By Sheikh Alie Yunus Kallay.
The Mohamed Sixth (VI) Foundation for African Oulema Sierra Leone Chapter has been launched by the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs Alhaji Mohamed Haji-Kella who represented the Hon. Vice President of Sierra Leone Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh. The program which attracted hundreds of scholars in various parts of the country was the first national conference with theme Common Religious Principles between the Ash’are doctrine and the Malikie schools of thought.
In his key note address and launching remarks, Alhaji Mohamed Haji-Kella, praised His Majesty King Mohammad VI of Morocco for his tremendous assistance to the government and people of Sierra Leone during our struggling days of Ebola Scourge. He pledged the fullest support of government to support the foundation as the main aim of the foundation is to bring peace in the society.
Alhaji Kella, reiterated that Sierra Leone is a very tolerant nation and the people co-exist regardless of their religious, racial or tribal back grounds, and stressed that this has made the country to be one of the most peaceful nations. He maintained that the Holy Quran has laid down principles and general rules of coexistence with all groups and these rules consist of all close behaviors of Muslims with non-Muslims, either personal, familiar or social behaviors.
Alhaji Kella, urged participants to continue to support the government by maintaining peace in the nation as the new direction government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio believes in Discipline, Commitment and Competence. He expressed kind sentiments from His Excellency the Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh who was unavoidably absent due to pressing state issues and launched the Sierra Leone Chapter of the Mohamed VI Foundation for African Oulema.
Delivering her address, head of delegation, Atiqa Abdurahman Boutturiya, said that the main purpose of the foundation is to unify and coordinate the efforts of Muslim Scholars, in Morocco and other African States, in order to promote, disseminate and consolidate tolerance values enshrined by Islam. She stressed that the Mohammed VI Foundation for African Oulema is an institution for cooperation, for the exchange of experiences and for the Oulema to make concerted efforts to fulfill their duty and turn a spotlight on the true image of the pristine Islamic faith as well as on its open-minded values.
She expressed her confidence that the Foundation, through its branches in African countries, and together with other religious institutions, will play its role in disseminating enlightened religious precepts and in combating extremism, reclusiveness and terrorism – which our faith does not embrace in any way – but which are advocated by some individuals, in the name of Islam.
In his remarks, President of the Mohamed VI Foundation Sierra Leone Chapter, Sheikh Ismaeel Koroma, maintained that the Mohammed VI Foundation for African Oulema aims to take any initiative to integrate religious values of tolerance in Africa, to supervise the intellectual, scientific and cultural activities related to the Muslim religion, consolidate historic relations linking Morocco to the other African states and to ensure their development.
Sheikh Koroma said that they will work towards the establishment of centers and religious institutions, the scientific and cultural revitalization of the African common Islamic cultural heritage, raising awareness about it and working to its conservation and safeguarding, in addition to establishing cooperative relationships with associations and bodies pursuing the same objectives.
Sheikh Dukuray, Dr Alie Osman Turay, Sheikh Fu’aad Kabbah Hajiah Mariam Fadigah and many others made presentations and meaningful contributions.
Alhaji Murtada chaired the opening session.