Center for harmonisation, islamic website Launched

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A center for the harmonisation of schools of thought was on sunday inaugurated at a ceremony presided over by Alhagie Ismaila Sambou, secretary of state forLocal Government, Lands and Religious Affairs.

Situated along Kairaba Avenue, opposite the Pipe line Mosque, the Center is said to be the first of its kind in The Gambia, and that it would serve to complementing government’s efforts in maintaining peace, tolerance and social harmony among the people of the country. The complex, which is also fitted with a library, was inaugurated alongside the launching of an Islamic Website.  

According to the founders of the center, the main objective of the center is in line with President Jammeh’s called for Muslims to unite and engage in dialogue and open discussions for mutual understanding and harmony.
The President’s call, they said, equally emphasizes the need for Muslims and followers of other religions to continue to dialogue for the sake of national peace and stability. Amongst the aims of the Center is to encourage tolerance and dialogue among islamic scholars, groups or sects, and to eventually eliminate unnecessary differences, misunderstanding and conflicts among Muslims in The Gambia and beyond.

Speaking at the ceremonies, Alhagie Ousman Jah, the founder and the Executive Director of the Center, remarked that the Islamic Ummah continues to face serious challenges in the modern world where the existence and survival of islam as a religion and a civilization continued to be threatened by its enemies who unfairly view it as an obstacle to world peace and stability.

According to him, the unity of Muslims under the present circumstances is paramount. He also said that taking measures that aim at bringing together all Islamic groups, sects and schools of thought, as well as harmonizing their efforts in the work for the cause of islam is not only a fundamental necessity for the survival of Muslims but also a basic tenet in the teaching of islam.

“Allah the Almighty says in the Qu’ran: ‘And hold fast by convenant of Allah all together and be not disunited. “(Qu’ran 3:103)”, he explained.

Mr Jah, also spoke on the challenges laying ahead of them, as an independent, neutral and impartial peace making and uniting organisation.

Dr Omar Jah Snr, Guest speaker of the ceremony, described the idea of establishing a center for harmonisation of schools of thought in islam as a good initiative, noting that the idea is good, but that in order to achieve its aims one needs a clear understanding of the nature of the teachings of the various schools involved and the differences to be harmonized.

To elaborate on this, he qouted the Qu’ranic verses in which Allah, Subhana Wa Ta’Ala, gives an order to render the Amaana (Trust) to those whom it belongs and if you pass a judgement, it should be based on justice.

In his brief inaugural address, Alhagie Ismaila Sambou, secretary of state for Local Government Lands and Religious Affairs, on behalf of the Government of The Gambia and his department of state responsible for overseeing religious affairs, thanked the founder for the good initiative.

He commended them for creating future leaders who are governable. He remarked that a people without a culture are not governable, noting that culture is the only thing that you will have and believed in its practices.

SoS Sambou described islam as the best culture on earth.

SoS Sambou and Mari Saine Firdaus, SoS for Justice and Attorney General, who was also among other dignitaries that graced the occasion, were taken on a conducted tour of the complex.

Author: by Musa Ndow