A meeting between the Muslim Caucus in Parliament and the leadership of the Methodist Church in Ghana has been held concerning the refusal of school authorities of Wesley Girls’High School to allow a Muslim student to fast during the month of Ramadan.
The Caucus indicated in a statement following the meeting on Thursday that, the Church assured them of its commitment to resolve the issue within a couple of days.
The said issue was brought to light when an angry Muslim father on Monday, April 26, stormed Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast to withdraw his ward from the school saying he does not understand why the school does not permit her and other Muslims there to fast.
Ishmael Zakaria Alhassan, the father of Bushira Ishmael, drove from Accra to Wesley Girls to carry out his threat of withdrawing his child. He was convinced the child would be better off in another school that would allow her to fast than to be in a school that would infringe on the rights of Muslims to fast.
However, school authorities had explained to him that their reasons for not letting students, no matter their religious affiliation, fast was due to health reasons as there were concerns of students developing ulcers because of the activity.
The school’s decision had upset the Muslim community in Ghana who sided with the Muslim parent’s claim that the school was infringing on the right of the student to practice her religion thus occasioning the Muslim MPs meeting with the Church.
However, the leadership of the Church has assured the Muslim Caucus there is no need for alarm.
“His Eminence the Presiding Bishop assured that the board of the school, of which he is the Chairman, will be meeting to discuss the issue and the concerns of the delegation and others will be graciously taken on board to amicably resolve the problem.
“The church pledged to keep the delegation informed on the specific decision taken at the meeting regarding the resolution of the issue at stake,” the statement read.
The Caucus further called for calm from the Muslim community as the Church deliberates on the way forward for Muslim students in the school.
“It is based on this and other related interventions that the Muslim Caucus in Parliament wishes to ask all Muslims to exercise self-restraint, as we are taught in the Month of Ramadan, on the matter and to allow the able leadership of the Methodist Church to deal with the case in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.”
The Muslim delegation which was led by MP for Asawase and Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, included MP for Asutifi South, Collins Dauda, MP for Gushegu, Hassan Tampuli, and MP for Tolon Constituency, Habib Iddrisu, representing the two political parties in parliament.
Other members of the delegation were representatives from the office of the National Chief Imam, Mallam Awal Shuaib, Ahlus Sunnah Waljamaa, Sheik Salman Mohammed Alhassan, the Executive Director of Baraka Policy Institute (BPI), Dr Haruna Zagoon Sayeed, Supt Imam Hussein Abdul-Rahim of the Ghana Police Service Islamic Affairs and Secretary to the Muslim Caucus in Parliament Alhaji Inusah.
The Methodist team was led by the national leader, the Presiding Bishop, Most Rev. Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo.