Sheikh Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharubutu – National Chief imam
A group of Muslim youth yesterday served notice of an impending demonstration against what in their view is the discrimination against members of their faith.
The tone of their presentation was bellicose and this is not good for peace and stability – which is the source of our worry.
The group has an issue with the Ashieye mosque/NGO debacle which thankfully has been doused by the swift intervention of important dignitaries in the Islamic community. But for this intervention, an erroneous impression was making the rounds through social media to the effect that Muslims are being denied the right to say prayers in their mosques – the fallout of which threatened the age-long inter-faith cordiality in the country.
We find it disappointing that matters are being misconstrued to imply an official discrimination against Muslims. If there is one country where there is not an iota of faith disharmony, it is Ghana.
We disagree with the premise of the youth and hence their conclusion; we would rather they reconsider their impression and avoid anything which has the potential of creating a gulf between members of the Abrahamic faiths in the country. It is as unnecessary as it is unacceptable at this time of our development. So many years have elapsed since independence; this is not the time for us to engage in faith disagreements fueled by disinformation. We are one people with a common destiny and when there is an issue of disagreement let us resolve same amicably.
Intermarriages have taken place between Muslims and Christians over the years with no incidents. What other countries have been experiencing and doing a lot to address to no avail, we have enjoyed limitlessly.
We wish to use this opportunity to congratulate those who used their influences to calm down agitated tempers when the Ashieye brouhaha threatened the peace in Ashieye and Adentan.
We hereby ask the youth, Muslim For Peace, and others outside Accra, to engage with the leadership of the faith especially the National Chief Imam and his elders to manage their concerns.
Anything which borders on bravado or high pitched opposition can result in untoward reaction and the fallout could disturb the peace and tranquility we have enjoyed uninterruptedly.
We are convinced beyond doubts that there is no deliberate effort at relegating Muslims to the background and indeed denying members of the faith their constitutional right to perform the tenets of their faith.
Muslims have never been so exalted and the evidence is glaring. With a Muslim Vice President who has an invaluable influence in the politico-economic affairs of the country, such an assertion cannot stand the test of scrutiny.
We must all appreciate the pros and cons of social media and be mindful therefore of what we post on it to avoid repercussions which would not be in the best interest of the country. We have also learnt about the intention of the youth to organize a demonstration: the highlight of which is the presentation of a petition to the Speaker of Parliament.
The group has the right to undertake such an exercise since, after all, the constitution supports it but we would ask that when they do, they should avoid any misconduct which can breach security.