Ahlussunna Condemns Terrorist Attack
The Ahlussunna Wal-Jama’a (ASWAJ) in Ghana has unreservedly condemned the terrorist attack on Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya that led to the deaths of scores of people.
Al-Shabaab militants from neighbouring war-torn Somalia claimed responsibility for last Saturday’s attack that lasted almost four days, a siege in which renowned Ghanaian poet, academic and diplomat Prof. Kofi Awoonor lost his life.
According to the Kenyan authorities, 67 people including six security personnel and five militants died. At least 18 foreigners died. They include six Britons as well as citizens from France, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Peru, India, Ghana, South Africa and China.
About 175 people were wounded, including 62 who remain in hospital. The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab said it carried out the attack in retaliation for Kenyan army operations in Somalia.
At a news conference, Sheikh Umar Ibrahim Imam, National Imam said, ‘We would like to put on record with all the emphasis at our command that these acts are un-Islamic and cannot be justified with any Islamic jurisprudence.’
He said that it was clear from some of the verses of the Holy Quran that ‘Islam enjoins us to do things collectively only in righteousness and piety and not in atrocities and murderous acts.’
‘The same Holy book enjoins us to be just even to our enemies.
‘Where therefore lies the justification for the barbaric killing of people in the mall?
‘The act of terrorism such as was visited on the innocent people working and shopping in the Westgate Mall in Kenya can only come from ignorant and bigoted criminals, whose agenda has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, the name-tag ‘Islamist’ notwithstanding.’
‘It is the opinion of the hierarchy of Ahlussunna Wal-Jama’a of Ghana that Muslim leaders all over the world rise up to this challenge and work diligently towards uprooting this serious disease that groups like al-Shabaab and their ilk have infested on Islam.’
According to the National Imam, ‘The most painful aspect of the situation is the deceit with which they draw innocent youth who would otherwise serve as future leaders for their nations and communities into this despicable cause they have chosen for themselves.’
‘We urge all Muslim countries and communities to take a second look at their educational curricula and insert subject/topics aimed at protecting and insulating the youth from falling into the traps of these terrorist organizations.’
He urged peace-loving people not to allow ‘the barbaric act to disrupt the prevailing peaceful co-existence between Muslims and people of other faith.’
He said the killing of innocent people is frown upon by the Holy Quran and those terrorists should be condemned without any reservation.
‘This is the stand of the Holy Quran and therefore the stand of Islam. We, Ahlussunna Wal-Jama’a, will therefore condemn any act that violates this cardinal teaching of Islam.’
The National Imam expressed their readiness to partner the media to expose what he called ‘perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity in any form.’
By William Yaw Owusu
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