President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged all Ghanaian Muslims to be wary of ideologues who may pervert a beautiful religion like Islam for selfish and destructive ends.
According to President Akufo-Addo, religion is a double-edged sword that can also be invoked for destructive purposes, and, as such, urged all Muslims to continue to hold hands in brotherhood and unity, for that is the essence of Islam.
“Whether you are Ahl-Sunna, Tijaniyya, Shia or Ahmadiyya, I remind you of the words of Allah, as captured in Quran Chapter 3:103: And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah stretches out to you, and be not divided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah’s favour on you; for you were enemies and he joined your hearts in love, so that by his grace you became brethren…,” he said.
The President made this appeal on Monday, June 26, 2017, when he delivered a speech at the Edi-ul Fitr prayers at the Independence Square, his first Eid as President of the Republic.
Describing Ghana as a nation where people of different faiths live together in peace and harmony, the President urged Ghanaians to cherish this long-standing bond that exists amongst them, and use it as a basis for advancing the cause of our country.
“On my part, I continue to commit myself to the principles of our Constitution, which enjoins on me fairness towards all Ghanaians, irrespective of their religious creed. As a Christian, I am deeply respectful of the Islamic faith, which, together with Christianity and Judaism, are called the Abrahamic faiths. We must, therefore, emphasise the things that bind us, rather than the ones that divide us,” he added.
Gender and Development
As the African Union Spokesperson on Gender and Development, and as a person fully committed to gender equality, President Akufo-Addo noted that one of the cardinal teachings of the Prophet Muhammad was gender justice.
He explained that before the advent of Islam, women in Arabia were treated as second-rate citizens, and female infanticide was rife.
“The Prophet restored the dignity of the woman, which we are required to uphold. It is not for nothing that the Prophet urges us to learn half of our religion from Aisha, a woman. This Prophetic admonishment resembles Kwegyir Aggrey’s oft-quoted statement that ‘if you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation’,” he added.