President hosts luncheon for Muslim community
Georgetown, GINA, November 9, 2013
At the invitation of President Donald Ramotar and first Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar, members of the Muslim community and a few other invited guests were hosted to a luncheon and interaction on the lawns of State House today.
President Donald Ramotar and First Lady Deolatchmee Ramotar greeting Muslims at State House at an Eid luncheon
Considered a time-honoured tradition of the First Family, the luncheon comes a few days after a similar event was hosted at the same venue on the occasion of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.
Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) Director of Education and advisor Shaikh Moen Ul-Hack who joined other leaders in offering remarks, recitals from the Quran and Qaseeedas was thankful to the President for the show of kindness.
President Donald Ramotar greets a Muslim elder
“Islam teaches us to express gratitude to the creator, as well as to the creation. This is the instruction of Prophet Mohammad peace be upon him; and so we express our profound gratitude and sincere thanks to His Excellency and the distinguished First Lady for this gesture which is indicative of His Excellency’s Government’s respect for Islam and the Muslim community in this country,” Ul-Hack said.
President Donald Ramotar speaking to Muslims at State House at an Eid luncheon he hosted
The same respect has been given to representatives of other religious faiths in Guyana who under the constitution are respected in their rights to worship and the propagation of their faiths.
ShaikhMoen ul-Hack made reference to several initiatives undertaken by the Government that have found favour with the Muslim community and coinciding with its mandate to develop and empower people.
Among them, the granting of lands for the construction of masjids and other places of worship, homes for the less fortunate, uniform vouchers for school children, accreditation of Islamic schools and other institutes of learning and the facilitation of Hajj visas for intending pilgrim, and the appointment of Muslim marriage officers.
A section of the gathering at State House at the Eid luncheon hosted by President Donald Ramotar
Muslims hold sacred the first and twelfth months of the Islamic calendar in which the journey of the great prophet sets the precedent in the city of Mecca, the location where the largest number of pilgrims in history converge in observance of Hajj.
In brief remarks, President Ramotar spoke with great respect and admiration for Islam and more particularly the universal message that has relevance for a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society like Guyana.
“I don’t know of anything that is worthwhile in this world without sacrifice and sharing what we have particularly in a world that we live in today, where the disparity of poverty and wealth has never been so great as it is today… therefore the concept of sharing and equality is important to guide our day to day work,” President Ramotar said.
His call for an end to conflicts in Middle Eastern nations like Palestine, Egypt and Syria was reiterated as loud as it was during his inaugural and second address at the United Nations General Assembly.
With Guyana facing its own challenges in the political realm, President Ramotar said he will be counting on the support of all “to persevere in the face of difficulties.”