Jihadists connected to the two ex-detainees from Guantanamo Bay being hosted in Ghana will not recognise any offer of sympathy from the country because it violates their jihadist ideology; an Islamic scholar has said.
President Mahama, in defending his decision to accept the two ex-detainees, recently asked Christian groups, including the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC), who are not in favour of hosting the detainees in Ghana, to go back to basics and learn to be compassionate as the Bible teaches.
“The Bible instructs Christians to be compassionate to prisoners – that is even persons, who have been convicted – so, where is our faith-based compassion on these people, who have been detained for 14 years without trial and we can’t find it in our hearts to give them, at least, a chance to restart their lives?” he wondered.
In an interview with Class News on Tuesday, Most Rev. Osei-Bonsu of the Catholic Church, however, advised the President to “balance compassion with common sense. We need to be compassionate with people in need and try to help refugees and so on, but we have to balance compassion with sense,” he insisted.
“If we have reasons to believe that these people are dangerous, we are under no obligation to take them in Ghana. They can go to their own country, and the people there can show compassion to them, but we do not have any obligation,” he emphasised.
Speaking about the President’s appeal to compassion as basis for which Ghanaians should accept the two ex-detainees, Dr Mustapha Hamid, who lectures at the Department of Religion and Human Values at the University of Cape Coast said: “Your claim of compassion is negated by the very ideology of these jihadists.”
The Islamic scholar, who was a guest on Citi FM’s “The Big Issue”, a news analysis programme, explained that the doctrine of Muslim extremists and terrorists does not permit jihadists to accept any offer of kindness from individuals or groups, which do not believe in their principles.
He disagrees with the National Chief Imam’s Office, which is urging Ghanaians to help integrate the two into society.
Dr Hamid told host Umaru Sanda Amadu that anyone, who does not follow their extremist code is an infidel and their creed instructs that all infidels be killed.
“By the jihadist ideology, Ghana does not qualify to offer them compassion because their ideology postulates that anybody, who is not of their conviction, should be killed,” he said on Saturday 16 January 2016.
He cited a video circulating on social media where the leader of Boko Haram calls for the murder of all individuals, including Muslims, who do not believe in their code.
The Boko Haram extremist militant group in Nigeria, with its leader Abubakar Shekau, has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation in Syria.
“The leader of Boko Haram reiterates that ideology in the video and mentioned Muslim groups like the Tijanniya, Shia etc. All these people are described as infidels who must be pursued and killed.”
Dr Hamid holds a strong belief that the government of Ghana erred in believing that it was hosting them based on compassion. He feels a wider consultation with stakeholders should have been done before taking the decision because it could have negative consequences on the country.
Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby were held for 14 years but are currently in Ghana for two years as part of a deal reached between the governments of the United States and Ghana.
President John Mahama recently said the two posed no security threat to the country and will be under constant surveillance. The two, President Mahama added, are being housed on the compound of National Security.
Several Christian groups: Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Christian Council of Ghana, Presbyterian Council of Ghana and the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, as well as ordinary and prominent Ghanaians, have kicked against the move.