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General News Fri, 15 Jan 1999

Parliament sends Muslims goodwill message

Accra (Greater Accra) 15 Jan. '99

Parliament today sent a message of felicitation and goodwill to all Muslims in the country and expressed the hope that they would allow the meaning of Islam - peace - be part and parcel of their daily life in the new year.

Members also stressed the need for Muslims to learn to be tolerant of the religions, law-abiding, respect dissenting views and live together as brothers and sisters serving one true God albeit in different ways.

''On behalf of parliament, I extend our warmest felicitations to the Muslim community on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Fitr,'' Mr Justice Daniel Francis Annan, Speaker, said after a statement to commemorate the end of the Ramadan fast by Alhaji Babilami Abu-Sadat, NDC-Awutu-Senya.

Members further stressed the need for Muslims to educate their children, particularly the girl child, to ensure that Muslim communities do not remain marginalised.

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In the statement, Alhaji Abu-Sadat said Ramadan fasting emboldens Muslims to get closer to God and remind them to offer service and renew relationships with their fellow human beings.

''I call on fellow Muslims not to end our service to mankind with the Ramadan fasting...Friends need our love and care, let us remember them both in prayers and in deeds''.

The member said Muslims will never forget the things that the government has done and is still doing for them, adding: ''may the Ramadan fast bring Ghanaians closer to one another, irrespective of one's political persuasion to help us build a better Ghana''.

Alhaji M. A Seidu, deputy majority leader, said one main purpose of self-denial during the fast is for spiritual development and for sacrifice. He urged Muslims not to get carried away by the merry-making at the end of the fast but continue to direct their resources to help the poor and the needy.

Sheikh I. C Quaye, deputy minority chief whip, said the Eid-ul-Fitr is a celebration of the remarkable achievement of individual Muslims in attaining righteousness, piety and peace among men.

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Muslims and everybody alike should do away with self-seeking, self-preservation and give way to self-giving and self-sacrifice to enable Ghana to move forward.

Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, a deputy minister of Education, said Muslims and Christians should be guided by the commonalties between their religion, that is, faith, omnipotence and omnipresence of God.

He noted that both religions are founded on compassion for the poor and disadvantaged and adherents should, therefore, work towards inter-faith dialogue and understanding.

Muslims should strive to avoid violence among themselves and between them and other religions.

Source: --