Dissociate spiritualists from Mallams— Former GAF Chief Imam
The former Chief Imam of the Ghana Armed Forces, Lieutenant Colonel(retd) Imam Umar Sanda Ahmed, has expressed concern over people making reference to spiritualists who dabble into ‘juju’ as “Mallams.”
“Mallams are not spiritualist, Mallams are not Juju men, Mallam is a corrupted version of the Arabic word Moallim, which means an educator, Mallams impact knowledge for the growth of society,” the former Ghana envoy to Egypt explained.
Lt Col(retd) Ahmed was speaking to the Ghanaian Times last Friday in Accra on the recent gruesome murder of Ishmael Mensah, a 10-year-old by two teenagers: Felix Nyarko and Nicholas Kini, at Kasoa in the Central Region, allegedly for rituals to make them rich over night.
He regretted that media discussions on the event had been given a twist, with attempt to link the work of so-called spiritualist to Islam, pointing out that the Islamic religion abhorred all forms of sorcery.
Lt. Col (retd) Ahmed said Islamic clerics were opened to people who came to them for prayers, saying “that does not make you a spiritualist in the negative sense.”
“But then gradually, it becomes too much of a norm for anything that is negative to be traced to a Mallam. Somebody who does not know the Qu’ran but has put posters claiming to be Mallam this, Mallam that,” he said.
Imam Ahmed made reference to the late President of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere who was referred to as Moallim, as well as a veteran Nigeria politician, Mallam Maikano who was a Mallam in his own right but did not dabble in negative things.
The former Chief Imam of GAF urged the media to be well informed and be circumspect in discussing issues with religious undertone.
“This country has come a long way, we are peace loving people, nobody should try to injure the reputation of Islam by ascribing negative things by so called spiritualist to the religion,” he cautioned.
Imam Ahmed said though the 1992 constitution guaranteed freedom of Information, he pointed out that information that was “injurious to the body politics must not be allowed.”
He, therefore, urged the National Media Commission to sanction radio and Television Stations that “ventilate this kind of negative tendencies.”
“It is as a result of the unbridled broadcast of negative things by spiritualist on televisions and radios that has attracted the attention of the youth who see money making to be actual what makes them what they are,” he added.
Lt Col (retd) Ahmed said the society was so much engrossed in money and not how we make it , adding ”we have virtually sold our pride as people, our culture has been changed, our virtue as people who fear God , as Christians and Muslims has gone with the winds, so moral society is sick.The statutory bodies are not doing their work, when they want to do their work, they are impeded.”