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Opinions of Monday, 1 February 2016

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

I do not see Muslims in Ghana falling to radicalism

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Don’t smear all of us (Muslims) with evil acts of transgressions being exhibited by so called Islamic States (ISILS) , Taliban and alshabab members in the Middle East and North Africa. We in Ghana have been taught that every good Muslim young and old, man or woman, is required to follow the five fundamental principles (pillars) of Islam. These include believing in the supremacy of God with Prophet Mohammed as prophet and his messenger, believing in the payment of zakat, fasting during the month of Ramadan and performing pilgrimage (hajj) when capable. We are required to follow the order by God to Prophet Mohammed to read (known as IKRA) and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed himself for mankind to seek knowledge even if we have to travel for it in far away china. Since we have been ordered to read widely we do not abhor but embrace secular education side by side Islamic studies. Being a practicing Muslim does not give one the license to force other people in and outside Islam through arms attacks and suicide bombings to follow the path of Islam. That is unacceptable in Islam. According to almost all good Islamic jurists apart from seeking knowledge ‘Islam means peace and submission to the will of Allah’ ,therefore every Muslim is required to safeguard mankind from harm and only fight in self defense when attacked and in event of a Muslim being harassed from performing his religious duties such as performing prayers. According to Islamic teachings, we are not allowed to kill human beings for according to the teachings of Islam, the killing of a soul would amount to eliminating a whole humanity. If you are in Ghana, I suggest you visit the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu in his home at Fadama, Accra or his mosque and listen to his sermons and advise to all mankind. You may also visit the Imam of Ahlul Sunna Wal Jama, Sheikh Umar Imam in Nima and study his body language, thinking and preaching in which he always advise all Imams under him to learn to preach in English for easy interactions with all people in Ghana. If you follow up with visits to our mosques across Ghana and homes of all Imams of the Ghana Muslim Mission and other Islamic bodies whose members were once Christians you would come to the conclusion that Muslims in Ghana are good followers of Islam for being peace loving. The Ghana Muslim students associate (GMSA) and Ghana Muslim academy (GMA) that work outside the campuses were formed by Muslim students to promote Islam in the institutions and all Muslim settlements concerned. They have done so well over the years by whipping Muslim youth in line to practice Islam very well. Come to think of this, we have in Ghana Muslim intellectuals and lecturers in our nations Universities such as Sheikh Seebaway Zakariah, Dr Rabiatu Armar Konney, Sheikh Suleimana Mozu, and Sheikh Ibrahim Nuamah. These and many others all enjoyed secular education together with Christians in Ghana and abroad but as Islamic scholars they do impart knowledge to Muslims and non Muslims on how to live in peace with all people including Christians in Ghana. They, like our senior Imams do not teach fundamental radicalism for people to take up arms against Muslims and non Muslims, who do not follow their creed as we hear is happening in other nations of Africa. For that matter, in our entire neighborhoods, where we have Muslims and non Muslims, in our nations army and police barracks, in our government and private work places where we have people from all walks of life, in our markets and schools, Muslims live in peace with everybody to the extent that we all support each other during Christian and Muslim festivities. We have often held religious meetings together with Christians to deliberate to settle issues of chieftaincy and political conflicts. We have worked together over the years to advice politicians who belong to the two religions to go about campaigning peacefully as we prepare for elections. Interestingly Muslims and Christians have over the years joined hands to observe elections successfully, the outcomes of which are accepted by all political parties.
Due to the positive stand of Muslims as stated above, we in Ghana are not anywhere closer to promoting fundamental radicalism in Ghana. We as a whole are not ready to get closer to joining hands with the so called Islamic States and radical movements in Iraq and Syria. We would not join hands with alshabab and talibans of North Africa or Boko Harram of Nigeria. We Muslims and Christians in Ghana are so closely knit through marriage and family lineages and understand the sinfulness in killing that we cannot believe that any Muslim apart from a criminal would take up arms to kill anyone in Ghana in the name of Islam. Fortunately for us we have in the country an umbrella organization for Muslims in Ghana known as the Federation of Muslim Councils of Ghana which is recognized by the state and the Constitution of Ghana. Together with the Federation of Women Organizations of Ghana (FOMWAG) and the Office of National Chief Imam, Muslims are made to serve on some government board of directors and advisory committees at top governmental levels to discuss national issues. This has brought Muslims closer to all manner of people high and low to work for orderly development of the nation. The state security as always must continue looking out for highway robbers who rob passengers in buses at gun point. Since we are currently experiencing radicalism in some parts of Africa the security system have a reason to continue checking to apprehend foreign nationals coming into the country with evil intentions. However I wish to assure the entire world community that according to what I have gleaned about Muslims generally, Ghanaian Muslims as a whole would never fall to the Islamic fundamental radicalism being experienced in other parts of the world including Africa.

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