Ben Abdallah cautions Muslim leaders against partisan politics
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Accra – The Chairman of the Muslim Caucus of Parliament, Banda Ben Abdallah has warned Muslims against the disruptive nature of political meddling in Muslim leadership.

He said that the partisan nature of politics, when allowed to enter the fray of Muslim leadership would add to the existing divisive factors such as sectarianism that have posed an existential threat to the unity of Muslims in the country.

“We must endeavour to suppress political and sectarian difference in all our engagement with one another. However, we must respect and maintain our sectarian faith” he said.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Offinso South Constituency who was speaking at the opening of the maiden National Conference of Muslim Representatives also mentioned ethnocentrism, intolerance and selfishness as vices that should have no place in steering the affairs of Ghanaian Muslims.

The two-day conference which opened on Saturday, February 23, in Accra under the theme, “Enhancing the Capacity of Muslim Leadership for Ghana’s Development” sought to bring together Muslim stakeholders towards addressing myriad challenges that hinged on the rights of Muslim women, leadership structure, among others.

Citing examples of how disruptive politics could be to Muslim leadership, a senior journalist, Alhaji Alhassan Gomda in his presentation on the contribution of Muslim leadership to Islamic development gave an account of how political influences affected Muslim leadership.

“Under the regime of Kwame Nkrumah, an Imam was removed from office as Imam of Accra because some Muslims didn’t want him there and pressure was mounted on Nkrumah to have him removed from office,” he said.

The issue of leadership among Ghanaian Muslims he said has over the years been a challenge where attempts by various groups and entities to improve the system have been marred by misunderstandings and in some instances fracases.

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“The search for leadership for Muslims in the country continues. With the architecture now changed, the prominent existence of various sects and above all, the incumbent the National Chief Imam being the first to hold the position shows how the importance of this conference cannot be marginalised” he said.

He also mentioned that much needed to be done regarding the establishment of structures to provide the faith with the needed sustenance to play its role in national development.

The Chairman of the Conference, Alhaji Mohammed Gado who is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the National Chief Imam highlighted the need for Muslims to harness resources and pull talents together in a strategic and organised manner to “establish institutions directed at engineering a transformation”.

He also advised that “we need to establish our own schools especially secular schools from nursery to senior high school to cater for our children”.

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