We hope the offensive recording, attributed to Nigerian born Evangelist Victor Ajisafe of Sanctuary Praise Church, more known for ‘Let My Gate be opened’, which has been widely condemned, is not from him, as we expect much from him.
Otherwise, he owes Mufti Menk, as the scholar is popularly known, the Muslim community and the nation a retraction of the negative contents of the recording and an unreserved apology.
We are equally concerned and worried about the unfortunate counter-recordings and messages that have been shared through the same channels by certain Muslims, in their bid to avenge the open attack on one of their own.
Knowing the gullibility of our society, we are disturbed that such an attack and subsequent counter-attacks are full of undignified and hate messages, with no religious or moral bases, with the potentials to ignite religious discord and undermine the high-level of religious tolerance that we enjoy as a people of a united nation, if not nipped in the bud.
We are relieved that some Muslims have chosen to ignore the audio altogether, despite their resentment against it contents, and the fact that some Christians have openly dissociated themselves from the negative contents of the recording.
We wish to take this opportunity to urge the Muslim community, especially those that have already started venting out their anger publicly against Pastor Ajisafe, to refrain from such acts, to prevent religious tensions.
We commend the Ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children’s Affairs (MSAGCA) and the IMC for their prompt actions in condemning the inflammatory message and counter-messages, and advocating for calm with promises to investigate the matter and take appropriate actions.
We loudly add our voice to their call for calm and hope and pray that all parties will heed to this call, as we are a single and united nation regarded highly by the international community for our high level of religious tolerance, including interreligious marriages.
While we appreciate the genuine intention of the MSWGCA in their desire to calm down the rising tension, we wish to urge them to leave the establishment of the proof of authenticity of the recording with the IMC, which has the statutory mandate to regulate mass media institutions in Sierra Leone and for other matters connected therewith.