The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has called for tolerance among the various religious groups in the country.
He said the use of violence in settling religious differences was counter-productive and could draw back national development.
Vice-President Bawumia made the call when he addressed the 87th Annual National Convention of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Ghana at Pomadze in the Central Region last Saturday.
The three-day convention, on the theme: “Building a violence-free society — The role of the citizen”, was attended by Ahmadis from across the world, including the Ameers in charge of Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya and Uganda.
Also in attendance was the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu.
‘Let’s emulate Muhammad’
Quoting from the Holy Quran, Dr Bawumia stressed that all true Muslims must adhere to the teachings of Prophet Muhammed and emulate his lifestyle.
“Islam, as a religion, means peace and the Holy Prophet Muhammed has taught that a true Muslim is the one from whose tongues and hands all other peaceful people are safe and who is at peace with his neighbours,” he said.
“Allah has admonished mankind, particularly Muslims, in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 verse 12 that we should not create disorder on earth.
“These beautiful teachings are what we need as a developing nation and that requires every citizen, particularly those of us who call ourselves Muslims, to put them into practice to show to the rest of the world that violence is an enemy to progress and that our true nature as human beings is to be at peace with one another,” he added.
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Muslims and Christians
Dr Bawumia stated that Muslims and Christians had been living in peace and nothing must be done to mar that relationship.
He indicated that Ghana had been an oasis of peace in the sub-region, probably among the most peaceful countries in the world today, because of the peace and tolerance that existed between Christians and Muslims.
“This peace is anchored by the peace and tolerance that exist between Muslims and Christians in Ghana and we should cherish one another, we should tolerate one another.
After all, the Prophet Muhammed told us Muslims that in the areas of faith, the people that we should be closest to are Christians.
That is exactly what he said. They should be our closest brothers and sisters,” he told the congregation.
He said a peaceful Ghana would lead to a prosperous Ghana, adding: “Violence is an enemy of progress.
It is an enemy to all of us, regardless of which tribe you are from, religion or which part of the country you live in.
Violence is our collective enemy and we should do all we can to prevent it and appreciate all the clergy – Muslim, Christian – the National Peace Council, civil society, the security services for all the work they do to maintain the peace of this country.
It is something we should never take for granted,” he said.
He also urged Ghanaians to come together “to keep this nation that God has given us a very peaceful one”.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Friday, the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission community, Hazrat Mira Masroor Ahmad, cautioned Ahmadi Muslims against arrogance and tribalism.
He said Islam teaches that all people are the creatures of God and that the most honourable among them was the one who was righteous.
“Belonging to a particular tribe does not grant any person nobility.
Therefore, it does not behold the dignity of a righteous person that he should involve himself in futile arguments relating to one’s tribal status,” he pointed out.
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