I’m not an extremist; I don’t support terrorism – Bilal
Islamic preacher, Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips has in an interview with Citi News, rejected accusations by some countries, he is an extremist.
Dr Bilal Philips, a Canadian citizen has been banned from entering a number of countries including the UK, US and Australia. He is currently in Ghana preaching to Muslims.
News of his entry into the country has generated debate even though he is not on record to have preached any form of extremism.
In this exclusive interview with Citi News‘ Abdul Karim Naatogmah, he described himself as a moderate Muslim.
“I am not an extremist; in fact, I am a moderate Muslim following the moderate limits of Islam… extremism represented by those groups on one hand are those who have rejected bits and pieces of Islam.”
He explained that “Jihad is a part of Islam but it has its conditions and none of the groups that currently claim to be engaged in Jihad, be it Boko Haram, ISIS, Al-Shabab are legitimate.”
“I am totally opposed to any of these violent means which are used by these groups which have hijacked Islam for their own purposes, so I do not support such movements, I do not support terrorism, I’m opposed to it. Whether it is suicide bombing or whether it is any form of kidnapping, or the rest, I’m opposed to it because it has nothing to do with the teachings of Islam,” he added.
Responding further to questions posed by Karim Naatogmah about his ban, Dr. Bilal said “the ban on me in the USA came about in the 90s and it was based on a false accusation which had no evidence to support it.”
Dr. Bilal was deported from the Philippines in September 2014, Kenya in 2012, and Bangladesh in June 2014, where he had been invited to address an Islamic conference.
Sheik Philips is said to have written: “Western culture, led by the United States, is the enemy of Islam.” The US Government named him as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 bombing that killed six people and injured 1,000. He was deported from the US in 2004 – [Quoted from the Sun Herald Newspaper in the UK].
Sheik Philips’ activities in Ghana as advertised on his official Facebook page, started from 4th February and ends on 12th February.
His programmes have taken place in various parts of Accra and in Kumasi, specifically at the KNUST.
He is expected to be in Tamale for another lecture at the Tamale Jubilee Park today, titled “Islamic Identity Under Globalization” between 8:00 and 11:00pm.
At the Tamale UDS on the 9th, he will hold another lecture titled “Islam and Media: Enemies or Foes” from 10:00am-12:00pm.
He has already delivered lectures on the theme “Insurgency In God’s Name: Revelation or Rebellion”.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s National Security has said Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips’ poses no security threat to the country.
According to the National Security Coordinator, Yaw Donkor, it was not sufficient enough for Ghana to deny him visa on the basis that some countries had banned him entry over unproven allegations.
Mr. Donkor said: “If the one who sponsored him comes to ask us ‘why are you refusing him Visa’, what are we going to tell him? Are we going to tell him that because Czechoslovakia deported him, we don’t want him to come to Ghana or because Germany says that the man has written a book that is talking about anti-Semitism, we don’t want him to come [to Ghana].
How can you use that reason to refuse a visa to a sovereign country?” Mr. Donkor however noted that the Islamic preacher was being monitored by security agents, and had so far, not said anything inflammatory or engaged in any diabolical activity in Ghana.
“So, as far as I’m concerned, since he entered this country, he hasn’t said anything that requires me to take any action against him,” he said.