Ghana undoubtedly is an enviable country when it comes to religious tolerance and coexistence. It’s the country in which Muslims and Christians live together so peacefully.
If anyone thinks mean about this feat, let him cast his eyes and look at what’s happening in other countries. We can talk of many of such countries where Christian-Muslim conflicts have resulted in monumental destructions and loss of priceless lives but it’s easier to peep at Nigeria since it’s the closest to us.
Nigeria over the years has battled with this volatile situation (religious conflicts). Efforts to restore normalcy hasn’t been that successful. These two religions (Christians and Muslims) are virtually at each other’s throat. This regrettable situation was sparked by a few reckless individuals who ab ovo – had taken peace for granted. Most of these trouble formenters might have been seeking to assert religious supremacy thereby leading to violence going off the handle.
We in Ghana cannot wait for ‘Nigeria to come to Ghana’. At any given moment, every citizen must jealously guard the peace we enjoy. As and when we see a foolhardy trying to downplay this peace, we must quickly rein him/her in. This is what I seek to do with this article.
For sometime now, there has been a subtle attempt by some individuals in public offices to undermine the religious freedom guaranteed Muslims under the 1992 constitution. Muslim students have been forced to either go to church or remove their veils at places considered ‘public institutions’.
Sometime in 2012 or so, Muslims became so incensed leading to some Muslim ladies going on a demonstration in the Western region. It led to then president Mahama while delivering his state of the nation’s address, asking heads of institutions not to violate the inviolable rights of Muslims in the name of a non-existent institutional rules. GES, MoH, among others, issued internal memos to caution heads of various facilities not to violate the rights of Muslims.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge and peace reigned in the long run even though some institutional heads proved obstinate. I wish to highlight that there still exist some religious bigots who in a very capricious and brazen manner, trample upon the rights of Muslims day in and day out. Indeed the Minister for Zongo Development, Hon Mustapha Hamid, recently fumed publicly about this dangerous phenomenon.
The latest on the list of violations against Muslims, is Parkoso Community Day School. The headmaster, in a fascistic instruction to all female Muslim students – has placed a ban on the wearing of veils starting Monday, 27th May 2019. His source of power is yet to be known but what is for sure is that, his decision, is an expression of a dangerous, religious bigotry.
Ghana as a democracy, is threatened if individuals – in the likes of this headmaster – can abuse their power with impunity. All government institutions are subject to the laws of Ghana. No one is allowed to introduce their personal ideologies or beliefs in public institutions especially when such an introduction offends the inalienable rights of other citizens.
I am therefore calling on the Ghana Education Service and all stakeholders to intervene and stop the headmaster from walking down this rope. He must be hurled to explain the underpinnings of his decision and sanctioned for threatening the peace of this country.