Former Rector of Kumasi Technical University, Professor Yakubu Seidu Peligah believes Muslims, irrespective of sectarian differences, will achieve the greater good if they come together to build a strong Muslim society based on Islamic principles.
He says consensus building amongst the sects is long overdue and that the common good of the Muslim society transcends all sectarian beliefs.
Professor Peligah is therefore urging leaders, Imams and scholars to open up to dialogue on the way forward.
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He added that such discussions will aid in the realisation of the much-needed Islamic Council similar to the Christian Council which will give Muslims a stronger voice to contribute to national issues.
The professor who was asked to discuss Islamic social policies in relation to world politics at a public lecture organised by the Imam Baqir Youth Wing of the Shi’a Islamic sect at Nima on Saturday bemoaned the lack of a clearly defined Islamic blueprint for such purposes.
According to him, this was as result of misconceptions about sectarian leaders losing their voice and influence if they came together to form an Islamic council. He said this has led to a situation where leadership of the various sects are afraid to talk to each other about the issue.
He underscored the need for a united Muslim leadership, stating that: “it doesn’t matter how many followers a leader has….if you speak as an individual, you speak for yourself but if you speak with a united voice, you are speaking for the people and they will listen….You don’t have to stop being the national imam of Sunni, Tijjaniyyah or Shi'a, you will still be your imam, but you come together with your other brothers and form a council.”
Guests at the public lecture
"This is what we are lacking. Because there are laws in this country which may be against Muslims, but we are not even aware. The Muslim imams are not even aware of certain crucial laws in the country."
He indicated that many imams are unaware of the fact that Islamic marriages required mandatory registration at the office of the District Chief Executive (DCE) to make it legal under section 24 of the Marriages Act and encouraged the Muslim youth to dig deeper into knowledge by conducting research into relevant topics that will aid the development of the community.
Touching on security matters, the Nima Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Abraham Acquaye said the crime rate in Nima has relatively reduced but the prevalence of gangsterism and hooliganism was becoming alarming and a concern for national security.
He said the police will leave no stone unturned in its effort to apprehend all trouble makers.
Guests at the public lecture
"We have even arrested some of the gangsters and they are in court. Some are also on the run and they are being pursued and we are still looking for them......We are going to turn our eyes on them and pursue them until we get all of them arrested,” he stated.
Chief Superintendent Abraham Acquaye hinted that the police in consultation with leadership of the community are currently working on reviving the once vibrant neighbourhood watch committees to support their operations.
“So that they assist us to provide adequate security so that everybody can go about their lawful duties without fear or intimidation.”
Sheikh Suleiman Banba (Head of Imam Baqir Center) in a handshake with the Nima Divisional Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Abraham Acquaye
The Nima Divisional Police Commander decried the interference of community leadership in certain criminal cases, indicating that although the police are mandated to play a mediation role and promote reconciliation, such involvements can be extremely frustrating.
“The law allows that (interference), provided it does not amount to felony but sometimes they want to interfere in other felonious acts like robbery, rape and defilement.... sometimes it’s frustrating. If you listen to them, it means we are giving them the leeway to continue perpetrating such crimes,” he added.