Let’s enhance co-existence among religious faiths – Mills

President Atta Mills

President John Evans Atta Mills, has proposed the institution of a mechanism to enhance cooperation, understanding and peaceful coexistence among the various religious faiths in the country.

He acknowledged that there is peaceful coexistence among the various religious faiths but indicated the need for Ghanaians not to take the peace for granted but rather fashion ways to protect the peace and harmony.

President Mills made the proposal in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, at the Eid-Ul Adha prayers at the Independence Square in Accra.

Eid-Ul Adha is a celebration of sacrifice, which was first observed by Prophet Abraham. During the period, Muslims, including those performing Hajj, sacrifice animals such as camels, cattle, sheep and goats.

Muslims who sacrifice an animal are required to take one-third of the meat with their family and share the other two-thirds with needy Muslim and non-Muslim neighbours.

The Deputy National Chief Imam, Sheikh Kamaluddeen Abubakar, led this year’s national prayers because the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, is leading the Ghanaian Muslims delegation performing this year’s Hajj.

President Mills said Ghana was a good example of a peaceful country in the West African sub-region but expressed worry about the creeping political intolerance in the country and asked Muslims to strive to maintain peace and harmony in the country and also support other members of society to maintain peace.

President Mills reiterated the government’s commitment to continue to expand infrastructure and offer social services to grow the economy, saying  what the country needed was peace to be able to enjoy the fruits of the government’s investment.

On the Hajj, he said the government, under the leadership of Vice-President John Dramani Mahama, had supported the organisation of this year’s Hajj.

As a result, he said, about 4,300 Ghanaian Muslims were in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia performing the Hajj.

President Mills extended good wishes to the pilgrims in Mecca and prayed for their safe return to the country after the pilgrimage.

Sheikh Kamaluddeen, in a speech read on his behalf by Alhaji Gado Mohammed, a special advisor to the National Chief Imam, commended the government for supporting the National Hajj Committee (NHC) to transport about 4,300 Muslims to Saudi this year.

He particularly praised the government for prevailing on the Saudi Hajj authorities to issue about 300 visas to the last batch of Ghanaian pilgrims.

The Deputy National Chief Imam commended President Mills for stating the position of his administration and that of the country not to initiate any legislation to support the practice of homosexuality in the country.

He assured the President of the support of the Muslim community in his resolve to stand against a practice that was against the religious and cultural  values of Ghanaians.

Sheikh Kamaluddeen lauded the government for introducing numerous youth employment modules under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) to provide skills and job opportunities to the youth.

Sheikh Kamaluddeen said Eid-Ul Adha reminded Muslims of the need to sacrifice for the good of their families, friends and the nation as a whole.

He said the doctors’ strike could have been avoided if both the Ghana Medical Association and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission were guided by the spirit of sacrifice.

Sheikh Kamaluddeen prayed for continuous peace in the country and  Allah’s protection and guidance for President Mills, Vice-President Mahama, Ministers of State, the judiciary and the legislature.

Source: Daily Graphic

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