In his remarks, President of the Forum, Alhaji Justice Abu Bakarr King, praised the government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio for his quick response to address the infringement in the fundamental human right of the Imams which was also a blatant disrespect for law and order. He emphasized that Sierra Leone is a religiously tolerant nation and a great example to other nations in the world as “we can export religious tolerance to other countries.”
Alhaji Justice King recalled the organization’s courtesy call on His Excellency the President, Julius Maada Bio, which he described as very fruitful and that several issues were highlighted and that they appealed to the government for a policy on Hijab as our sisters are marginalized and in some cases refused employment especially in banks and nursing institutions.
In his remarks, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Anthony Brewah, thanked the forum for portraying peaceful co-existence within the Islamic community and the nation. He emphasized that development can only take place where there is peace and tranquility which is the bedrock of the government of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.
Mr. Brewah affirmed that, Sierra Leone is a secular state which cherishes freedom of association and a country where nobody should force someone else to be conscripted forcefully into a society he is not willing to belong. He added that everybody needs to be free and that it should remain that way and should not be like in other countries were people are persecuted because they don’t belong to a particular religion, clan or society.
Mr. Brewah revealed that the government is presently drafting a regulation under which all those that want to practice their society should work with and that any violation will be addresses. He assured all that any religious member who doesn’t want to be part of a secret society will not be forced to join.
The delegation comprised of three spiritual heads, Dr. Ibrahim Salieu Kamara – Sunni, Amir Saeed Rahman – Ahmaddiyya, Sheikh Tejan Sillah – Shia, Sheikh Ibrahim Bah, Haja Fatmata Manso Kamara and Kadijatu Kubra.
The program was climaxed with prayers.