Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) says it will work with the Blantyre City Council (BCC) to restore, to its original form, the billboard which was vandalized in Blantyre last week.
The billboard which was erected at Limbe in Blantyre by the Muslim Information Bureau attracted controversy and was vandalized by yet to be identified individuals.
The message on the billboard: “If you have read the Old Testament and the New Testament, now read the old testament – the Quran ultimate miracle.”
MAM in a statement dated 1 August and signed by Secretary General Alhaj Twaibu Lawe condemned the damaging of the billboard.
“[The vandals] went on to tear down the billboard in not only a disrespectful manner, but in a way that implies that Islam can only exist and preach its message with the approval of certain people. It cannot be correct that should certain people be unhappy with our teachings, then Islam cannot be allowed to freely exercise its teachings in Malawi,” MAM said.
The association added that it will engage the Blantyre City Council in order for the police to investigate and apprehend suspects who damaged the billboard.
MAM also wants BCC to work on the process of immediately replacing the damaged
After the billboard was erected, Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) on July 26 wrote the Blantyre City Council demanding the removal of the billboard.
EAM described the billboard as offensive saying the reference to the Old Testament and the New Testament in such a manner, even without mentioning the Bible, is tantamount to a comparison between the Bible and the Quran.
“Such an action is unacceptable and a recipe for religious conflict in Malawi,” the EAM said.
In its statement, however, MAM said the New Testament (Torah) and the Old Testament (Injil) are together with the Quran holy scripture of Islam.
“As such, the billboard does not demean, undermine or ridicule any of the scriptures because they are all holy in our religion and it is clear that those protesting why we, as Muslims, could mention the Old and New Testaments, were doing so from a point of ignorance,” MAM said in its statement.
The association also welcomed any legal challenge for the billboard to be taken down.
MAM further said that Muslims have been living in harmony with Christians in a multi-religious environment and look forward to a continued co-existence.
MAM said: “We do not have a problem with our Jew and Christian brothers and sisters, and it is our hope that they do not have a problem with us too.”