The Chairman of the National Hajj Board, Sheikh I. C. Quaye, has condemned the Muslim youth who vandalised property of the Word and Power Ministry International in reaction to a ‘prophecy’ by the Founder and General Overseer of the church, Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah, that the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharabutu, will die this year.
Following the prophecy, some Muslim youth stormed the Word and Power Ministry International at Odorkor last Wednesday and vandalised some property of the church.
Sheikh Quaye said Islam was not a religion that condoned violence and acts of vandalism and that the actions of the youth were unacceptable, as they were an affront to the teachings of the Holy Q’uran and the gains made at addressing the stereotyping of Islam as a violent religion.
"What the youth did was so bad; it is not Islamic; it is not entertained by Islam; the Chief Imam does not accept this and the followers of the Chief Imam will also not accept this. So all those who are doing this to ruin the name of the Chief Imam must stop," he cautioned.
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Sheikh Quaye made the condemnation when he interacted with the media after a press conference held at the Hajj Village in Accra last Saturday as part of the Hajj thanksgiving service to mark the completion of a successful pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, last year.
Best ever Hajj
Giving an overview of the 2018 Hajj, Sheikh Quaye said that pilgrimage was the "best ever Hajj" in the history of Hajj organisation in the country, as the process was "smooth".
He said for the first time passports with visas were issued to would-be pilgrims two weeks ahead of departure, adding that “no pilgrim was left behind and no pilgrim spent the night at the Hajj Village”.
He added that the pilgrims were supported financially throughout the process and were also offered the best medical care, state-of-the-art accommodation, security and nutritious meals.
Sheikh Quaye said the successes chalked up in the 2018 Hajj were largely owed to the "unconditional support" offered to the Hajj Board by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
According to the chairman, the aged embarking on the pilgrimage without guides, the carrying of prohibited goods and items, as well as political propaganda, were some key challenges which continued to confront the board.
The thanksgiving service brought together members of the National Hajj Board, Imams from across the country, Zongo chiefs, Hajj agents and other dignitaries.
Quranic recitations were done in unison by the Imams, followed by special prayers for the nation, the President, the Vice-President, government appointees and Members of Parliament.