Islamic scholar urges flexibility on Muslim pupils

An Islamic scholar has urged Christian leaders to reconsider the imposition of worship and religious rules by mission schools on Muslim pupils.
Speaking on Kessben Television’s Adeakye Abia, Ibrahim Amankwah expressed concern with the way the issue is gradually festering.
He called for religious leaders to take a softer stance, adding that both Christians and Muslims can co-exist in the same institution but suggesting that time should be allocated for either group to worship separately.
“Religious leaders from both sides should sit and dialogue so as to find a common ground to properly manage the situation to enable understanding and peace between the two religious groups and the country,” he added.
He stated that President Mahama did not speak for Christians only, but also for Muslims. Mr Amankwah added that government must cautiously map out a lasting solution to the matter so that it does not create confusion and indiscipline in the schools.
The Muslim scholar said the country is a secular state and the Islamic Council acknowledged the constitutional mandate of freedom of worship, so no particular religion can necessarily impose its practices on others.
“It is unfortunate, the speed with which the government came out with directives that Muslim children should be allowed to use the hijab at schools and that anyone who stops them shall be sanctioned,” he however criticised.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has issued a strongly worded statement in which it describes the President’s threat of sanctions against religious discrimination in schools as unwarranted.
In view of the “contradiction” between the GES statement and President Mahama’s “threat” to sanction school heads who force religious practices on students, the clergyman called for dialogue to resolve the matter.

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