The difficulty we are confronted with everyday in our job as writers is that, often than not, we are compel to take on somebody; we revere so much, because of their utterances, which is borne out of ignorance.
Bishop Charles Agyin Asare, is one man I respect so much, although I am a Muslim, I give ears to some Men of God, when they speak, not that I could be converted to Christianity, but I believe that in our journey to discover God, we must travel in different directions.
It was and is still in the power of God to decide that all human beings must share one faith, but that was not what God intended for man, simply because God is a lover of diversity.
Even animals, for example an ant is made up of so many species, and so it stands to reason that higher animals like us, cannot share one faith.
Religion, they say is the opium of the masses, I have also read somewhere that people never commit crime with so much conviction, than when they are doing it from a religious point of view.
Over the years, the two dominant religions, Christianity and Islam, have had their fair share of fundamentalism, which had led unfortunately to the loss of lives.
I have struggled to define who a Christian really is; it is often easy just by a name to conclude that one is a Muslim, but how about a Christian?
Year in, year out, traditional authorities in the Greater Accra, have had brushes with some Christians, over the ban on drumming and dancing. Muslims at no time in history, have ever taken sides or condemned the actions of the Christians and their leaders, at best what we have done is to call for calm.
I am one person and my friends will tell you I never discuss religion, because almost all my friends are Christians, I can say with certainty that I do not have a Muslim friend.
Why am I going on about this, now read what Bishop Charles Agyin Asare said on Sunday April 5, to commemorate the Easter Celebrations “We won’t keep quiet anymore because one of the charters of the UN is that everybody should have freedom of worship, however, some people believe that they should kill others so that they are the only people who can worship their ‘whoever’,”
First of all, Bishop Asare, we do not worship whoever, we worship Allah. These are some of the utterances that anger others to want to defend their belief; it is gradually becoming a case of giving a dog a bad name and hanging it.
Muslims all over the world, have been in the forefront of condemning the actions of these misguided fundamentalism. In broadening the debate, I will like us to put things in context.
Our behavior is often informed or shaped by our culture, tradition, upbringing, circumstances etc. it is easy to have someone born in Palestine to be a terrorist than one born in Ghana. How many Ghanaians can strap a bomb around themselves and run into a crowd to detonate killing themselves in the act.
Another context is that, we should ask ourselves, what are they fighting for, is it so that every soul in the world convert to Islam, or it is a political crusade?
Bishop Asare went on to say that “The reason why Islamist fundamentalists are behaving the way they are doing is because we haven’t given them the gospel,” he said, adding: “If we had taken the Bible to them, they would not take the gun or the sword.”
The Bishop is revealing some blindness that should be pitied, if he cares to know Islam means PEACE. The people perpetuating these evil acts are not true Muslims, they might claim to be Muslims, but they are not.
Allah tells us in the Holy Quran that anybody who deliberately takes the life of another human being will face his wrath.
He also admonished us Muslims that He (Allah) will fight for his Religion and so if anybody comes to you or stand somewhere and says he is fighting for Islam, that person or group of persons are doing that for their selfish interest.
My dear Bishop Agyin Asare, we do not know Muslims by their name or attendance at Mosque or parading fellow human beings and beheading them. We know them only by their deeds.
In his (Agyin ASare’s) estimation, there are more than 200 million Islamic fundamentalists in the world on a religious cleansing campaign aimed at exterminating all Christians from the face of the earth.
According to his calculations, if between 10 and 17 per cent of Muslims are thought to be fundamentalists, then it means more than 200 million of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslim population is targeting Christians to harm them for being Christians.
How did he come by this conclusion?
On April 15, 2014, in Nigeria more than 219 innocent girls were brutally kidnapped from their school, by a band of renegades masquerading as religious fanatics, this is what has come to be known as the Chibok Girls. Majority of these innocent girls are Muslims and so the question that I asked earlier and would like to reiterate is, are these societal misfits engaged in religious crusade or they are on a journey to control the resources of their countries?
A well read person is a person who exudes knowledge and not chaff as he wants us to belief in his Easter sermon last week. Society will be better off without religious bigots like him, who in the desperation to offer solutions, rather deepen the cracks that many have tried over the years to mend.
It was Rev. Jesse Jackson who said that– “leadership cannot just go along to get along; leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day”.
Christians do not engage in falsehood. I have heard a lot of lies or half-truths lately. Truth has nothing to do with falsehood, and the scriptures say that there is no lie in God, who is the Truth.