Signs of religious intolerance were over the weekend manifested at Pamoronko, Calaba Town when some Christian Worshippers and their Muslim counterparts clashed leaving the Church completely destroyed and the windows of the Mosque broken.
The peace of religious practice was disturbed when on the evening hours of Friday, according to Rev George Davies of the Achievers Chapel around 6:pm he was at home when he was informed by a member from the Church of an attack on the Church by the Muslims whose Mosque is just a few meters from the Church. “By the time I went there, there were stones everywhere in the church both in and outside and I tried to go down there (Mosque) to talk to them but they told me we must not keep service during their fasting period until the month ends. I told them we were not going to cut short our services for them and it was then I told them that we both have our different prayer time”
Rev Davies said he was told if he could not abide by what he was told, they were going to bring down the Church. “This is not the first time, it is now four years and they have done it several times. The last time the Police were here about two to three months ago they spoke to them but to no avail”.
The Church was having their normal Friday service that day which ran on to the time the Muslims were about to break their fast.
The Rev also complained to have been manhandled when he went to the Mosque to talk to the Imam “They did not give me chance to speak to the Imam, they gave me two slaps, stoned me and hit me on my chest. I was also squeezed at the door of their Mosque it was at that time one of them made the attempt to hit me with a weapon”.
The entire Church building was destroyed, its electricals, micro phones, chairs, fans, key boards and speakers also destroyed.
From the very onset the Church was built, the Imam made it clear that the Pamoronko community was a Muslim community.
The Chief Imam of the Mosque, Masjid Nuriya was nowhere to be contacted but one of the Executives, Sheikh Osman Zakariah explained that in the evening hours when it was about time for them to break their fast, the Church mounted their speakers which was disturbing not only for them but the community as a whole.
He said they were told by the community to put off their speakers but to no avail.
He explained that it was agreed between the Church, Mosque and the community chief that the Church should start any of their service after 8:30 but that was not followed” when they started their speakers, two people from the Mosque went to caution them that it was about time for them to break their fast but they refused stating it was their right. I even spoke to them but they did not listen but we managed to pray amidst the loud sound and after the prayers I told the congregation to go home peacefully and break their fast”
The Sheikh continued that the sound intensified more when they returned to have their late night prayer at 8:pm or ‘Nafla’.”The speakers were directed at the Mosque and because it was loud we met them again to give us chance this time to observe our prayers”
Some seventeen persons were arrested by the police and detained at the Kissy Police for questioning in relation to the matter.
The Sheikh denied that nobody from their congregation attacked the Church and even said when the chief Imam was passing through to the Mosque, he was molested by the church members. That claim was denied by the church. The glass windows of the Mosque were also broken. By Ishmael Bayoh