Founder of the Alliance for Women in Media Africa(AWMA) Shamima Alhassan Muslim, has pointed out to the Ghanaian authorities, especially the religious communities to be mindful that we are all practicing borrowed religions, be it Christianity or Islam, no one is a minority in Ghana.
She said this in an interview with Berla Mundi on the New Day show on TV3, Friday, May 14.
Shamima Muslim was speaking on the back of the Wesley Girls Senior High School debacle that Muslim students were denied the chance to observe their fasting during the month of Ramadan. This incident has generated a lot of reactions from different quarters of the religious divide such as the Christian Council, the Methodist Church and the office of the Chief Imam in the media.
She criticized some religious leaders painting the dim picture of their sect being the majority in the country by saying “the constitution recognizes the differences and states categorically that no one has to be discriminated against on the basis of their religion, their sect, their creed and whatever it is that they have it. So as a people, I wanted to touch on the philosophical angle that, in every situation that we find ourselves in, we always need to step back a little and reflect on the motivations or the real reasons why we behave, act and think in a certain way. And at the bottom of it is power and control, power over and control of the levers of power and influence in our society.
“So that is why when you hear the pastor that spoke, he speaks about, we are the majority, who conferred this majority status on you? Because I’m saying that these are all religions that has been inherited from outside, from colonial missionaries who came holding the bible and Muslim settlers who brought their faith with them when they moved from place to place. So this is a borrowed religion, by happenstance you happen to have numbers, not because of any special conferment of any special status on you, so that ought to give you more of a position of humility. And as I say this I recognize also that in nations that are majority Muslims, you also find some kind of tyranny, oppression and the need to subjugate but if you look at the teaching of both faiths there is no compulsion, at least I know in Islam there is no compulsion.
“And Muslims hardly evangelize the way Christians do, your number one jihad for a Muslim is own personal example and the Quran state it severally, your personal example is your own jihad, it is your evangelism. No matter what you say that your teachings are, if your behavior goes contrary to the teachings, you are not abiding by the true tenets of the teachings but it is rather your actions that will deter people from your faith rather than what your faith teaches”.
She shared her personal brush with stereotypes she suffered as the only Muslim pupil in her class at the Morning Star School that is still ingrained on her mind. She pointed out discriminations meted out to her in school because of her faith, like nobody wanting to eat with her or associate with her during exercises like in Physical Education(PE) in that school.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana