The latest news about music and the media in Africa is that racism has been used as a weapon to divide and divide, with the claim that singer and activist Tariq Abdul Karim has been “hit by a bus” being one of the most common.
On Wednesday, Abdul Karam, a member of the Ghanaian parliament, posted a video on Facebook in which he can be heard saying: “A bus has hit Tariqs face”.
“It’s very racist and very wrong.
And I’m a Ghanaian,” he added.
The claim was quickly picked up by the news media in Ghana, and was picked up across the continent by a variety of media outlets including CNN, Al Jazeera, the BBC, the Associated Press, the New York Times, and other news outlets.
“We have heard of other incidents of racial discrimination in the media and in the country but this is not an isolated incident,” said Rana Muhannad, the head of the African Union Commission, which monitors press freedom.
“It is also a disturbing sign of a wider problem.”
In a statement, Abdul Khaliq Abdul Haji, Abdul Kattar, and Tariqa Abdul Karman, members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Ghana and many other African countries, called the claim “unacceptable”.
“The claim that Tari Qarim has fallen victim to the ‘Racist Bus’ is not only unjust, it is deeply offensive and unacceptable to our country,” they said.
“Our country has long suffered from systemic racism, but we must do everything to combat it and ensure that such incidents do not occur again.
We call on all parties in Ghana to stop the cycle of racism and racism-related violence.”
The claim of racism was quickly met with outrage on social media.
Many expressed concern about the potential negative consequences of the incident, and criticised the Muslim group, which has been banned in some African countries.
Others criticised the media for not taking the issue seriously enough, saying the allegations were a “fantasy”.
“They are not credible at all,” said Nima Mohammed, a journalist and political activist in Ghana.
“There are other issues to be investigated and there is no evidence for the allegations made in this story.
The only thing that can be proven is the statement that was made.”
“If the police are going to be investigating this, they should do so on a more solid basis,” said Mohammad.
“If they are not going to investigate the claims, then the police should not be investigating the claims.”