You are here: HomeNews2016 03 15Article 422487

Opinions of Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

A brother muslim Arab country must step up to the plate

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Jan. 11, 2016

At the end of the day, we are all human earthlings with equal claims to wherever we may find a sleeping place and/or rest. The problem here, though, is that none of us lives in the best of worlds. We are deeply bonded by languages and cultures which have shaped us into the recognizable national characters and races that we are. Since Messrs. Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby were born and raised in Saudi Arabia, the heartland of the Islamic world, one would have thought that the Obama Administration would have bargained hard to have these recently discharged Guantanamo Bay Prison inmates, original charged with acts of terrorism, return to the kind of world that made them who they had become at the moment of their capture by U.S. military agents.

I am also frankly concerned about the strategically neutral stance reportedly taken by Messrs. Atef and Al-Dhuby vis-à-vis the volatile and apocalyptic activities of the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban networks. No doubt, these two young men are titled to their opinions. That is their inalienable right, all right, except for the equally significant fact that their self-proclaimed profile and/or identity does not square up with who their former captors say they are, and also why the Americans decided to lock them up for more than a decade without any formal judicial prosecution and/or conviction. Like their American captors, Messrs. Atef and Al-Dhuby claim that they pose no significant threat to their new Ghanaian hosts. But the irony of this fact inheres in the flat refusal of the United States to permit these men, among a legion of others, largely of Muslim-Arab cultural and ethnic provenance, to even spend a night in the most technologically fortified maximum-security prison establishment or institutions in either mainland or offshore United States.

The vehement calls by both the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) and the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council are thus perfectly understandable; but it may be too late and ineffectual, since the leaders of these religious establishments have no military and/or statutory powers to back their demand (See “Clergy Insist on Repatriation of Former Gitmo Detainees to US” / 1/11/16). On the preceding count, both the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Obama Administration ought to equally share the blame, especially vis-à-vis the apparently cynical and deliberate blindsiding of Ghanaian citizens. As the most powerful democratic culture in the world, it would have been laudably responsible for the Obama Administration to have both ascertained and ensured that the Ghanaian leaders with whom it was in the process of negotiating for the release of Messrs. Atef and Al-Dhuby had healthily and courteously informed their people about precisely what they were getting themselves into.

Indeed, as I had a teachable moment to tell a panel of interested discussants on this issue not quite a while ago, unless the decision to “halfway house” the two Yemeni persona-non-gratas also came with the immediate extension of NATO membership to Ghana, I absolutely do not see any signs of the Unites States’ being that much concerned about the value and fate of Ghanaian humanity in the dog-eat-dog global reality of Arabo-Islamic terrorism. I am also quite certain that this inescapably unsound policy decision by the Americans to spread both the wealth and potential harm entailed in having certified, even if retired, terrorists settled in countries least prepared to fend off a full-scale and well-coordinated acts of terror, such as have been witnessed in such African countries as Kenya and Tanzania, does not presage a progressive relationship between the West and the rest of us, my profuse apologies to Prof. Chinweizu.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs