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‘Religious Intolerance’: Suit Filed at Supreme Court

ghana-supreme-courtThe raging debate over whether Muslim students should be made to attend Christian services in Mission schools, has caused a Ghanaian, Gershon Nii Lamptey to file a suit at the Supreme Court.
Citing various articles of the Constitution, [17,21(1)(b)(c),35(1),(5),(6)(a),37(1) and/or 5)], Gershon Nii Lamptey said it is “unreasonable, illegitimate and/or unlawful for students attending missions schools falling under the aegis of the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to be compelled under the guise of promoting school discipline to participate in religious activities endorsed and promoted by these mission  schools  when such students do not share the faiths proclaimed or promoted  by these mission schools.”The move follows weeks of debate among major stakeholders in the education sector and Christian circles over the alleged discrimination against some Muslims.

Some Muslims are alleging that they are being forced to attend Christian service in some mission schools against their rights.

He therefore wants the Supreme to restrain government and all its agencies and private institutions from forcing students of other faiths to attend or participate in partisan and sectional religious activities, such as Sunday Worship or Morning Devotion, against their will.

Religious activities at public events

Mr. Lamptey is also praying the court to declare as unconstitutional, the practice where government, through its ministries, agencies, departments, among others, sanction and endorse partisan religious activities or offering preferential treatment to some religions during state, events.

“… Such treatment is not accorded all other religions in Ghana, particularly Islam and African Traditional Religion, on an equal footing is discriminatory and unjustifiable under the letter and spirit of articles 17,21(1)(b)(c),35(1)(5)(6)(a),37(1) and/or 56  of the Constitution.”

Other relieves Mr. Lamptey seeks

  • A declaration that all schools in Ghana, whether private, public or state-sponsored( except religious schools set up primarily to train students as ministers, etc, of particular religions) have a obligation to recognize, respect  and give effect to the right of freedom of conscience, belief and religion guaranteed under  21(1)(b)(c)  of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana by not forcing students of other faiths to attend or participate in partisan and sectional religious activities, such as Sunday Worship or Morning Devotion, against their will and/or the tenets of their faiths.
  • A declaration that upon a true and proper interpretation of articles 17 and 33(5) the concept of minority rights, particularly a minority’s right to non-discrimination and special measures to protect its identity, constitute part and parcel of the fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Ghanaian Constitution.
  • Any further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit.
Source: Citifmonline

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