Maintain religious tolerance ONS urges religious leaders
The National Coordinator of the Office of National Security (ONS), Brig. Gen. M.K. Dumbuya (Rtd) has urged Muslim leaders to maintain the religious tolerance the country which it is known for nationally and internationally.
The ONS boss made these remarks while addressing some Muslim officials of the Voice of Islam radio F.M. 102.0 and members of a movie film production team who featured in a recent film title ‘Sarah As Bilal’, featuring a popular local comedian Sarah de Great which according to some Muslim Jamaat in Wellington did not go down well and they reported the matter to Voice of Islam radio station.
The movie, according to Mr. A B Koroma of the Wellington Muslim Jamaat, is a mockery to Islam especially to Bilal, the first African to call the Azan.
This movie would have caused widespread provocation to Muslims but with the swift intervention of the National Coordinator of the ONS, Brig. M. K. Dumbuya (Rtd) who wasted no time to bring the two factions together and amicably resolve the situation peacefully.
The ONS boss spoke about the importance of peace, adding that they will not sit by and see what Sierra Leone has been recognized for in terms of religious tolerance be reversed by a few people.
He encouraged every Sierra Leonean, irrespective of his religious background, political affiliation, or ethnicity, to desist from any reaction that may breach the peace. He said the nation suffered for far too long during the civil conflict and urged all Sierra Leoneans to imbibe the culture of love, tolerance, accommodation and peace as these elements are sufficient elements to build the bridge of unity.
He informed officials of the movie production and said that in future they should contact Islamic scholars or a pastor to guide them on such roles that portray Islamic faith or Christian values.
Brig. Dumbuya said Islam considers it a healthy sign that people of different faith or different families and parties or opinions do exchange ideas and dialogue about issues affecting them till they come to a mutual understanding.
He however said lack of healthy dialogue among people has been responsible for a lot of misunderstandings, and has led to hatred and disunity in families, political parties, communities and countries.
Officials of the movie production team apologized profusely to the Muslim community, noting that they did not intent to mock Islam, as they themselves are strong Muslims. They expressed their profound apology for any upset the movie may have caused, for which they deeply regretted.
Both parties thanked the ONS for their swift response in resolving the impasse.
In another development, the ONS in collaboration with the supervising ministry in charge of religious affairs, Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs have resolved the recent impasse between the Shia and the Sunni.
Both parties sign a MOU aimed at keeping the peace.
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