General News of Sunday, 22 February 2015
The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) says the issue of discrimination of Muslim students in some education institutions in the country needs consensus to resolve it and not politics.
“The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) has noted the current concerns expressed by her Muslim brothers and sisters over the use of hijab (veils) in our educational institutions and calls for consensus building in addressing it,” a statement signed by the Council’s General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong stated.
The Muslim Community in the Western Region on Friday demonstrated to express their displeasure over what they call discrimination against their female students who wear the hijab, a traditional scarf worn by Muslim women to cover their hair and neck and sometimes their face.
They insisted that Muslim students should not be forced to attend Sunday church services in schools.
Government later warned that heads of institutions, including schools and workplaces, found to be contravening the basic constitutional rights of Muslims will be sanctioned.
Christian Council calls for calm
But the Christian Council is of the view that the issue should be left with the National Peace Council, religious leaders and the Ghana Education Service to resolve it amicably.
“In addressing this religious issue, the Council pleads with the National Peace Council, religious leaders and the Ghana Education Service to begin to look into the issue and build a consensus around it.”
The council also bemoaned how some Christian students in some Islamic Institutions are not allowed to freely exercise their faiths adding that “We also admonish our members to remain calm, and remember that we have addressed similar issues peacefully in the past and we are well able to resolve this amicably.”
“As a Council, we are willing to cooperate with the National Peace Council, Muslim leaders and the Ghana Education Service in building a consensus, and we admonish all stakeholders to actively get involved,” the statement added.
National Peace Council takes steps to resolve the issue
Meanwhile, the Council further stated that “the National Peace Council has already taken up the issue and is working at resolving it to ensure peace.”
This follows a petition forwarded to the Council by the Muslim Caucus in Parliament over the issue.
The Muslim MPs also condemned the practice in the schools and insisted that Muslim students should not be forced to attend church services.