Council calls for preservation of holy sites, religious festivities
ADDIS ABABA- Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC) stated that the continuity of the preservation of holy sites and religious festivities should be sustained as they are the foundations on which the peaceful coexistence and tolerance of the peoples of Ethiopia rest upon. In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, EIASC President Sheikh Muhammad- Amin Jemal said that religious festivities have laid the foundations for peace, tolerance and coexistence, besides their religious values. Beyond serving as places of religious teachings, such festivals will enable the public to discuss about their livelihood and this would help in sustaining the age-old peace of the country, Sheik Muhammad-Amin elaborated. In this regard, the Supreme Council conducted a recognition and thanksgiving programs in the Dire Sheik Hussein Mosque located in Oromia, Jemeaa King Mosque in Amhara, King Nejashi Mosque in Tigray and other mosques across the country, he indicated. Furthermore, religious festivities such as Mawlid al-Kesiye, which is celebrated 15 days before Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, could play an important role in fostering religious tolerance, the president added. Sheikh Muhammed-Amin noted that the presence of followers of other religions at ceremonies shows the significant contribution they could make in sustaining the long-cherished value of mutual existence. Financed by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), the restoration of Al-Nejashi Mosque, where tombs of the 16 followers of the Prophet Muhammad rest on, was completed in last year. Sheikh Muhammad said: “Pilgrims from Turkey and our neighboring countries have shown a growing desire to visit Al-Nejashi Mosque in their way to perform the annual Hajj. The interest is a clear manifestation for Ethiopia getting a proper place among world Muslims.’’ The President said that the Council is partnering with relevant bodies of government to promote and preserve holy sites in the view to attract more domestic and foreign tourists.