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Religious split

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Jan 24, 2011
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    Religious split: Why it’s a big lie Saturday, 22 January 2011 22:43

    [​IMG]By Bernard James
    The Citizen Reporter
    Dar es Salaam. There is a growing concern that the religious harmony, peace and tranquillity the country has enjoyed for decades in a region ravaged by civil strife, could be under grave threat.However, interviewed by The Citizen on Sunday, some academicians and social commentators dismissed as political machinations, what some see as signs of emerging divisions between Christian and Muslim leaders.There are two schools of thought on what may be stoking the apparent intolerance, though both sides agree about the need to take immediate steps to stamp out any inkling of religious animosity and maintain national unity.

    While some blame religious leaders for the souring of ties between the faiths, others argue that the culprits are the politicians, deepening poverty that has led to a social class struggle and general leadership failure on the part of the State.

    A cross section of religious leaders, politicians, academicians and ordinary citizens interviewed overwhelmingly agreed that Tanzanians, who have co-existed peacefully since Independence nearly 50 years ago, irrespective of their different religions, ethnic groups and other factors, were being pushed into an arena fraught with danger.

    Dar es Salaam Catholic Archdiocese auxiliary bishop Eusebius Nzigilwa and the national chairman of the Civic United Front (CUF), Prof Ibrahim Lipumba, said they were concerned about the increasing friction between the faiths. But the Chama Cha Mapinduzi Secretary General, Mr Yusuf Makamba, said the matter should be left to the religious leaders themselves to address.

    “They know about countries that have plunged into unrest due to religious intolerance. We have a committee of sheikhs and bishops. They will sort out these things themselves,” he added.

    Mr Makamba said Tanzanians were clever enough not to let a few self-centred religious leaders play with the country’s peace and harmony.

    Since the run-up to the October 31 General Election, sheikhs and bishops have taken opposite sides in intense public debate, raising concern about a looming religious conflict.

    Some religious leaders have been accused of supporting certain presidential candidates on purely religious grounds, and the divisions have been even more manifest following shooting dead by police of three people during a demonstration by Chadema in Arusha two weeks ago in protest against the city’s mayoral election.

    Following the killings, the Arusha branch of the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) issued a statement condemning the incident and vowed not to recognise and cooperate with the city’s mayor from CCM, whose election Chadema had opposed over alleged irregularities.

    The statement sparked off waves of criticism by top Muslim clerics and intellectuals, who strongly accused the bishops of meddling in politics and undermining state authority.

    An academic, Prof Eginald Mihanjo, of St John University in Dodoma (see comment pg 2), says the religious divisions are a manifestation of the disharmony among the key ideological components and instruments of a working state. The core factor, he argues, is economic base of the people.

    “The state is the organiser, force or provider for the community development, welfare, security, and freedom. If it fails to do so for many reasons it is weak - so the class, leadership and ideology is weak and that vacuum will be filled by other classes and ideologies including religion and religious leaders,” he said.

    Prof Mihanjo says poverty creates a conducive environment for religious ideologies and leaders to rally behind the disadvantaged groups. He sees a real threat to national unity if the state does not properly play its rightful role.

    Chadema Secretary General Willibrod Slaa said it was wrong for the sheikhs and bishops to have a go at one another over issues that should instead unite them.

    The opposition leader, who was defeated by President Jakaya Kikwete in last year’s election, accused the government of inaction, claiming it was “hiding its leadership weaknesses” in the perceived religious conflicts.

    “What you see today is an indication of a leadership vacuum. See the examples of Somalia, India or Pakistan. The problem is not with religious leaders but with inactive governments,” said Dr Slaa. The former Karatu MP accused irresponsible religious leaders of blowing the divisions out of proportions.

    “Anything that goes with emotions is illogical. We shall regret by playing with people’s emotions for political ends.”

    The Muslim Council of Tanzania could not be reached for comment the whole week and were yesterday said to be in a daylong meeting.

