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Zimbabwe Closely Monitoring Muslim Ramadan Activities

  • Irwin  Chifera

An aerial view shows Muslim worshippers praying at the Grand mosque, the holiest place in Islam, in the holy city of Mecca during Ramadan July 14, 2015, on Lailat al-Qadr, or Night of Power, on which the Koran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad by Allah.

An aerial view shows Muslim worshippers praying at the Grand mosque, the holiest place in Islam, in the holy city of Mecca during Ramadan July 14, 2015, on Lailat al-Qadr, or Night of Power, on which the Koran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad by Allah.

As the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan, draws to an end some Muslims in Zimbabwe say they were monitored by state security agents when they conducted their charity work throughout the country due to terrorist activities and conflicts in some Arab nations.

Representatives of several Muslims organizations in the country have been busy fasting, praying and distributing foodstuffs and clothes to the needy.

This is a tradition linked to Ramadan, a time of fasting for millions of Muslims in the world.

According to Iliyasa Yasini of the Charitable Foundation for Development, which gets support from Turkey, Ramadan is a month-long period they prepare themselves to be better human beings spiritually, socially, economically and politically.

Sheik Anubi Twaibu’s Direct Aid–Africa Muslims Agency said apart from Harare, his organization distributed food to rural areas during this Ramadan.

He said local businesspeople, with the support from the Islamic state of Kuwait, provided free foodstuffs and clothes to the poor.

SECURITY CHECKS

But all this was not smooth as some Muslims told Studio 7 they were closely monitored by state security agencies because of their links to Islamic states where there are serious terrorist activities.

Twaibu said local Muslims are being misunderstood due to some wars raging in the Arab world.

As a result, some trucks carrying foodstuffs have been delayed and only released after intervention by officials from concerned organizations.

Yasini confirmed that in one instance an organization, which he could not name, had its account closed as a result of some of these fears.

Police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was not aware of any incident in which Muslims have been questioned during Ramadan, saying she could only comment after getting specific details.

But another senior security official, who cannot be named as he is not authorized to speak to the press, said with reports that the Islamic terrorist group ISIS was recruiting in neighboring South Africa, there was every reason for the government to be concerned.

ISLAMIC SCHOLARSHIPS

However, Sheik Ishmael Duwa, national chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Zimbabwe, said Zimbabwe is not experiencing those problems at the moment.

But he admitted some youths were getting scholarships to study in some Islamic States.

Yasini pointed out that Muslim organizations in Zimbabwe were operating within the confines of the law and conceded that there were challenges when dealing with foreign organizations.

Cultural Counselor at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Harare which supports the Islamic Supreme Council of Zimbabwe, Mohsen Shojakhani, said Zimbabweans were hospitable and not engaged with Islamic terrorist groups.

Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslims fast during daylight hours from dawn to sunset.

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