A group of Muslim medics has taken on management of the Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast for preventing students of Islamic faith to observe the Holy Ramadan fast.
The group which has formed the Islamic Medical Association of Ghana (IMAGH) argues that the directive by the school on grounds that fasting is unhealthy for students has no medical basis.
The group which comprise Muslim heath professionals across Ghana, also criticised the Methodist Church and the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of Wesley Girls for backing the move.
“This inaccurate assertion was made by these bodies in an attempt to justify the clear violations of the religious rights of Muslim students in Wesley Girls’ High school. As far as IMAGH is concerned, those claims are unfounded and lack any firm bases in science and medicine. These claims by the 3 bodies were made without any scientific proof,” the group said.
The group emphatically stated that the intermittent fasting of Ramadan cannot be equated to starvation and does not, in any way affect the observer’s health negatively.
“It is important to state that Islamic fasting is comparatively moderate and cannot be considered as starvation. There is a clear scientific distinction between fasting and starvation. At no point within the 12-16-hour period of fasting is the person deprived of any essential nutrient.”
The Association further expressed worry about the situation’s potential effect on Ghana’s inclusiveness and therefore called for broader stakeholder consultation to find an amicable solution to the impasse.
“IMAGH wishes to state that Ghana is a secular state which must promote inclusiveness. Public or government-assisted schools which seek to promote one religion over the other pose a risk to all of us and our future.”
“We need to be careful in taunting Muslims to build their own schools. If this is done, this has the potential of deepening religious segregation and divisiveness”, it added.
Source: Daily Mail GH with additional files from CNR