    However, a week ago, a group of Muslims issued a statement in which they accused bishops of playing politics over the CCM and Chadema standoff in Arusha.
    Top Muslim intellectuals, who accused the bishops of meddling in politics and undermining state authority, also condemned the Arusha debacle. Religious leaders, leaders of major political parties and experts on inter-religious relations are now calling for President Kikwete’s intervention to defuse the simmering tension.

    CUF leader Lipumba said: “It is now crucial for the government, particularly the President to meet religious leaders and chart the way forward. It is time for him to show leadership.”

    For his part, President Kikwete has repeatedly warned against what he said was growing religious intolerance. In his remarks following the hotly fought presidential election, he said that religious divisions had intensified during the campaigns.

    Bishop Nzigilwa said the Catholic Church would issue a statement, appealing to other religious leaders, politicians and ordinary Tanzanians to commit themselves to making the country a better place to live in. “People make mistakes and defend them with force. But we can’t make the world a better place by defending mistakes for personal interests. That is what is happening now,” said Bishop Nzigilwa.

    “We feel the level of mistrust among Tanzanians has grown to an alarming level. Expressing an opinion can today earn you unnecessary accusations. Your views can easily be interpreted to mean you are a puppet or you have been bribed to express them.”

    “We should let national interests and God’s glory guide us into making decisions,“ he said.
  2. Babu Lao

    Babu Lao JF-Expert Member

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  3. n

    niweze JF-Expert Member

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    I don't think these are facts. We are exploring unfounded things here. It's true there are stupid comments made by few people from both sides but we should put a lot of efforts to maximize while nothing is there. We need to remember all this start from Kikwete comments during Bunge visit. While majority of the country didn't vote for him and don't support his part, Kikwete started injecting religious wars. All I can say is this, Kikwete looks very ignorant for bringing Islam Clerics on CCM side. Kikwete had lost the 2010 election due to failed policies and corruptions. Kikwete is in bed with the most corrupt people in Tanzania and we can see why Kikwete is allowing Dowans, Richmond and most of all Rostam and Mafisadi in State house. We as Tanzanins we are not going to ball down because of Islamic Cleric supporting Kikwete. Islamic clerics or Mafisadi or Makamba don't intimidate any one no more in Tanzania...
  4. Mbeu

    Mbeu Member

    Jan 24, 2011
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    to me there is nothing like Religious splity, what i see is that this issue is becoming a political issue few religious leaders are used without their knowledge, the reason behind is to draw attension of tanzanians from the burning issues DOWANS, KATIBA MPYA, and UFISADI, they rather use Religion to Slit the nation so as they can rule us. Wake up YOU sleeping religious leader, have you seen the government stopping these kind of leaders who are planting the seeds of hatred in the society.for those of you who are old enough will tell me during colonial era the white colonial used "divide and rule them" today what we see the BLACK COLONIALIST are using the same approach to Rule us. Take a look my sister have been married to a muslim and am living with my Brother-in-law in hamony. this filth idea of religious split is from few political leaders who want tanzanians to concentrate on irrelevant issues. i always say RELIGION IS AN INDIVIDUAL ISSUE GOD/ALLAH FOR US ALL. I always wonder when a muslim President gets into power the issue of religiuos split become an agenda to many. take a look when Mwinyi was President these things were issues. today under JK religious split is an issue.
  5. k

    kayumba JF-Expert Member

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    Yangu macho, endeleeni na udini wenu!
  6. Ibrah

    Ibrah JF-Expert Member

    Jan 24, 2011
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    The said split is being advocated by some Politicians so that to shift the mind of the Tanzanian from their grievances on continuos economic hardships. Thats why you see whenever some religious leaders express their concern on political instability of the nation other religious leaders diverge the claims by attacking their fellow religius leaders that they are now leave their reponsibility of leading believers for politics and they have hidden agenda.

    My opinion is that the Pilticians, especially the Rulers, they take advantage of ignorance and poverty of some religious leaders to push their agenda of shiting the grievances of Wananchi from their miseries.