THE Muslim Youth Organisation has expressed its shock on the contents of an Editorial of the "Statesman", published on February 8.
In a letter to the press, in reaction to the editorial, the Youth Organisation, said:
We have been shocked by the contents of the 'Statesman's' editorial comment carried in the Wednesday, February 8 issue of the newspaper which sought to denigrate Islam and its believers.
The offensive part the editorial reads "Nana Akufo-Addo says Dr Danquah reminds us that it was our traditional love for freedom from oppression which made us strike against the attempt of Arabs to impose a religious slavery upon us in old Ghana. It compelled us to leave our homes and move south to build ourselves a new polity. We will do well to remember that we are heirs of that first flight form oppression to freedom."
We cannot ignore the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo who is reported to have quoted the ideological inspiration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is the Foreign Minister in the Kufuor adminis! tration and Dr J. B. Danquah who made the offensive statement is the political and ideological pillar of the entire Danquah-Busia tradition. Indeed, statements made by such luminaries of the Danquah-Busia tradition can and do reflect the general world view of the NPP.
The equation of the spread of Islam in West Africa especially "Old Ghana" to slavery can only be an insult to the religion and its adherents. Muslims in Ghana have never been slaves. They accepted to be Muslims because of the universal validity of the concepts and principles of Islam.
The racist tinge in the editorial and statements attributed to both Nana Akufo-Addo and J. B. Danquah are most unfortunate. Islam is not Arabic, it is as universal as Christianity which J. B. Danquah and Nana Akufo-Addo endorse as a most liberating religion. The anti-Arab sentiments attributed to the two gentlemen can become extremely harmful to the pursuit of Ghana's interest in the international arena, especially as Nana Akufo-Addo is Ghana's Foreign Minister.
The statement that "we would do well to remember that we are the heirs of that first flight from oppression (Islam) to freedom" underscores the fact that the Danquah-Busia tradition has always pursued an anti-Islam agenda.
We are shocked that in the current situation of world-wide struggles against the publication of cartoons offensive to Islam, the 'Statesman' would be reckless enough to publish such garbage against Islam and Muslims.
We call on the 'Statesman' and its publishers to withdraw the offensive publication and apologize to Muslims in Ghana and the worldwide.