Ghana: Muslim Caucus in Parliament Calls for Enforcement of Fasting Directive

The Muslim Caucus in Parliament has called on the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to strictly enforce the directive to allow any Muslim student, who wishes to fast for any religious reasons, to do so.

This follows the Catholic Bishops' Conference and the Christian Council of Ghana's encouragement to Wesley Girls High School and the Methodist Church of Ghana, to disregard the lawful directive.

According to a statement signed and issued in Accra, yesterday, by Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase Constituency, on behalf of the Caucus, "we consider this attack on the authority of the Ghana Education Service to be highly troubling as it undermines state authority and further sets a bad precedent."

It noted that the endorsement came as a shock to Muslim leaders and called into question the years of partnership and mutual cooperation that have existed between Muslim stakeholders and Christian bodies.

The statement said freedom of religion, religious diversity and tolerance as spelt out in the 1992 Constitution were under threat, if fasting, which was a key pillar of Islam, could be treated the way the Christian bodies have done.

It said that it was unacceptable for any religious group to use the majority card to unleash intolerance on the faith and cardinal doctrine of other faiths.

"If the disingenuous and dangerous argument of majority and religious tradition is allowed to hold sway, our country will be riven apart in regions, districts, schools, neighbourhoods, markets, businesses, state institutions, among others. Such dangerous arguments belong to a bygone era and have no place in a modern democracy like ours," the statement indicated.

It said the struggle for religious freedom and expression for all Ghanaians in public-funded institutions was no respecter of majority and constitutionally harmful religious traditions, adding that they would not relent in defending the constitutional values of freedom of religion.

The statement expressed confidence in the Minister of Education's assurances that the matter would be resolved amicably.

It entreated Muslims and the public to exercise self-restraint in the face of disregard for the authority of state institutions and preserve the country's peace.

The statement said Ghana had been an oasis of peace within the West African sub-region and across Africa due to the peaceful co-existence and mutual respect that existed among various religious groups in the country, especially between Muslims and Christians.

In this regard, it noted that the caucus would continually engage the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to cordially resolve the matter.

More From: Ghanaian Times

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