Thursday, 24th December, 2009, at 09:59am

General News By Abdul Karim Naatogma/citifmonline | Wed 23rd December, 2009 9:20 GMT

Imam Hussein Rashid, Chief Imam and Leader of the Salawatia Muslim Mission in Ghana has challenged Ghanaian Muslims to downplay the widespread misconception that Islam is a religion of violence.

He regretted that Muslim communities in Ghana popularly known as Zongos have always been tagged as violent prone areas hence worsening their under-developed nature and appealed to particularly the youth to discard that notion by considering education as the key to their future progression.

The Salawatia Muslim Mission Leader added that the only way this goal could be achieved in life is the need for Muslims to eschew all forms of social vices in their deprived communities and rise up to the challenge of seeking adequate and comprehensive knowledge.

Sheikh Imam Rashid, holder of the Islamic title Qutub Az-Zaman threw the challenge at a colorful ceremony held in Gumani by the Salawatia Muslim Mission to congratulate and honour Sheikh Dr. Al-Husain Zakaria on his acquisition of Doctorate degree in religion and development from theUniversity of Ghana.

The world renowned Islamic scholar bemoaned that only 38% of candidates who wrote this year’s Basic Education Certificate Examination in northern region excelled creditably which he said was generally unacceptable. Sheikh Imam Rashid thus underscored the need for Muslim parents to re-examine their major priorities in life by focusing on the education of their children of school going age especially the girl child.

The one time Chief Imam of the Ghana Armed- Forces thanked the chiefs and people of Tamale for sustaining the fragile peace in Dagbon and urged the youth to do away with evil intentions that will invalidate the development agenda of the north.

Dr. Al-Husain Zakaria praised Sheikh Imam Rashid for his exemplary leadership and pledged his commitment to unite all Muslims in Ghana to embrace peace and national reconciliation as a means of re-kindling the gain saying that Islam is a religion of peace.

Dr. Al-Husain Zakaria said northern Ghana which was known as the cradle of formal education has loss that glory because of some parent’s lackadaisical approach towards their children’s desire to acquire knowledge and thereby impressed upon Muslim parents to re-channel their resources into their children’s education.

This, Dr. Al-Husain Zakaria who received a citation and other emoluments from Sheikh Imam Rashid called on the Muslim Clergy to emulate the shining example of the head of the Salawatia Muslim Mission by organizing such gatherings to inspire the youth to gain higher academic laurels.

Alhaji Abdul Rahaman Yakubu, Northern Regional Health Promoter at the regional Directorate of Ghana Health Service thanked all the Muslim scholars therein gathered to keep that spirit of unification high. A relationship he observed would go a long way to help bridge concerted efforts instituted towards bridging the yawning gap between northern and southern Ghana.

Alhaji Rahaman described that colorful event as part of interventions formulated by the Salawatia Muslim Mission that seek to concretize the long awaited bond of relationship among Muslims particularly in the Tamale Metropolis.