1.I am immensely pleased to convey, on behalf of the membership of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States and on my own behalf, best wishes to our Muslim brothers and sisters. Glory be unto Allah, as he has blessed us to successfully complete the month of Ramadan and now celebrate Eid-el-Fitr – the Festival of Fast-Breaking. I am sure that the completion of this holy month of fasting will bring home to us, more than ever, the importance of religious responsibilities in daily life.
2.Indeed, Ramadan always provides a period of intense prayer, deep reflection and sacrifice. It presents an opportunity to gather as families and communities to fulfill our responsibility to one another, and to God our creator. For an entire month, we demonstrated tolerance and restrain, fasting from dawn to sunset, offering special prayers for forgiveness and the peace of the world, and engaged in giving out charity, as the Islamic faith dictates. And after 30 days of fasting and praying comes Eid- a celebration of new beginning and spiritual renewal.
3.In West Africa, Islam is a part of our culture and we do not take for granted its extraordinary contributions to our region. Hence, we have always condemned and will continue to frown upon the forces who use the name of Islam to perpetuate evil. Terrorism, extremism, banditry, strife, communal conflicts are not included in the principles of the Islamic faith and will never be. Instead, the advancement of peaceful coexistence, brotherly love, and tolerance are the fundamental values we ascribe to.
4.It, therefore, gives me pleasure, on this occasion of the celebration of Eid-el-Fitr, to extol the hard work of all who contribute diligently to West Africa’s peace and stability. I also commend our brothers of other faith who joyously celebrate with us to the one true God, to whom all humans are accountable.
5.Let us use this occasion to renew our commitment to the values of unity, solidarity, and cooperation that underpin the ECOWAS Community. May the celebration and special message of these holy days fortify and uplift each of us and add to our vitality as a region. Once again, I wish you a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration. May Allah bless you and your families.
Rt. Hon. Dr. Sidie Mohamed Tunis