About that talking republic : Manasseh Azure’s fiction vs Logic 

Samira Bawumia

The ridiculousness started when Pastor Mensah Otabil tried too hard to impugn our culinary choices i.e. Our beloved Fufu . Choked by the bizarreness of his opinion, I relieved myself from eating that beaten muscle of cassava punched with a bit of plantain though not for long. This delicacy is quite popular amongst a large Ghanaian population mostly in the southern zone . His beef was that the ‘art’ of preparing fufu is tiring and unsanitary and I can tell you point blank that opinion cannot survive against any logic but I would rather not go in depth with that. He is entitled to his opinion however wrong it may be .Fast track to Samira Bawumia’s choice of clothing at Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebration. I must admit that although per Islamic dressing prescriptions , she was out of line . What people are failing to realize is that when you decide to subscribe to a particular doctrine or ideology , you subscribe to its tenets and principles as well . Dressing modestly and covering up are part of those Islamic tenets which she has duly subscribed to .

As an individual she has her choices regardless, but choosing to be part of Islam means following the rules or it wouldn’t mean much . However, I do have a problem with her critics, especially those who think they have the right to judge her simply because she decided to dress for the occasion . I mean how dare you sit on a moral high horse when you as a human can never attain any perfection with regard to any set moral codes . It’s far better to be circumspect and measured in your criticism than to subject her to verbal assault simply because she didn’t dress the way Islam approves.
Now let me turn my page to the latest scriptwriter in town . You might be asking who ? But the Ghanaian Spielberg couldn’t help being superb with his dramatization that he had to incur the ire of the “Muslim nation” . “Behind the veil” the title of his write up reminds me of a piece whose content I will discuss at a later date .

Manasseh Azure is a fine writer and a good journalist by all standards but being a good journalist should create an awareness of sensitivity around him . He should know Muslims, as well as people of other religious affiliations are passionate and sensitive and will go at any length to defend their faith . It doesn’t matter who’s speaking once you touch Islam in a disrespectful way expect a full scale blowback. His latest piece might be a work of fiction but I’m yet to come across a work of fiction that deliberately offends the sensibilities of others .

Works of fiction are meant to spark the imagination and create a hypothetical world a reader will relish to live in or relate to. Works of fiction provoke thoughts but do not meander into areas that are sensitive . This is what R . Mookerjee described as “aggressive fiction” which he defined as a type of fiction that tramples reader sensibilities, offends and upsets willfully and deliberately . Manasseh didn’t have to go that path to make his point .

He should know that one can’t escape offending people , that is why in the world of fiction allusions and illustrations are veiled . He could’ve said what he wanted using a hypothetical religion and community without suggestions that seem to offend people who’ll go to any length to protect their faith .

I read his argument saying that he had equally defended Muslims under different circumstance but my question is , is that justification enough to wade into the debate about the Veep’s wife choice of clothing . He could have written a straight piece as he usually does to address the hypocrisy that is evident in religious communities , Muslims in this particular instance . Nobody is going to sue him but issuing a bold disclaimer saying it is a work of fiction is not enough .


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