The Mohammed VI Foundation for African Scholars has called on Muslims to work together in promoting the image and true value of Islam for the development of humanity.
That, according to the Foundation, was necessary in projecting Islam as a peaceful religion, and to clear misconceptions, fuelled by the activities of extremists, that Islam supports intolerance and violent religions.
Sheikh Mustapha Ibrahim, a Council Member of the Foundation and a leader of the Ghana branch, believes that renewed efforts to enhance awareness about Islam would place the religion in the true perspective.
In an interview with The Ghanaian Times on the work of the Foundation which was set up by the leader of Morocco, King Mohammed VI, to serve as a platform for Islamic scholars (Ulema) to promote the religion for development, Sheikh Ibrahim was confident that the work of the foundation would help to cultivate a better understanding of the religion among both Muslims and non-Muslims.
The establishment of the Foundation, which is part of Morocco’s effort to consolidate its cultural and religious cooperation with other African countries, is aimed at coordinating the efforts of Muslim scholars to promote the values of Islam as a religion of tolerance and peace.
It also aimed at promoting intellectual, scientific and cultural action related to the religion, and as well as establish relations with other African governmental and non-governmental institutions to foster socio-economic development in African countries.
Sheikh Ibrahim, who is also the Executive Chairman of the Islamic Council for Development and Humanitarian Services, urged Muslims to embrace the Foundation and support it to achieve its target of preventing the religion from being linked to extremism, reclusiveness and terrorism.
Among other plans, he said the foundation would collaborate with government in the implementation of development initiatives that promote security, stability and development.
“We aim at dialogue, and to work in tandem with government policies,” he stressed.
On its operations in Ghana, he said the Ghana branch was currently developing its programme of activities for submission to the Foundation’s Higher Council for approval.
However, he said, the work of the newly established foundation would culminate in projects such as the provision of schools, mosques, scholarships and training of clerics, as well as the development of partnerships with government and civil society organisations.
At the recent inauguration of the Higher Council for the Foundation, which is headquartered in Fez, Morocco’s spiritual capital, King Mohammed VI said the initiative reflected the depth of the time-honoured spiritual bonds between sub-Saharan African peoples.
“It attests to the unity of our faith and doctrine, as much as to our shared cultural heritage, and advance Islam’s open-minded values, which are based on moderation, tolerance and coexistence.
“This is another building block which further enhances our strategic policy designed to raise the level of political and economic cooperation between Morocco and a number of sister African nations in order to make it an effective, solidarity-based partnership, covering all sectors,” he said.
By Edmund Mingle