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Exercise care in discussing ex-Gitmo detainees – COMOG 

Mahmmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef

The Coalition of Muslim Organisations, Ghana (COMOG), an umbrella body of Muslim organisations, has called on the public to be circumspect and exercise utmost care in the public discussion of issues relating to the asylum granted to the two former prisoners of Guantanamo Bay.

The group urged social commentators to decouple partisan politics and religious passions from media discussions on Mahmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef, 36, and Khalid Shayk Mohammed, 34, since that could pose more threat to the country than the presence of the pair.

This was contained in a statement signed by Haj Abdel Manan Abdel Rahman, General Secretary of the group.

“The strong language and tone of statements on the issue have the tendency to divide us, especially on religious lines, rather than unite us as one people seeking a permanent solution to a national problem,” the statement said.

COMOG said the tenets of Islam demanded that as long as the two ex-Gitmo detainees remained in the country, “we need to care for them as human beings in distress, in terms of their needs, welfare, and religious freedom.”

The statement recommended that a technical committee, made up of credible and neutral persons, should be set up to collate views and suggestions from individuals and corporate bodies so that a better decision could be taken in the interest of the country.

“The committee should carry out its deliberations in camera within a specific period, and should be provided with the right information on the issue to enhance proper deliberations,” COMOG stated.

Meanwhile, the statement from the group urged the public to remain calm and be wary of the fact that the country could be devastated by sectarian wars, a situation that must not be allowed to occur.

It would be recalled that the government announced the arrival of two ex-prisoners, Bin Atef and Mohammed, from the Cuban Island of Guantanamo Bay at the request of the US government.

Since their arrival, there had been public outcry over the security threats the two posed to the country, especially considering the fact that there is a bone of contention between the US and Cuba over Guantanamo Bay.

A section of the public accused the government of prioritising monetary gains over the security of the country in the decision to grant asylum to the two a position that has been denied by the government

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