Sunday, May 22, 2022

Christians, Muslims unite in condemnation of Mosque spray painting

A united voice  among  Christians and Moslems have strongly condemned  the paintings exalting Jesus Christ and indirectly condemning Islam on the walls of Gaborone Main Mosque near the University of Botswana.

The leadership of the two religions have condemned the move, which they suspect to have been motivated by an individual who wants to drive a wedge between the two religions that have been co-existing in harmony in Botswana.

Reverend Mpho Moruakgomo of the Botswana Christian Council , views the move as an “unfortunate incident” aimed at disrupting the harmony that exists in the country among the religious groups.

“As Christians, we have long co-existed with other religions. This cannot be tolerated and we are totally┬áunhappy with what happened. We are sorry to the Muslim community,” said Moruakgomo.┬á

He referred to a person who spray painted the Mosque as a ‘spoiler’ who is trying to cause conflicts among Christians and Moslems under the Christianity slogan.┬á

He indicated that, as Christians, they are not condoning the move.

Moruakgomo further noted that he had to call the leadership of the Muslim community and to express his view about what happened and added that he met with the Chairman of the Muslim Association, Satar Dada, and expressed regret at the offending graffiti.

“I have even called other Christian churches and we wrote a letter to the effect that we were against the move and we were sorry to the Muslim community,” added Moruakgomo. ┬á

Meanwhile, the Imam of Main Mosque, Moulana Dawood Dhansy, also expressed disappointment about the writings.

┬á“We as Muslims cannot go and paint someone’s place of worship. I believe that this is an isolated incident where someone was trying to disrespect the Moslem and Christian communities,” said Dhansy.
 He blamed lack of education as the main issue that could have influenced the paintings, stating  that the Muslims have been living in harmony with Christians.

He is convinced that the spray-painting was done by someone who wanted to destabilise the trust that has long existed between the two religions in the country. Dhansy said that they have since washed away the spray paintings and have left the police to investigate the issue.

 Gaborone Central Station Commander, Kelvin Mookodi, indicated that their investigations have failed to unearth information about the person who could have inscribed the paintings on the mosque.  

Mookodi noted that they received a report from a combi driver who had called 999 after he saw a young man in his early twenties writing on the wall.  

“We could have found him if the 999 had gone through. We are experiencing the problem with 999 because it is always engaged and busy during the week. We could have arrested the perpetrator,” said Mookodi.

He warned people to desist from such activities stating that everyone is allowed to join his or her religion of choice, saying that such graffiti could ignite unnecessary conflict.

The graffiti on the wall stated words to the effect that Botswana is a Christian country.

“Tell these people we worship Jesus who is Christ Provence, the Lord, the light, the life, God of Israel and the only God, there is. Power, glory, honour are rightfully his….,” the writings on the wall read in part.

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