Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Most Rev. Prof Emmanuel Asante presenting a plague to Chief Imam Nuhu Sharubutu

Religious Leaders across the world have asked devotees to live peacefully in diversity, love and tolerance with each other.


The conference which was held at the Accra International Conference Centre  was used to urge the various religious sects in the world to use religion as a tool of peace. 


Speaking at a conference under the theme ‘Love & Tolerance: Peaceful Co-Existence in Diversity’, spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Armiyawo in his address said religious diversity was a fact that needed to be accepted by all since  most religious scripture provide the necessary foundation for acknowledging it as a part of our nature.


Sheikh Armiyawo
The event which was organized by the National Peace Council in collaboration with the Ghana- Turkey Cooperation and Development Association (TUDEC), Great Volta Foundation Dialogue Centre and Fountain Magazine brought together various religious sects including Christians, Muslims and Jews among others to dialogue relevance of love, tolerance and acceptance.


“I have a problem when I see a Muslim who cannot appreciate and understand diversity and out of our differences we fight among ourselves. So therefore religion- something God given for man to connect to his source and to give peace to the world -has become guilty. I associate myself to an epistle that was written by the national chief Imam. In the introductory part, he indicated that with each passing day as information comes t him about the atrocities that are visited on humanity in the name of religion makes it hard and sorrowful. That makes him preoccupy with the concern present situation of the world,” Sheikh Armiyawo stated.


He added that in spite of the various Muslim and other non-Muslim extremist groups who have turned religion into a tool for human destruction, Ghana stood tall and unique because of the peace that we were enjoying. 


According to him, the holy Quran 32: 17 states that ‘Verily those who believe the prophets and those who are Jews and follow the Jewish scripture and the Christians, verily Allah will judge between them on the day of judgment for Allah is witness of all things’ and as such  “ If the various verses referred to are anything to go by, then it stands to reason  and to indicate without any fear of contradiction that Islamic scripture has provided the necessary foundation for acknowledging diversity as a part of our nature and by implication allowing a free manifestation of such diversities.” 


Archbishop Charles Palmer Buckle disclosed that passion for peace building stems  from the fact that all  3 sons of Abraham –Jews, Muslims and Christians- all pray to one God but unfortunately at the  bottom, all 3 sons fight each other in the land called Jerusalem. 


“My remark could be found in Psalm 122: 6 which says pray for the peace of Jerusalem .My confession is that I am a Christian and catholic priest, an Archbishop by the shear Grace of God.  For absolutely no merit of mine that is also what leads me to want to understand who God is because the deeper I get to know God the closer I come to my brothers and sisters irrespective of their race, colour and religion because one thing is clear to me , God is creator and father to us all.  As long as the 3 sons were not at peace, how can Jerusalem be for you and I,” he quizzed.


He noted that Jerusalem as we know it does not stand for a geographical location but stands for a city of peace and for the civilization of peace and the culture of love that should come from tolerance. 


“ You and I are citizens of Jerusalem and there can only be peace if there is peace in our hearts. How then can I in the name of the same God raise my hand against sons and daughters of God . that is what I’m seeking to understand, how I can love God and through God love my neighbor, how I can love my neighbor and through my neighbor love the same Lord God,” he added.


The conference was inspired by the book ‘Towards a Global Civilisation of Love and Tolerance’ written by Fethullah Gulen, a famous Turkish Cleric who is an authoritative mainstream Turkish Muslim scholar thinker and opinion leader who supports interfaith and intercultural dialogue and opposes violence. 


The event brought together diginarites like Shiekh Nhuhu Sharbutu –National chief Imam- , Dr Khalid Abubakur Aliyu- Nigeria Jaamatu Nasril Islam Secretary General-  and Prof. Scott C. Alexander –Drector of Catholic –Muslim Studies at Catholic Theological Union Chicago among others. 

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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