Int’l Religious Freedom Summit ends in Washington DC

The 2023 International Religious Freedom Summit, an annual summit that brings together a broad coalition that passionately supports religious freedom around the globe, ended in Washington DC yesterday.

In attendance was Alhaji Khuzaima Mohammed Osman, an Eminent Member of the National Peace Council of Ghana (NPC) at the Greater Accra Branch and the Executive Secretary of the Tijjaniya Muslims Movement of Ghana (TMMG).

The three-day-in-person event was co-chaired by Mr Sam Brownback, a former Ambassador at Large for International Reli­gious Freedom at the US State Department, and Katrina Lantos-Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.

Alhaji Osman, who is the Global Peace Ambassador under the Global Peace Chain Initiative and Universal Peace Federation (UPF), told the Ghanaian Times by phone that he represented the Tijjaniya Muslims Move­ment and the Christian – Muslim Forum (CMF) for Dialogue and Mutual Relations where Muslims and Christian leaders meet to dialogue and share ideas on how to combat the menace of religious fundamentalism in Ghana and West African nations.

He said organising such summits in a city like Washington DC was very important to highlight some of the imminent issues that the people of all race, religions and back­ground face around the World and to find solutions to it, especially issues of freedom; be it freedom of religion, human rights and access to education and peace most impor­tantly.

He said he always take advantage of such events to bring about his experience tackling religious fundamentalism and extremism in his own community and how to close that gap which he explained would empower the youth with skills and keep them busy by doing something meaningful for their lives.

Alhaji Osman said Ghana was a very peaceful country in West Africa, adding “but we must not lose sight of terrorism activities in almost all the countries neigh­bouring Ghana, which makes it important for everyone to take matters of state security very seriously”.

“Religious Fundamentalism is growing in Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Niger and almost every nation in West Africa, and Ghana is not an exception. We must keep our communities together by talking to each other to understand and appreciate the level of understanding, mutual relations and the benefits of tolerance and peaceful coopera­tion,” he added.

“There are few bad apples among us who do not understand what is going on around the world and hence they would always want to enforce their religious beliefs and traditions upon others, such as the denial and refusal of some authorities for Muslim prayers to be observed in schools, hospitals and banning the wearing of hijabs.

All these constitute religious oppression and it invites terrorist into the country, may God forbid but we must take actions to address it permanently,” he added.

Alhaji Khuzaima indicated that; “The Christian-Muslim Forum (CMF) for Dialogue and Mutual Relations aimed at dis­arming any form of religious extremism in the country by way of promoting dialogue, tolerance and mutual understanding and cooperation in Ghana and beyond.


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