01.05.2005 Regional News

V/R Minister addresses Mission conference

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Hohoe, (V/R), May 1, GNA - Mr. Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister on Saturday said religious conflicts and their negative consequences constitute a major setback to societies' development. He said such conflicts cause great concern to government since they affected the people and undermine the nations growth psyche. Mr. Dzamesi was addressing the closing session of a three-day eighth national DA'AWA conference of the Ahlul-Sunnah Wal Jama' (ASWAJ), a mission movement at Hohoe under the theme; "Edu' a Key to Development."

He said although religious conflicts were not limited to Islam alone, records indicate that Moslems in Ghana have had their fair share, resulting in arson, loss of lives and property.

Mr. Dzamesi said, what was worrisome was the fact that most of those conflicts arose out of trivial doctrinal differences, which could easily be ignored.

He bemoaned the manner in which some Moslems have allowed politicians to infiltrate their ranks and file to promote their parochial political interest.

Mr. Dzamesi therefore, urged Moslems to be wary of such politicians who recruit people as "machomen," describing the practice a dent on the image of Islam.

"Let us live as a dignified and disciplined group of people who work towards their personal development and that of the nation," he said.

Mr. Dzamesi expressed regret that Moslems still lagged behind in the pursuit of secular education because of the wrong notion, it would weaken the Islamic faith.

He, therefore, appealed to Moslem communities to enrol their children in school to prepare them to contribute meaningfully to the country's development.

Sheikh Umar Ibrahim, National Imam of ASWAJ called on stakeholders, especially Moslem non-governmental organisations to pool their resources to assist needy but brilliant pupils and students, "we have reached a stage where educating our children could not be handled by individuals alone."

He said Moslem children continue to copy negative foreign lifestyles, "while they shun secular education, which would transform them."

Sheikh Ibrahim urged Moslems to be guided by the knowledge of creation, the creation of mankind, the study of the Koran, education, invention and exploration.

Mr. Mr. James Dogbe, Hohoe District Chief Executive exhorted Moslems to explore the benefits of ICT, such as education and technological advancement, which constitutes the bed-rock of every successful nation.

Mr. Mustapha Hussein, Volta Regional Secretary of ASWAJ said the annual conference was aimed at re-awakening and redirecting Moslems to strategise in conformity with progress and the changing needs of Moslem societies.

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