Head of Monitoring Unit of the Forestry Commission, Charles Owusu has waded into the controversial debate of religious intolerance between Muslims and Christians in the country.
There is an ongoing heated argument over a decision by the management of Wesley Girls’ High School not to allow a Muslim student to observe the just-ended Ramadan fast.
According to the management, not fasting on campus is a policy of the school and that cannot be breached.
However, the Ghana Education Service issued a directive to the school to allow Muslim students to fast.
“The Ghana Education Service, therefore, directs authorities of Wesley Girls High School, as well as any other school to allow any such student who wishes to fast for any religious reason to do so.
“The parents or any such student are also directed to write to the school indicating that the school is not to be held liable for any health condition of the student as a result of the fast. Staff, students and the general public are to take note,” a statement signed by the Head Public Relations of the GES, Ms Cassandra Twum Ampofo, said.
Methodist Church Statement
Following the GES statement also came a counter-statement from the Methodist Church which read; “Fasting undertaken by students for various reasons and observed differently by the respective groupings has had varied health implications on our students over the years.
“The net effect was that students developed various health conditions. The school, therefore, took the decision then that irrespective of one’s religious background, fasting was not permitted.''
Don't Destroy Our Peace
Reacting to these back and forth religious debates, Charles Owusu rebuked the Wesley Girl's School and any other Christian school that doesn't allow Muslims to exercise their faith like fasting to desist from it, challenging any '' Pastor or Bible scholar in this country who can prove to us where in the bible is written that when you (Christian) see a Muslim, don't talk with him. The God, we serve, says He has opened his arms wide to receive every person. He didn't say some people. And also, when you observe critically, it's our churches that we put under padlock and close it but the mosque is not closed. I don't usually see the doors of a mosque shut. One can enter and sleep in the mosque without anybody sending you away and also those who are most receptive to strangers are Muslims''.
He called for a peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians.
Charles Owusu, speaking to host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's ''Kokrokoo'', advised the schools not to disturb Ghana's peace by their policies and rules that seem to cause conflict among religious entities.
''We plead with our various schools and headteachers/headmistress, don't use your belief to ruin our peace'', he stated.
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