PRESIDENTIAL Advisor on Social Cohesion, Malcolm Haripaul has lauded the Anna Catherina Islamic Complex AA (ACIC) and the Guyana United Sadr Islamic Anjuman (GUSIA) for their dynamic leadership in the Guyanese community.He extended high praise to the two organisations as he joined hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims in the annual sharing of the Iftaar and dinner for the month of Ramadan.
Representatives of the Hindu, Christian and Baha’i communities were also present at the event.
Haripaul brought greetings to Guyanese, especially the Muslim community, on behalf of the Government of Guyana, for a fulfilling month of Ramadan.
Former Prime Minister of Guyana, Samuel Hinds, who was the first person to be made an honorary member, also praised the work of the ACIC, notably for reaching out to the less fortunate in society.
Leader of the Inter-Religious Organisation of Guyana (IRO), Pastor Ronald McGarrell, who also spoke at the occasion, said the holy month of Ramadan is a story of inspiration for all Guyanese.
Also speaking at the event was representative of the New York-based social group, The Caribbean Voice, Bibi Ahamad, as well as a representative of the Hindus for Selfless Service (HSS), Dr Abdul Bari, Ronald Williams and other leaders of the community.
National Football coach, Jamal Shabazz spoke about the love, warmth and respect he has received from the ACIC.
ACIC President General, Hakeem Khan in his remarks joined Muslims in Guyana and the world over in welcoming the month of Ramadan and challenged Muslims to live up to the divine ideals of this month.
Khan praised the respect shown to the religious beliefs and practices of all religions in Guyana by the different religious groups, and was particularly grateful to the Christian, Baha’i & Hindu communities for being part of the event.
He stated that the fast is performed for no other reason than to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity, while obeying God’s commandments.
It is also a time when people of other faiths can learn more about Islam, the great benefits that it offers to mankind and the enormous contributions made by Muslims to human civilisation.
Ramadan, each year, brings a promise of renewal and hope for the world, he said.
“As we focus this year on self-restraint, prayers and acts of charity to achieve self-reform, these acts must be taken to the wider community. We cannot totally reform ourselves without reforming the communities we live in,” he said.
Khan expounded on the great similarities between the various religions of the world and drew similarities in the teachings of Islam and other faiths. He lauded the government for the many measures taken and maintained to ensure that the various religious communities in Guyana can live with each other in peace and harmony.
The programme was organised by the ACIC and the Guyana United Sadr Islamic Anjuman, as they have done for many years.
The dua (prayer) to break the fast was made by imam of ACIC, Abdool Fazeel.
ACIC is Guyana’s leading Muslim Centre. It is the venue for more than 80 per cent of all national Muslim programmes held in Guyana and serves as the hub for the international cooperation between the Muslims of Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Holland, England and USA.
The ACIC has been awarded Guyana’s fourth highest national award for its outstanding work.