Alhajj Maulvi Noor Mohammed Bin Salih, Ameer and Missionary-in-charge of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana, has called on government to desist from engaging in issues that disunite the citizenry.
He said as long as citizens continued to argue among themselves, biases would develop and settle. “Biases are enemies of a human being, when you create an avenue for human beings to have biases, the biases keep on multiplying and develop into hatred, and when an attempt is made to practise hatred, it resolves into anarchy, chaos, disturbance of the peace of the society.”
Alhajj Bin Salih who was reacting to the controversy surrounding the establishment of a national cathedral at the 39th Annual National Ijtema’a (rally) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association of Ghana in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, noted that when a government takes the cloak of religion, biases start finding their ways into the system.
The event, which brought together thousands of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth across the country and beyond, government officials and the media, was on the theme: “Self-Reformation.”
Alhajj Bin Salih, who chaired the occasion, indicated that “a cathedral is a house of worship for Christians, and nobody can convince me that my Christian brethren; the Catholic Secretariat, the Christian Council, the Pentecostal Council, they cannot on their own put up a cathedral for the purposes of worship”.
“Each one of these component groups has the capacity to put up that cathedral, the size and type of which we are talking of. The only difficulty is in the government making it look like kind of absorbing the very idea as if it is emanating from the government as the implementer. That is what brings and presents a situation where many questions are asked.”
He said there was a thin line between state and religion, “even though this line is so thin and so minute to see, it exists, and that existence must be acknowledged if we must move on and move on well.”
Alhajj Bin Salih said any group of people in whose hands governance was controlled must watch out not to create the slightest opportunities for people to build biases, and reiterated that “they must shy away from any utterances, any activities or involvement in any activities that will make the people of the nation to start arguing vehemently among themselves”
He said such situations had the tendency to breed hostility among citizens and lead to disorganised society “when as a matter of fact, we are compatriots,” and indicated that “as far as giving land to a religious group or anybody making a request from the government for an establishment, government has every right to give and help where that land is available.”
“I therefore see nothing wrong in government giving land to one Christian body or a group of Christian bodies to build a cathedral, the challenges and difficulties arrive from where the government mentions that same project as one of its flagship projects for the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Ghana as a country.”
“Are we in a theocracy or we are in a democracy,” he quizzed, and said to build bungalows in the current “impoverished economy” with the state of art at great cost for only five years to be demolished for a 14 acres to be given out to a group of people to establish a cathedral “which will be wholly and solely meant for the worship of only one group of the society to the exception of other members of the society is to call for questions which we cannot answer.”
He urged the youth to avoid any situation which had the potential of creating animosities that could make friendly and brotherly people start “shouting and throwing questions at each other, and angrily asking for answers,” if they found themselves in positions of authority.