The Christian Council of Ghana says government should avoid making what it calls hasty political decisions over the wearing of headscarves or hijab in schools.
Some Muslim groups in Takoradi in the Western Region last week protested against what they described as discrimination against Muslims in Christian schools.
Subsequently government issued a statement threatening to sanction institutions which abuse the rights of individuals.
But General Secretary of the Christian Council, Rev Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, says the matter must be resolved peacefully.
“We ask our political parties not to take political advantage of the issue and avoid making any hasty political decision or comments without broadly engaging the key stakeholders,” he said in a statement issued on Sunday.
Rev Dr. Opuni-Frimpong noted, “The Council is of the opinion that the issue should be left with the National Peace Council, religious leaders and the Ghana Education Service to resolve amicably.”
Below is the full statement
HIJAB IN SCHOOLS: CONSENSUS NEEDED TO RESOLVE ISSUE NOT POLITICAL DECISION
The Christian Council of Ghana 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.
This concern was visibly demonstrated when some Muslim brothers and sisters staged a demonstration last Friday in Takoradi to express their displeasure over the fact that some Muslim female students were being prevented from wearing their hijab in our educational institutions.
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 is happy to note that, the National Peace Council has already taken up the issue and is working at resolving it to ensure peace.
We ask our political parties not to take political advantage of the issue and avoid making any hasty political decision or comments without broadly engaging the key stakeholders.
The Council is of the opinion that the issue should be left with the National Peace Council, religious leaders and the Ghana Education Service to resolve amicably.
We are of the view that in dealing with this issue, we should also address other fundamental human rights issues that have to do with our faiths in our various educational institutions in the country which others in some Islamic institutions have also complained about.
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.
We admonish everyone with these words from Hebrews 12:14a “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone”
Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong
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