Over 40,000 people flooded the Siaka Stevens Stadium on Friday 6th March 2020 to witness the “Building Bridges” message by Mufti Ishmael Menk. The Stadium was over capacitated, as hundreds of people climbed on the Stadium poles to see the Islamic Scholar, whilst thousands of others clustered at the perimeter fence and in the pitch side respectively due to lack of space at the stands. Some people were unable to gain access, whilst others collapsed, due to crowd suffocation. They were eventually rescued by the standby medical personnel and securities. Some who arrived at the Stadium as early as 10:am happened to make it to the stands. “Building Bridges” is an Islamic initiative that helps connect people with their creator and give humanitarian assistance to less privilege in terms of health and other areas. The great Islamic scholars whose visitation was facilitated by the Foundation of Islamic Information in Serra Leone, came along with Zain Bhikal, one of the best Islamic song writer and singer in the globe. In his ‘Building Bridges’ sermon, Mufti Menk advised Sierra Leoneans to love one another despite the variance in religious faiths. He said as Sierra Leoneans we are all one in the sight of Allah and called on the people to showcase such love to their brothers and sisters in the country. He said peace, love and harmony are the bedrocks within a divided family and commended Sierra Leoneans for the, peace love and tolerance they have shown over the years. Alpha Barrie who witnessed the lecture said “I am very happy to come, and see this great scholar. Mufti is blessed and very inspirational. I pray he keeps on coming to the country every year.” The program which was witnessed by some top religious and government officials including President Bio and his wife, came to a peaceful conclusion, after the performance of host of Islamic songs by Zain and the offering of prayers for Sierra Leone and its people by Mufti Menk. Mufti Menk a Zimbabwean Islamic Scholar first visited the country in September 2017 but this is the first visit for Zain, the great South African singer.
By Mohamed J. Bah