Peace Council To Resolve Complaints From Muslim Caucus In Parliament

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The National Peace Council has started a stakeholder consultation and engagement to resolve complaints lodged before it by the Muslim Caucus in Parliament and leaders of the Muslim Community.

Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante
Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante

The Muslim Caucus in Parliament and leaders of the Muslim Community had complained to the Council that some public schools and individuals as well as some educational and professional institutes had constantly violated Article 31.1 of the Constitution.

The article states inter alia: ?All persons shall have the right to freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practice?.

The leaders also raised concern over what they perceived as the prevalence of discriminatory practices orchestrated in government non-mission schools by teachers, disregarding ?the right to freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practice?.

According to the Council the Muslim leaders also complained that some Muslim women in some public and private institutions had come under constant embarrassment and humiliation for wearing veils to express their identity and to cover what is believed to be nudity or nakedness in Islam.

The Council said it had deliberated on the issues raised and accordingly agreed to engage stakeholders involved in the matter in a dialogue.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the Council, said the eminent council members took the decision so that the country could chart a common course that would sustain the religious pluralism and tolerance enjoyed over the years.

?Within the next few weeks, the National Peace Council (NPC) will facilitate an engagement among the relevant stakeholders on the issues in question, the objective is to solve the problem,? he said.

He said while efforts were being made to find a solution to the issue, the NPC called on Ghanaians, especially members of the Christian and Muslim communities, to hold on to the value of religious diversity and co-existence.

Most Rev. Prof. Asante said: ?The NPC urges all Ghanaians to stand together as a nation and resist the temptation to embark on or support any religious motivated violence.

?The NPC appeals for religious tolerance without which different religious groups find themselves as enemies and as targets for hatred, discrimination and violent contentions.?

The Council also pressed on heads and teachers of schools as well as educational authorities, religious bodies, politicians and youth groups to refrain from pronouncements and acts that had the potential to inflame passions.

Rev. Prof. Asante said the NPC was not unaware that a citizen of the country had taken the matter to the Supreme Court; however, it was conscious of her mandate between competing interests.

?The National Peace Council seeks to mediate between competing interests in the matter without prejudice to the outcome of the determination of the matter by the Supreme Court,? he said.

Rev. Prof. Asante allayed fears that there was religious tension in Ghana, saying what happened were aberrations and not tensions.

He assured Ghanaians that the Council had the capacity to facilitate amicable dialogue that would ensure peaceful resolution and justice in the issue brought before it.
GNA

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