Thank you Mr Speaker.
I equally rise to congratulate our Hon Colleague for the well-couched Statement and I believe it is at the most appropriate time.
Mr Speaker, it would sadden my heart that, everyday as I watch the television, or listen to the radio, one keeps hearing about what is happening in our sister country, Nigeria. Worse of it as a muslim, because it dents the image of many innocent muslims around the world who are doing all they can to adhere to the teachings of Islam.
Mr Speaker, I would just want to say that, all of us as muslims would wish that we are judged by Islam; people get to know what Islam is and judge us the muslims by it but not to judge Islam with us the muslims; this is because, some of our character and behaviour is the complete opposite of what Islam teaches.
Mr Speaker, I am saying this with many inferences not only in the Holy Qu'ran, but even the teachings of the
Holy Prophet (SAW). I have Colleague muslims here and I believe a lot of scholars are listening to us. They would tell you, at the time of the Holy Prophet (SAW) , he advocated learning to the extent that he told his followers that go seek knowledge even if it would take you to China. At that time in the Arabian Pennesula the farthest they thought was China.
So he was trying to tell muslims that, learn even if it is going to take you to China, and at that time there was no Islam in China. So what the Holy Prophet (SAW) was typically saying was that, learn not only the teachings of Islam; that is what he was portraying.
Mr Speaker, he was also cited many times in his teachings saying that, for every muslim knowledge is your bona fide property, therefore anywhere you find yourself and find knowledge, pick it. It did not also depict only the knowledge of Islam, because you could not find the knowledge of Islam everwhere apart from the Arabian Peninsula, but he said that anywhere you find it, pick it.
Mr Speaker, there had been many wars that were fought during the time of the Holy Prophet SAW. One key principle of war time in Islam is that, during war time, there are some people that the Holy Quran forbid any muslim to attack. The first are children; second are women and third are the elderly. So how can anybody who claim to be a muslim abduct a woman and worse of it children? That cannot be Islam. I am sorry to say that this cannot be the character of a muslim.
Mr Speaker, we, the muslims are very concerned and we condemn this thing without any reservation. Nothing under this sun can justify what is happening. Mr Speaker, we, as a people, need to do more. Why am I saying that we need to do more?
Nigeria after their Biafra war did a lot of things that I think should serve as a lesson to us. What are some of the things? They allowed themselves to be segregated into their own small corners. So when you go to the Northern part of Nigeria, they have this Madrasa. So you would see that even though they learn secular education, it is restricted only among muslims. They do not integrate.
Fortunately for us in Ghana, I am proud to say, I attended many mission schools and I am proud to say that even as of today, my children are attending a Pentecost school. So we are lucky that in Ghana we grow integrating.
This is something we must cherish as people, that at all times, we must do everything to integrate our society despite our differences in culture, religion and what have you.
Nigeria did not do this and I hope the leaders of Nigeria would take this lesson seriously to see how they can correct what has been written wrongly, so that in the future they would have one integrated society that people would see themselves as one another's keeper.
Mr Speaker, I am happy that my Hon Colleague, Hon Shirley made mention of unemployment. The issue of unemploy- ment is also an issue of marginalization. At all times, we must do whatever we can to try and consider those who are in minority so that they do not feel so aggrieved to behave irrationally. This is because what is happening in Nigeria cannot be rational, it is irrational.
Mr Speaker, I also congratulate our leaders for coming together and the international community for the support that they are giving.