Muslims in the country called upon Malawians to respect the right to religion and promote coexistence among religions.

This follows an outcry from the Muslim community as some people have removed a billboard belonging to Islamic Information Bureau with a message advising people to read Quran.

The message on the bill board did not go well with Evangelical Association of Malawi who demanded the removal of the billboard.

According to the letter addressed to chief executive officer of Blantyre city Assembly, signed by evangelical chairman Rev. Dr. Zacc Kawalala, churches in the Blantyre city were disturbed with the message on the billboard.

Reacting to the news about the removed billboard, Islamic Information Bureau coordinator Sheikh Ahmad Chiyenda strongly condemned those who initiated the removal of the billboard saying Muslims were just exercising their right to religion by spreading the message using that billboard.

Chiyenda also condemned Blantyre City council officials for not approaching them to discuss the issue before removing the billboard.

“All necessary procedures for one to erect the billboard in the city were followed and money was paid for,”Chiyenda said.

Chiyenda brushed aside the view that the message was offensive adding that it was meant to encourage Malawians of all religious background to also read the Quran.

He then called upon leaders to safeguard freedom of religion in Malawi and Muslims to calm down as the issue is looked into with urgency it deserves.

When contacted, Blantyre city council public relations officer Anthony Kasunda refused to grant us interview saying “I can not comment on the matter.”