Monday, August 30, 2010

Youth call for neutral Hajj Committee

Sheikh Osman Huhu Sharabutu is the National Chief Immam of Ghana

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By William Yaw Owusu

Saturday August 28, 2010
MUSLIM YOUTH for Change, a group of Muslim youth have cautioned against what they call “undue politicisation” of the organization of the Hajj, a religious ritual of the Islamic religion.

They also reminded organizers to “remember that the sacred trust of organizing the Hajj must not be turned into defrauding poor and vulnerable pilgrims and indulge in various unethical acts under the pretext of Hajj, and in the name of Islam, in order to gain worldly wealth and influence.”

A news release issued in Accra and signed by Sheikh Dayinday Ali, General Secretary of Muslim Youth for Change with the title “NDC foot soldiers Hajj Organizers”, claimed that the organization of the Hajj has been given to foot soldiers and sympathizers of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He said “we consider Hajj as a religious obligation and therefore its organization and management require the involvement of stakeholders of the Muslim Community and not on partisan basis as it is happening now in order to ensure good corporate governance, transparency, accountability, efficiency, effectiveness and professionalism.”

“With the preparation of the 2010/2011 Hajj underway, we demand from the NDC-imposed Hajj Committee to render full account of the Hajj 2009/2010”, adding “without doubt, the organization of Hajj 2009/2010 had occasioned a great scandal which had brought severe discomfort and humiliation to Ghanaian pilgrims in the holy city despite the propaganda messages of a well-organized Hajj.”

Sheikh Ali said “dishonesty on the part of the government the government and its so called Hajj committee, in pursuit of self interest and commercial profit, exploit the ignorance of the public and the vulnerability of Ghanaian pilgrims at the expense of the general good and benefit of the Muslim Ummah (community).”

He said it was ‘evident’ and ‘quiet obvious’ that some Hajj agents had “grossly abused their trust and taken advantage of the Hajj arrangements to accept clear aliens into the fold of the Ghanaian contingent and, more dangerously, facilitated their unlawful and illegal acquisition of Ghanaian travel documents.”

“We demand that the report of the 2009/2010 Hajj purported to have been submitted to His Excellency the Vice President be published in the media for the public to know.”

Sheikh Ali also called on the Hajj Committee to do a breakdown of this years’ Hajj fare which says has been pegged at 3,100 dollars instead of last years’ 2,900 dollars for the public to know the reasons for the increment.

“It is about time Ghanaians demonstrated the willingness and commitment to their own Hajj operations and develop their capacity to effectively, efficiently and professionally manage their own Hajj affairs in Ghana.”

He also reminded organizers of the Hajj to read Quran 4:10 and Quran 7:51.

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