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Togo: Snippet on Muslims

Togo: Snippet on Muslims

             

 
IINA - 01

IINA – 05

Lome, Dhul Hijja 8/Feb 20,2002(IINA) – Islamic Daawa is on the increase in the republic of Togo, in that a number of Islamic organizations have sprung up in this country, in addition to the fact that the country has joined the of the Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). One of the largest such organizations is the Federation of Togo Muslims, a non-political organ, concerned only with the welfare of the Muslims in the country, and its membership is open to all Muslims.

Among the Federation’s objectives are to spread peace, justice, love and freedom, and to help the Muslims live a descent life and to co-exist with followers of other faiths. It also aims at spreading the Message of Islam and the Islamic culture and education.

The Federation also takes care of new Muslims, and has always discouraged extremism and violence.

With the help of the Libyan Jamahiriya, its has been possible to set up a Training and Educational Center for new Muslim reverts. Since the new Muslims are usually boycotted by their kith and kin on embracing Islam, they are also being helped to stand on their own, and given the means to do so.

There are many people in Togo who take to Islam, including members of the Christian clergy, and they all need to be assisted in offsetting the effects of being boycotted by their own people.

In an interview with IINA, the Federation’s secretary-general, Ahmadu Tito, said that the Federation has established good relations with the government of Togo, and that the government itself has many Muslim civil servants, and that the Minster of Defense, Minister of Justice, Parliament Speaker, and the Private Advisor to the President, are all Muslims. He added that only two year ago, the country’s Minister of Local Government embraced Islam.

The Federation gives top priority to the education of Muslim children, and in this connection has established two schools in Lome, the capital, in which French and Arabic are taught. It has also established an Islamic Center in Logi, and the Muslim Academy at Sonko.

With the held of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Federation has also been able to set up the Muslim Academy, in which there are 500 students, starting from primary right up to secondary level of education. The Federation has several other smaller educational institutions in various parts of the country.

Since these Muslim schools lack the right curricula of study, a number of people concerned with education have been sent to various countries in North Africa, such as Tunisia and Morocco, to study their curricula, and recommend their application to the schools in Togo.

There are numerous mosques in Togo, 40 of them in Lome alone, two of which are large ones, and they are filled to capacity with worshippers, particularly on Fridays, when they overflow and some of the worshippers have to pray on the pavements.

The Federation tries its best to spread the word of Islam, and from time to time holds seminars and symposia for this purpose. But it is hampered from doing more, mainly for lack of resources, since its funds come mainly from donations and Zakat from its members.

Togo’s Muslims have effective means of spreading the Message of Islam, including an Islamic broadcasting station, which beams its programs round the clock. It is called the Jabal Noor Valley Islamic Broadcasting Station, and is on the FM wavelength. There is also a television station, while every Saturday the state television station allocates 30 minutes for Islamic programs.

But there is yet to be published an Islamic newspaper or magazine in the country.

As for Togo’s membership of the Organization of Islamic Conference, many Togolese Muslims have expressed the opinion that they have yet to see the benefits of membership, because the OIC is dealing directly with the governmental authorities.

Togo is the smallest West African country, with an area of 65,600 square kilometers and a population of just 4.7 million, half a million of whom live in the capital, Lome. They belong to different ethnic groups.

OB/OB/IINA

IINA – 02

Togo: Snippet on Islam and Muslims

Lome, Dhul Quidah 29/Feb 12,2002 (IINA) – Of Togo’s 5,000,000 population, Muslims constitute 50 percent, according to the Imam and Khateeb of the Salam Mosque here, Sheikh Haroun Al-Hassan. He said there are several Islamic and Qur’an schools to which Muslim boys and girls to, and many villagers are now gravitating toward Islam and embracing the faith in large numbers, adding that an average village in Togo has about 250 people. Sheikh Haroun said that two of the largest Islamic schools in the country, one in Balmi and the other in Sukur, have been financed by Saudi Arabia, in addition to several other similar schools that have been built by the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

OB/OB/IINA