknowledged that there could be school ownership wrangles among churches in the eastern region which he said is a sad development and hence he appealed for Muslim non governmental organisations (NGOs) to build more schools for the Muslim community.
Also speaking at this year’s Ziyara celebrations held under the theme ‘Islam the Religion of Peace for Mankind’ was Muhammad Abdul Jabbar, Coordinator for the AT-Tariqatul Qadiriyyah Sunni Muslim Association (AQSA), organisers of Ziyara parade in Blantyre who expressed happiness with non Muslims who also joined the celebrations held on Sunday at Mpingwe sports club.
However, conspicuously missing at this year’s Ziyara parade in Blantyre was government representatives and opposition political party leaders unlike in previous years when cabinet ministers and opposition political party leaders joined the commemorations.
In Lilongwe, they marched from Area 3 Mosque (Madrassah Noor Ul Islam) to Muslim Sports Club in Area 2.
The birthday of Prophet Muhammad falls on the Third Islamic Month is celebrated all over the world. During the celebrations, Muslims decorate their houses, offices and streets and give all types of gifts (Sadaqa and Khayraat), increase good deeds and have procession to show love and respect for their prophet.