Do We Really Need The Lawmaker Henry Mussa, To Apologise?


 I believe by now everyone is aware about the demand that our Muslim mother body, Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) has made to a Member of Parliament for Chiradzulu East Constituency, Henry Mussa.

Mussa is reported to have mispronounced the Arabic phrase ‘laa ilaha illa llah’ which means ‘there is no god worthy of worship but Allah’ and instead his uninformed senses had no choice but to force ‘lahii lahii laa laa’ out of his mouth.  The incident happened during the installation ceremony of Senior Chief Kadewere on 1st September, in Chiradzulu district.

Part of the statement released by MAM says, “The association is of the belief that the honourable MP either did not consult the learned Muslims for correct pronunciation of the words out of his disregards for their status or that he deliberately twisted them to attract disgust for the region.”

I think it will be fair if we start by dissecting the aforementioned MAM’s statement before we reach any conclusion.

Indeed, it seems to me that even MAM itself is not sure whether the MP did that on purpose or not. It is therefore based on MAM’s ambiguous belief, that finally, I feel, that general view and common sense should be used to examine Mussa’s intentions.

You know, by decreeing that the MP should apologise means that the MAM must have concrete evidence that the Honourable MP did that on purpose.  But is this the case? Does MAM have enough evidence for that?

Well…firstly, we should know that Henry Mussa is not known of any anti-Islamic sentiments or something like that (at least I haven’t heard any…). Therefore, rushing into squeezing him will not only show lack of professionalism but also depriving him the benefit of the doubt.

We should also understand that our political leaders try as much as possible to find and use a common ‘motto’ within the people to whom they are communicating so as to ease and create favourable conditions for everyone on that particular place.  Unfortunately, some of these politicians extend as far as using religious quotations to please an audience to whom they are addressing.

By the way, what will MP Henry Mussa, gain by deliberately slurring an Islamic quotation? Will he gain votes as a result of angering Muslims? Absolutely not! So then, do we still think he uttered those words to ‘attract disgust’ against Islam?

Presumably, the picture that MAM tried to send to the Muslim community was; ‘we are here to protect the honour of Islam and Muslims’. Dear folks, I am not being apologetic to non-Muslims in any way, but as I said, having seen how ambiguous the matter is, I am but simply forced to use ‘common sense’ on the matter.

After all, making someone apologise for something which you know there is a greater chance that the wrong was done mistakenly than deliberately, is not only harsh but also over-reaction.  Why did MAM not send a letter to correct the MP’s mistake instead of the letter demanding an apology?

Maybe, I am a little or more opinionated myself, but my question is; has MAM, by doing this, thought about the  picture that will be sent to non-Muslim communities at large? Don’t we have other priorities? And do we really need Henry Mussa’s apology?