By Haj Saeed Jallo
“If Muslim leadership in Ghana rise up and advocate strongly for the rights of their people, the unfortunate human right violation in the country will cease forthwith.” These were the words of Haj Abdel Manan Abdel Rahman, General Secretary of the Coalition of Muslim Organizations Ghana (COMOG).
He made these remarks at the just ended 4th Annual Muslim Students Camping organized by the Western Regional secretariat of the Ghana Muslim Students’ Association (GMSA) in the Ahanta West district of the Western Region. Haj Abdel Manan was delivering the keynote address on the theme “Consolidating National Peace Through Justice-A Concern For The Ghanaian Muslim.”
The programme was organized in partnership with Tawheed Development Foundation(TDF), an Islamic Non-Governmental Organization based in the Western Region. It drew students from the various tertiary institutions as well as Senior High Schools in the Western and other regions of Ghana together in their quest to recommit themselves to the teachings of Islam as well as keep themselves from the streets during the yuletide.
Haj Abdel Manan decried the attitude of some heads of institutions who act as if the country is a Christian country. “Ghana is a confused state; it is neither a religious or a secular country. We claim to be secular whilst some heads of institutions act as if it is a Christian country.” He wondered why Muslim students are being prevented from observing their hijab in schools and workplaces
“Until we adopt absolute secularism the rights of Muslims will be persistently trampled upon.’ The general secretary continued. He mentioned some state properties that have elements of the cross on them which he says points to the fact that Ghana is not wholly a secular state. “Someone is playing a game.” He said.
He called upon institutional leaders to recognize social justice as the prerequisite for peace, without which national cohesion cannot be achieved. “there can never be peace where justice and fairness are nonexistent.” He added.
The General Secretary commended the leadership of TDF and Paragon Foundation for consistently supporting the cause of GMSA over the years, a task he says has helped so much in shaping up the human resource of the association.
Haj also touched on the issues of GMSA’s inability to launch itself as the most formidable Islamic organization in Ghana. “This organization is the fastest growing in Ghana, however it is so sad that you have failed to build it on solid systems and structures.” He reminded them that without pragmatic efforts to position themselves strategically GMSA will continue to be just a name but will fail to work at full capacity.
The Omanhen of Dixcove Traditional Area, Nana Kwesi Agyeman ix, who was the Guest of Honour commended GMSA and TDF for coming up with such a wonderful programme. He advised the students to take whatever they learn at the camp serious and ensure that it manifests in their daily activities.