The maiden National Muslims Conference, organised by the Muslim Caucus in Parliament in concert with the Office of the National Chief Imam and Heads of the various Islamic sects is underway in Accra.
It is on the theme “Muslim Education in Ghana at the Crossroads — The Need for Concerted Action”
Speaking at the Opening ceremony, the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu congratulated the organizers for bringing Muslims together under one umbrella to deliberate on such pressing issues of the Ummah.
He said the Ummah may have been divided into various Sects based on the different ideological persuasion, but it was important not to lose sight of the fact that what united them was bigger than what divided them.
“Until we are able to harness this common destiny, by rededicating, ourselves to the tenets and the teaching of Islam, come together, identify our common problem, proffer a solution, and implement it, we will continue to be among not only the poorest of the Ghanaian society, but also outside of the decision making systems of the Ghanaian community.”
Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, Speaker of Parliament said the Muslim community in Ghana should consider itself fortunate to have Members of Parliament who understood how the game of democracy was played and had been consistent not only in providing voice for the Muslim community on the floor of Parliament, but were instrumental in the creation of platforms and establishment of Institutions such as the Zakat Fund of Ghana, the Annual Night of Power and now the National Muslim Conference for the benefit of all Muslims in Ghana.
He noted that interest groups become more successful in their quest to have their fair share of the National Cake in a Unitary State under a democratic dispensation, by defining their priority and ready to work together as opposed to working as divided groups and individuals.
He was hopeful that the Conference would take advantage of the operationalisation of Private Member Bills to push forward legislations that would help to correct the socio-economic and developmental imbalance currently existing between the Muslim dominated communities and other communities for balanced growth and development.
Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, Acting Chairman of the Muslim Caucus in Parliament, said the conference would serve as the mouthpiece and forum at which matters affecting Muslims in relation to Education, Health, Finance and the general wellbeing of Muslims including; constitutional rights would be deliberated upon and lasting solutions found to enable the Muslim community in Ghana contribute its quota to the overall development of the entire Nation.
He said the Conference would also be institutionalized with a Secretariat to ensure the pursuance of its overall objectives as set out in the Deed.
He said this first Conference would focus on Education as it was the Key to open the doors of a healthy society and economic prosperity.
“The overall objectives of the conference are to strategize towards achieving higher positive educational outcomes for Muslim children at the basic level of education, to draft a plan towards developing existing Muslim senior High Schools across the country for quality and holistic secondary education and to strategize towards ensuring regular funding for Muslim education in Ghana to discuss Muslim rights and responsibilities within Ghana’s educational systems”
Alhaji Mubarak said at the end of the conference it was expected that the Committee to draft the Ghana Muslims educational strategy, an action plan for the development of infrastructure and provision of logistics for existing Islamic SHS schools would be drafted, and a funding strategy and framework for Muslim education in Ghana is developed.
He said “it is also our expectation that in order to strengthen the bond of unity among the different sects so that we can work together to address our common problems in the Ghanaian society, we would sign a Deed that would bring us together in a unity of purpose and which will guide us all in our dealings with each other right from the beginning of this Conference.”