Muslims Can’t Be Second Rate Citizens
Muslims Can’t Be Second Rate Citizens Website
Transport magnate and politician, Alhaji Asuma Banda has called on Muslims to move away from being content with playing second fiddle to others and endeavour to assert themselves as equals in the task of national reconstruction. "Whether in the realm of politics, business, the academia or any other sphere of human endeavour, Muslims cannot make the requisite progress and take their rightful place if they remain content with playing secondary roles or second fiddle to others. Muslims can and must also aim and aspire for the highest positions and honours of the land," he contended. Alhaji Banda, also a prominent leader in the Islamic community, was commenting on calls in sections of the Islamic community advocating that Muslims be accorded the running mate slot of political parties for the 2008 elections. According to Alhaji Banda, Ghanaian Muslims were as much endowed with intellect, expertise, knowledge and experience as any other people of other religious persuasion and therefore were competent to stake the claim to high offices and positions in the country. "Besides if you always relegate yourself to the status of a second rate person all the time, you will not only fail to rise up to the top but also risk losing even the second rate position you are content with," he said. According to Alhaji Banda, the call on political parties to offer the running mate slots to Muslims smacked of an inferior and defeatist mentality which must not be encouraged. "Muslims like all other Ghanaians must occupy positions whether political, economic or social on account of their own competence and capabilities and not because of their perceived positions as a disadvantaged group which should be shown sympathy," he contended. Alhaji Banda urged Muslims to endeavour to excel more in their respective spheres of endeavour and to increase their organisational capabilities to place them in good stead to lead the nation at the highest levels in the immediate future. He reminded Muslims and other groups in the country that Ghana was a secular country to which public positions were not awarded on the basis of social factors such as ethnicity, religion, race or social status but on competence and merit. "Let us, therefore, work together to win for ourselves what is ours by merit for no one will confer the best on us on a silver platter with no ulterior motives," he said. Alhaji Banda urged Muslims to be very wary of all manner of people who would want to use them to satisfy their narrow personal selfish interests under the guise of the religion and added that "we must categorically reject these pretenders and their harmful motives". He contended that there had been situations in this country where a non-Muslim who had been at the helm of power had shown more interest in Islamic Education promotion and instituted national Islamic holidays as opposed to the situation where Muslims were in leadership positions, and nothing positive was done for Muslims. "The most recent bungling of the Hajj during which Muslims who duly paid to go on the Hajj were subjected to untold hardships and humiliation at the hands of their fellow Muslims and nothing has been done to the culprits, is a case in point that must position us (Muslims) to open our eyes and minds well to determine where and who can best protect our interest," he said.