Imam says proposed constitutional change may affect aid

An imam in Samoa has questioned whether the proposed constitutional change to reinforce Samoa as a Christian country would mean it would no longer do business with non-Christian countries.

Imam Mohammed Bin Yahya said there are a lot of non-Christian countries that give aid to Samoa.

“Will they say no aid because you are not Christians, keep your money to yourself?”

“No more money from China, no more aid from Japan because we are Christians and you are Shintos or you are this religion?”

Bin Yahya said people should not discriminate against his faith without knowledge of its teachings.

He said the only Christian church to invite him to talk about Islam was the Methodist Theological College.

What are the Christian principles?

The Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has said freedom of religion will remain untouched, and any constitutional change would only make it clearer that Samoa is a Christian country.

Bin Yahya, said he does not have a problem with that because the constitution would say that the government should be run to Christian principles.

But Dr Yahya, who was raise as a Catholic, said those Christian principles be defined.

“We have all kinds of Christianity in Samoa, let us not play with it, the truth is Catholics are different, Methodists are different, Congregational churches are different, they are all different, so we need to define what principles they are talking about.”

“Just like Islam, there are some other sects in Islam, when you talk about Sunni or Shiite, we need to define, are we talking about this Islam or that Islam,” he said.

What is an Imam?

An imam is an Islamic leadership position.

It is most commonly in the context of a worship leader of a mosque and Muslim community by Sunni Muslims.

An Imam may also take on a larger role in providing community support and spiritual advice.

The imam is a respected member of the community.

In some communities, an imam may be specifically recruited and hired, and may have undergone some special training.

In smaller places, imams are often chosen from among the existing members of the Muslim community.

There is no universal governing body to supervise imams; this is done at the community level.

Mohammed Bin Yahya is also know as Mohammed Daniel Stanley and Laulu Dan Stanley.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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