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General News Tue, 31 Jan 2012

Kumasi Schools Ban Muslim Students From Worshiping

From: Alhaji Bashiru Zakari, Kumasi.

Muslim students in some second cycle schools in the Ashanti Region have been banned from practicing their religion in the school by some Christian fanatics. Prayers and other Islamic activities have become forbidden in such schools.

The Ashanti Regional Secretariat of the Ghana Muslim Students Association (GMSA) is worried over the ban of Muslim students, by a number of Senior High Schools (SHS) authorities in the region, from observing their five times daily prayers and extra Islamic activities, describing it as discriminating and unwarranted.

This revelation comes on the heels of the March 2008 incident at Adisadel College in Cape Coast where Master Abdul-Gafaru Mustapha, a final student fell from a storey-building and died instantly. He was being chased by the school authorities together with his colleague Muslim students to attend a Sunday Church Service.

The President of GMSA, Awal Mohammed, gave the names some of the schools as Adventist Girls SHS, at Ntonso, in the Kwabre-East District, St. Joseph SHS (Mampong-Ashanti), and Kumasi Wesley Girls SHS.

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Others include Agona SDA SHS, Nyinahin Catholic SHS and St. Louis SHS among others have banned Muslim students from practising their religion and to manifest such practice including the EID-prayers which is often celebrated as an official National Holiday.

He said the level of discrimination in some of the institutions, particularly the second cycle institutions, in the country is worrying but incapable of quenching the spirit of Islam, adding, “We are relentless.”

Mr. Mohammed noted that the issue is regrettable especially when the laws of the country permit freedom of worship without discrimination.

Quoting Article 17(2) and Article21(c) of the Constitution, he said a person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion creed or social or economic status.

“All persons shall have the freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practice,” he said. The President of GMSA also noted that the demolishing of a Mosque at the Kumasi Senior High Technical School (KSTS) for relocation has since not been attended to, describing the recent demolishing of a Mosque under construction at Antoa SHS, also in the Kwabre-East District, on October 15, 2011 as an affront to the Muslim fraternity.

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Mohammed told The Herald that there has been an exchange of documents between the school authorities and GMSA empowering them to put up the Mosques, but the schools authorities are yet to fulfill this obligation.

Mr. Awal explained that GMSA is working towards bringing all Muslim Students under one umbrella, to ensure discipline, unity among students and tolerance to the religious bodies in the country.

He, therefore, appealed to the government to come to their aid to put an end to this unfair treatment and violation of the 1992 Constitution.

Source: The Herald