Muslim Groups urges government not to interfer in Religious Affairs

Accra- The Coalition of Muslim Organisations, Ghana (COMOG), has expressed concern about government’s involvement in the construction of a cathedral for religious activities.

The coalition believed that government involvement in religious issues have serious repercussion for the country’s unity and cohesion, urging government to reconsider its decision.

This was in a statement signed by Sheikh Dr Al-Hussien Zakaria, the National President of COMOG and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

For more than a decade now, COMOG has continually insisted on the need for government to relinquish its stake in the organisation of Hajj and allow Muslims to handle the pilgrimage as a purely private spiritual exercise.

While our efforts continue to achieve this goal, we were startled by the government’s meddling in yet another religions endeavour, which is the construction of a cathedral,.

Sheikh Zakariya said the Coalition was not against the construction of a national cathedral, but believed that Christians were in the best capacity to build a cathedral without government’s involvement or sponsorship.

Just as the Government of Ghana has not been involved in the construction of a religious edifice for Muslims, Traditionalists, and Hindus among others, it should not be involved in the efforts by Christians to build themselves a cathedral, it added.

The Coalition was of the view that government’s keen interest to support religious bodies, constituted state sponsorship and promotion of Islam and Christianity, which is an affront to the country’s Constitution which bars the state from any promotion or sponsorship of religious activities.

The Sheikh stated that the Coalition disagreed with government for deciding to demolish some public facilities around the earmarked site for the national cathedral edifice saying, such a move amounted to wanton destruction of state property and called for its relocation.

We join many well-meaning Ghanaians in calling for the relocation of the cathedral to another part of Ghana where it can be constructed at little cost to the state,.

He said COMOG was pleased with the efforts of a private citizen to seek an interpretation in the Supreme Court on the legality of government’s involvement in Hajj organisation and the building of the cathedral.

Unfortunately, before the court could have the opportunity to hear the case, the government has gone ahead with plans on the construction of the cathedral at a cost that unconscionable and represents an utter misplacement of our priorities as a nation.

The coalition also called on President, Nana Akufo-Addo to halt the planned demolition exercise and any other activities that would cause permanent damage to or loss of state property until the suit at the Supreme Court was heard.

Source: Ghana News Agency

   

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