Georgetown, Guyana: The President of Guyana, Dr Irfaan Ali, on Sunday evening, participated in an iftar meal and prayer at the New Amsterdam Central Jama Masjid. Iftar is a meal that Muslims consume after sunset during the holy month of Ramadan, breaking the fast that they observe during the day. Dr Ali’s participation in the event highlights the diversity and inclusivity of Guyana, where people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds coexist peacefully.
The New Amsterdam Central Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in Guyana and is located in the town of New Amsterdam, in the Berbice region. The President’s visit to the mosque is a gesture of goodwill towards the Muslim community in the country, which represents about 10% of the population. The Muslim community has been an integral part of Guyana’s history and culture since the arrival of the first Muslims from the Indian subcontinent during the colonial era.
Dr Ali’s visit was not only to participate in the iftar meal but also to celebrate the life and work of the late Dr Cheddi Jagan, the founder of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). Dr Jagan was a prominent political figure in Guyana who fought for the rights of the working class and the poor. He was the first president of Guyana after the country gained independence from the Britishers in 1966.
Babu Jaan is a village in the Berbice region where Dr Jagan was born and spent most of his life. The village is a significant location for PPP supporters and is often visited by political leaders who pay homage to his legacy. Dr Ali’s visit to Babu Jaan underscores the PPP’s commitment to its founding principles of social justice, equality, and democracy.
The President’s participation was followed by his visit to Babu Jaan, sending a message of unity and solidarity to all Guyanese, regardless of their religious or political affiliations. It reinforces the importance of respecting and valuing diversity in a multicultural society, where different beliefs and traditions coexist harmoniously.
Dr Irfaan Ali’s participation in the iftar meal and prayer at the New Amsterdam Central Jama Masjid, followed by his visit to Babu Jaan, highlights the rich history and culture of Guyana. It also reinforces the country’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and social justice. Such events play an essential role in promoting tolerance as well as understanding among people of different backgrounds, paving the way for a more united and peaceful society.