EDITORIAL: Let's safeguard unity at all costs

On Sunday, a group of Muslim professionals in the country pledged to find lasting solution to the long-standing wrangling in the local Muslim community.

On Sunday, a group of Muslim professionals in the country pledged to find lasting solution to the long-standing wrangling in the local Muslim community. 

This was during a symposium of Muslim professionals in Kigali, organised by Network of Muslim Professionals, whose objective was to assess the transformation of Islam in the country over the past 120 years and devise strategies to promote the community’s unity as well as national interests.

The meeting was timely and should be used as a platform by the Muslim leadership to unite the Muslim community which has been marred by leadership wrangles for quite some time now.

This is a mature approach to address the needs of the Muslims and one that promotes national unity.

The professionals should now take the sensitisation drive to the grassroots and explain the relevancy and importance of unity to religion and country.

Needless to say, until 1994, Muslims in Rwanda were discriminated against. For over 100 years, Muslims in Rwanda were alienated from socio-economic activities until this trend was reversed following the country’s liberation two decades ago.

For instance, the Fourth Population and Housing Census conducted in 2012 showed that before the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, university Muslim graduates in the country were only seven but the number has since increased to more than 5,000.

Similarly, equal employment opportunities in government institutions and land ownership are among other the rights Muslims are enjoying like other Rwandans.

The Muslim community should not allow anyone to compromise their unity as a religion whose fundamental rights are guaranteed by the constitution and protected by the state.

Going forward, we should not allow unnecessary wrangles to divide us and rob us of the opportunity to develop and thrive together.

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