Hundreds of Burkina Faso Imams denounce religious and ethnic intolerance
A group of 700 Muslim Imams and preachers in Burkina Faso on Monday (28 August) denounced “religious and ethnic intolerance,“ in response to calls for the killing of members of the Fulani community in the country, which is plagued by jihadist violence.
“We, Burkinabe, are playing a pernicious self-destructive role (…) by spreading messages inciting religious and ethnic intolerance which can be a source of extremely violent confrontations,” said a statement by Moussa Kouanda, president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of Burkina (FAIB), issued at the end of a seminar that brought together more than 700 imams and preachers in Ouagadougou. FAIB appealed to Imams and preachers to work to “promote national reconciliation and the restoration of social cohesion” and “stimulate a general mobilization for the only fight that is worthwhile today: a multi-faceted and relentless struggle to restore the integrity of our territory, for the return of security and peace.”
FAIB’s statement comes after calls for hatred and murder of the Fulani in Burkina Faso, who have been likened to the armed jihadist groups that have been bloodying the country since 2015 and whose members are from the Fulani community. Calls launched on social networks have raised fears of an outbreak of violence that could go as far as civil war and which have led the government to condemn them firmly. Burkina Faso, where the Muslim community is in the majority, is facing increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to armed jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.