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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

‘Secularism is not godlessness’ – Chief Imam to pro-LGBTQ+ bloc

National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu

One of the main points advanced by the 18 human rights defenders against the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill before Parliament is that Ghana is a secular state and it was worrying that religion was largely being used as a basis to initiate legislation that infringes on rights of minorities.

But the office of Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, the National Chief Imam, has averred that the secular nature of Ghana needs to be viewed within a context.

In a press statement issued on October 13, 2021; the office of the National Chief Imam – speaking on behalf of a coalition of Muslim groups – addressed a range of issues to drive home the point as to why the LGBTQ+ orientation was unacceptable in the religion and within Ghana’s cultural framework.

In specific reference to the issue of the secular nature of Ghana vis-à-vis the use of religion to trigger legislation, the statement said: “…there has been the claim that Ghana is a secular country and therefore religious views/beliefs should not be imposed on Ghanaians.

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“To consider secularism synonymous with Godlessness is conceptually incorrect. Secularism is the practice in governance where no one religion is made dominant to the exclusion of others.”

It continued to explain the extent to which religion permeates in the national life. “Contrary to being considered Godless, Ghana is a secular state with a deep sense of God.

“Our sense of God is expressed succinctly in a number of our national symbols i.e. the national anthem, the national pledge, oath of office and introduction to the constitution of Ghana,” it added.

The statement celebrated the 8 MPs who initiated the Private Members’ Bill known as the Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, for their “courage, high sense of moral decency and commitment to the protection of the family and family values,” which bull it added, “has inspired public uproar against the proponents of LGBTQA+.

“We also commend the leadership of the Christian community for strongly coming out against the proponents of LGBTQA+. So do we want to applaud the right Honorable Speaker of parliament and his predecessor for speaking out against the practice,” the statement added.

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