Religion of Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Sheikh Dr Osman Sharubutu, the National Chief Imam, has condemned the violent acts that followed the release of an anti-Islamic movie in a number of countries, saying “it is not in the nature of Prophet Muhammad to react pugnaciously to such provocations.”
He said reacting within the law against the insults directed at Holy Prophet Muhammad was a necessity of their faith.
A statement issued in Accra on Monday by Sheikh Dr Sharubutu expressed condolences to the people of the United States over the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three of his colleagues following the protests in Libya over the recent insulting movie.
The National Chief Imam was reacting to the recent movie released in the US when officials of the US Embassy called on him in Accra.
He said insulting Prophet Muhammad could not be considered within the framework of freedom of speech as it was tantamount to the desecration of religious sanctities.
“Freedom of speech should not give people the right to endanger human lives and security without consequences,” he added.
He noted that Western governments sneeringly brush aside the wanton provocation of Muslims by meekly claiming they did not have control over what these miscreants produce because of freedom of speech.
“In many Western countries the desecration of religious sanctities is punished by a jail term yet when Muslim sanctities are humiliatingly violated no such action is taken,” he noted.
He called on the government of the United States to take a stern action against the producers of the film to send a strong message to those intending to desecrate not only Muslim sanctities but the sanctities of all religions.
The Chief Imam noted that Muslims had enjoyed a peaceful co-existence with people of other faiths in Ghana and “we must ensure that that admirable state of affairs is maintained.”
He also appealed to the United States government to use the regulatory bodies in the Hollywood film industry to prevent the production of such hate-filled movies.
He urged Google who owns YouTube, to have guidelines to prevent the use of their powerful platform to spread this distasteful movie.
Sheikh Dr Sharubuta asked Muslims in Ghana to continue to exercise restraint, saying “as we try to seek a permanent and a lasting solution to this problem.”