Muslim girls being prevented from fasting at Wesley Girls

The Muslim Caucus in Parliament yesterday held a meeting with the leadership of the Methodist Church of Ghana over the refusal of authorities of Wesley Girls’ Senior High School to allow Muslim students fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

In a statement after the meeting, the Caucus said the Church has assured them of its commitment to resolve the issue within a couple of days.

An angry father Ishmael Zakaria Alhassan, last Monday, stormed Wesley Girls in Cape Coast to withdraw his daughter Bushira Ishmael from the school, saying he did not understand why the school did not permit her daughter and other Muslims there to take part in the Ramadan fast.

He drove from Accra to Wesley Girls to carry out his threat of withdrawing his child.

According to him, the daughter will be better off in another school that will allow her to fast than to be in a school that will infringe on the religious rights of Muslims to fast.

However, the school authorities told him that their reasons for not letting students, no matter their religious affiliation, fast, was due to health reasons.

The authorities claimed there were concerns of students developing ulcers because of fasting.

The decision of the school has incensed the Muslim community in Ghana who sided with the Muslim parent’s claim that the school was infringing on the right of the student to practice her religion.

As part of efforts to ensure an amicable resolution, Muslim MPs engaged the leadership of the Methodist Church to address the matter.

After a fruitful discussion, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Most Rev. Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo who is also the Chairman of the Board of Wesley Girls SHS assured that the matter will be resolved.

According to the statement from the Muslim caucus, Rev. Dr. Kwabena Boafo gave assurance that there was no cause for alarm.

“His Eminence the Presiding Bishop assured that the board of the school, of which he is the Chairman, will be meeting to discuss the issue and the concerns of the delegation and others will be graciously taken on board to amicably resolve the problem.

“The church pledged to keep the delegation informed on the specific decision taken at the meeting regarding the resolution of the issue at stake,” the statement disclosed.

The Caucus also called for calm from the Muslim community as the Church deliberates on the way forward for Muslim students in the school.

“It is based on this and other related interventions that the Muslim Caucus in Parliament wishes to ask all Muslims to exercise self-restraint, as we are taught in the Month of Ramadan, on the matter and to allow the able leadership of the Methodist Church to deal with the case in consultation with all relevant stakeholders”, the statement said.

The Muslim delegation which was led by MP for Asawase and Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, included MP for Asutifi South, Collins Dauda; MP for Gushegu, Hassan Tampuli, and MP for Tolon constituency, Habib Iddrisu, representing the two political parties in parliament.

The others were representatives; from the office of National Chief Imam, Mallam Awal Shuaib; Ahlus Sunnah Waljamaa, Sheik Salman Mohammed Alhassan; the Executive Director of Baraka Policy Institute (BPI) Dr. Haruna Zagoon Sayeed; Supt Imam Hussein Abdul-Rahim of Ghana Police Service Islamic Affairs and Secretary to the Muslim Caucus in Parliament, Alhaji Inusah.

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