General News of Sunday, 1 March 2015
The Ghana Muslim Students’ Association (GMSA) has directed all of its members to disregard the directive of the Ghana Education Service (GES) instructing all students to attend morning devotions in their schools.
The GES served notice to the students to participate in the morning devotion if it was part of the school’s rules.
However, the GMSA has rejected the directive from the GES and called on all Muslim students all over the country to do the same.
The President of the Muslim Students’ Association, Andani Hussein, in an interview with Citi News, lamented over the GES’ decision stating that it was not fair that the Muslim students were made to join in Christian prayers often.
“We go for morning devotion every day. We have our Fajr which start at 5 am We don‘t ask people to come and join us. So why should we [join in Christian prayers] after praying aside. In some circumstances [their prayers] clash with the time of our prayers and students are made to abandon the Islamic worship and attend church services. Is that fair?,” he fumed.
The GES said that the directive was necessary in order to promote discipline and national unity in the schools.
The Public Relations Officer of the Service, Charles Parker Allotey in an earlier interview with Citi News said: “We are trying to encourage our students notwithstanding their faith to come together to worship and it brings about national unity. If a Muslim takes part in morning worship it doesn’t mean the person is being forced to convert to Christianity.”
However, the GMSA rejected this insisting that in order to maintain national unity one religion cannot appear to be dominant over another.
“The Ghana Education Service said that they want to promote discipline and national unity. Which national unity will be achieved by worshiping under one religion. If they want to promote one religion, they should come out and tell us,” he said.
The Muslim Community in the Western Region demonstrated in a bid to draw the attention of the government to the discrimination they face.
The government responded to the demonstration by threatening sanctions against schools that infringe on the rights of Muslims.
President Mahama also reiterated this in his State of the Nation Address last Thursday, asking heads of public institutions, including schools, to desist from forcing Muslims to compulsorily join Christian fellowships.