The Coalition of Muslim Organisations, Ghana (COMOG) has called on the leadership of the Methodist Church, Ghana, to respect the Constitution and promote religious tolerance.
“Our attention has been drawn to a letter dated 4th May, 2021 purported to have been written by the leadership of the Methodist Church, Ghana, indicating they ‘cannot accede to the unilateral directive by the Ghana Education Service (GES).’”
The call was in a statement signed by Hajj Abdel-Manan Abdel-Rahman, President, COMOG, and copied to Ghana News Agency on Friday.
It said it would be recalled that in the wake of the Wesley Girls High School religious controversies, the GES issued a directive that, Muslims should be allowed to observe their religious obligations, after the Headmistress of the School was found to have prohibited a Muslim girl from observing the Obligatory Ramadan fasting.
The statement said: “This stance by the leadership of the Methodist Church smacks of tacit endorsement of the intolerant behaviour of the Headmistress and the Board Chairman, which in our opinion cannot be the policy of the Church, which has tolerated other faiths in the schools originally for the Church.”
“We therefore take serious exception to the position, which seeks to offset the directives of the GES, instructing the School to allow the practice of Fasting and Prayer by Muslim students,” it said.
The statement said: “At a time that the Muslim Ummah, who are the victims of such unpleasant religious intolerance have remained calm for a peaceful resolution of the matter, we least expected such a provocative response from the leadership of the Methodist.
“In all indications from the said letter, not only did the Headmistress acted unilaterally, but with the institutional endorsement,” it said, adding that; “Unlike other countries in the sub-region and the world over, our country, Ghana has over the years enjoyed some relative peace due to the level of tolerance exhibited by all the religious groups in the country”.
The statement said: “We again take cognisance of the peculiar culture of every institution without exception. That notwithstanding, it is out of place for any institution, for that matter the Methodist Church, Ghana and its actors to attempt to put its culture and regulations over and above the constitution of Ghana.
“We therefore wish to urge the Leadership of the Church to adhere to the GES directives and allow Muslim students to observe their religious obligations so that, they would also contribute to upholding the fundamental human rights of all citizens, as guaranteed by Article 21(1) (C) of the 1992 Constitution that states among other things; “All persons shall have the right to freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practice.”
The statement said Muslim shall continue to remain clam as responsible citizens and wait on the GES to work to bring the matter to a peaceful conclusion.