The National Chief Imam, Sheikh (Dr) Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, has called on Imams to be circumspect in the sermons in order not to incite the youth to take actions that will disturb the peace of the country.
He has also urged the youth themselves to abstain from acts that would mar the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration and dent the image of the country.
“The National Chief Imam, in the spirit of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr celebration, urges the Muslim youth to desist from any act that may disturb the peace during the celebrations.
The National Chief Imam further called on all imams to be mindful of the tone of their sermons in order not to further inflame passions among the Muslim youth.”
The call to observe peace was based on the recent turf war between a section of the Christian community and Muslims over the denial of a Muslim student to fast in Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in Cape Coast.
“The National Chief Imam, Sheikh (Dr) Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, and his elders have noted with deep concerns, the religious tension that continues to rise following the decision of the Wesley Girls’ S.H S to prevent fasting in the school.”
A few weeks ago, an angry father stormed the Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast to withdraw his ward for not permitting her and other Muslims there to fast.
But the Headmistress, Ms Kay Oppong Ankomah, indicated it was not only Muslim students in the school who are not allowed to fast, but all students from different denominations, including Christians.
This was also confirmed by the Wesley Girls’ High School Old Girls’ Association (WGHS OGA).
According to the Association, the school’s ‘No fasting’ policy was made for health reasons and not to discriminate against other faiths.
But days after the incident, the Ghana Education Service (GES), in a letter, directed the management of Wesley Girls SHS to allow Muslim students to partake in the fast.
However, this directive from the GES didn’t sit well with the Methodist Church of Ghana, the body that oversees all Methodist Schools in the country, as it also wrote a letter to reject the directives. It also indicated that the school’s rule on fasting was a long-standing one that was also non-religious.
Ever since, there have been arguments and counter-arguments between Muslims, Christians, academicians, and other interest group on the subject. It was against this backdrop that the National Chief Imam has called on his Imams to be cautious not to stoke the fire of the subject under discussion.
He has called on stakeholders to allow their leaders to bring a closure to the matter in peace. “In the midst of the ongoing media warfare, the National Chief Imam notes with anxiety the rising tension which constitutes a security threat to the existing state of harmony in the country. In the light of the above, the National Chief Imam wishes to call on all stakeholders to exercise maximum restraint, and allow opportunity for leadership to bring closure to the matter in peace and harmony.”
That aside, the Chief Imam also took time to wish all Muslims in the country Eid-Mubarak and a meaningful celebration, and advised them to adhere to all COVID-19 preventive protocols as articulated by the government.
“In the interest of our safety, the National Chief Imam urges all Muslims to strictly adhere to all COVID-19 preventive protocols as enunciated by the government.”
He further directed the youth not to over-indulge in their celebrations, but should remain as disciplined as possible, so as not to mar the beauty and purpose of the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration, adding that the celebration should be strictly observed at the Jumu’s level and not in the open spaces as it used to be.