Guyana President joins Muslims for Ramadhan Iftar*
By Ray Chickrie
President David Granger joined the Muslim community of Guyana on Sunday to break the Roza or fast that the Muslim community in Guyana is observing because it is the month of Ramadhan.
The British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn and his wife also joined Granger at the Iftar dinner.
Granger spoke at the Ramadhan Iftar dinner, which was held at the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana’s (CIOG) headquarters in Georgetown.
“Guyana is a multi-cultural country. We can be proud, however, of our religious tolerance and social cohesion. Guyanese must do as we are doing this evening; we are eating dates and breaking bread to acknowledge one another’s differences and to share our common humanity,” the president said.
Since coming to office, Granger has heaped praise on the Muslim community of Guyana for its charitable work and community activism.
He said that Ramadhan also promotes the virtues of fellowship and friendship.
“Service to God strengthens relations with others through acts of compassion and sympathy,” the president said.
Speaking on the significance of Iftar, Granger noted that, when shared with persons of other faiths, it represents the importance that Islam attaches to the acceptance of differences and promotion of religious tolerance according to a press release from the ministry of the presidency.
The CIOG’s director of education, Sheikh Moeen ul Hack, praised the leadership of the country for the respect it has afforded the Muslim community of Guyana. Muslims make up about 12% of Guyana’s population and they are Sunnis from the Hanafi, Turkish School of Islam.
“We will continue to play our role as Guyanese and as Muslims and we see our role as complementing that of the government,” the director assured the president.
He thanked Granger for supporting the CIOG’s education drive, noting that “education is the enemy of prejudice and, for us to move forward and to develop our country, our people will definitely have to be educated.”