Amb. Abdul-Rahman Harruna Attah, MOV
A RANDOM SAMPLING
Sorry about the image above. It is a terrifying symbol of how religion can be used for some of the vilest political doctrines. A swastika embedded in a cross. History has a way of throwing up some awkward archival references that later generations would prefer to forget. The picture above was the sign of Deutsche Christians (DC).
Whereas history disposed unequivocally of the DC as an evil movement, immediately at war’s end in 1945, in some respects, the jury is still out there on a pontiff regarding questions of complicity through silence. The saintly visage of Pope Pius XII has often featured in references to the holocaust or shoah. Though some historians have provided evidence of the Pope’s interventions a number of times to shield some Italian Jews from the Nazi murdering machines, the smear is yet to disappear completely.
“German Christians was a pressure group and a movement within the German Evangelical Church that existed between 1932 and 1945, aligned towards the antisemitic, racist and Führerprinzip ideological principles of Nazism with the goal to align German Protestantism as a whole towards those principles.”*
Some historians hold that the concordats signed between the Catholic Church and the two dictators, Fascist Benito Mussolini and Nazi Adolf Hitler strengthened the two dictators’ hands in perpetrating their crimes against humanity.
Let us step further back into European history: “In 1533, Henry VIII broke from the church and married the now pregnant Anne Boleyn in a secret ceremony. This solved his heir problem, but Henry was excommunicated by the Pope. … He helped Henry to break away from Rome, establishing Henry as head of the Church of England. This act also brought Henry much needed wealth.”*
In Rwanda, described by the late Christopher Hichens as the most Roman Catholic country in Africa, the genocide of 1994 – over one million victims – was partly facilitated by some high ranking members of the church including nuns…
And again, during our own lifetime, on September 11 2001, we saw how 19 young men of Arab (Islamic) backgrounds hijacked commercial airliners and crashed into major US iconic buildings killing thousands, destroying property worth billions and traumatising a great nation like the US.
After the 2020 US elections, the so called Evangelicals bought into the big lie of President Trump that he did not lose the elections and that they were stolen by Biden with Trump doing everything he could to upturn the elections, culminating in the insurrection of January 6 when the Capitol Building was taken over briefly by Trump supporters. But no image can define the Trump presidency’s misuse of religion, more than the one with him strolling from the White House to the to the St. John’s Episcopal Church at the height of the “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations simply to hold aloft a Bible. Such a ludicrous image… “On June 1, 2020, amid the George Floyd protests in Washington, D.C., law enforcement officers used tear gas and other riot control tactics to forcefully clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square and surrounding streets. Minutes later, President Donald Trump and senior administration officials walked from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church. Trump held up a Bible and posed for a photo op in front of Ashburton House (the church’s parish house), which had been damaged by a fire during protests the night before.”*
A MEPHISTOPHELIAN GHANAIAN DANCE WITH RELIGION
And coming home, a so called Christocentric national cathedral is threatening to rend our country asunder with the complicity of both Christian and Islamic leaders… And the first victims: The Islamic community. In a strange reversal of roles, spokespersons of the highest level of Islamic practice in Ghana have become the loudest advocates of the pseudo Christian cathedral of politics and occultism, sometimes referred to as the “Mother Church of Ghana”. As if possessed, the main spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Armiyawo, has been darting from one media house to the other defending the indefensible and sowing seeds of discord among the Islamic community on an issue that should rather unify them in opposition. He has dragged the venerable centenarian cleric into his very obvious partisan agenda, suspected by many to be an NPP one. In fact, I even “clashed” with him on an FM station earlier in the week…Sheikh Armiyawo has betrayed both the Coalition of Muslim Organizations (COMOG) and Federation of Muslim Councils (FMC), two leading Islamic organizations that have unequivocally condemned the cathedral and distanced Ghanaian Muslims from the building. For Sheikh Armiyawo to go behind these organizations and become a spokesperson for Nana Akufo-Addo and his cathedral of doom, shows the parlous state in which the Ghanaian ummah finds itself. This unfolding tragi-comic drama would not have been visited on us if Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had not come up with his hubristic cathedral of doom and focused rather on his constitutional duties and not his religious affiliation. And in a very cynical fashion, Sheikh Armiyawo has turned round to accuse those of us defending the Chief Imam’s independence, honour and dignity as insulting him, giving Akufo-Addo apologists the leeway to wade in with similar accusations. What does he say then about the COMOG and FMC positions or “fatwa” from a learned scholar like Sheikh Gedel? Did they also insult the NCI? How far this crack opened by Sheikh Armiyawo would widen, nobody can tell…
PS. In these columns next week, I will be commenting on “Hating Nana Akufo-Addo”.