Accra, Ghana//-2020 flagbearer of the People’s Progressive Party, Bridgette Dzogbenuku has expressed her utter disappointment at Wesley Girls’ Senior High School and the Methodist Church for their refusal to allow students in the school to observe the Ramadan fast.
According to her, the strong refusal of the school and Church to allow the students observe the Ramadan fast reeks of religious discrimination.
She said, “So, I’m told it’s not for religious reasons, and rather for health reasons. Ok. But they argue that these girls have been observing the fast for years and are used to it. Besides, their parents are ready to take responsibility should they fall ill.
“So what is the big deal? If it’s not for religious reasons, why is the Methodist Church stepping in?”
Her comment follows the rejection of a Ghana Education Service (GES) directive to Wesley Girls’ to allow Muslim students partake in the Ramadan fast by the Methodist Church.
In a press statement, the Church had stated that the school’s rule on fasting is a long-standing one that is also non-religious and various renowned Muslim ladies in Ghana have passed through the school adhering to it.
However, Ms. Dzogbenuku, who herself is an old student of Wesley Girls’ stated that allowing the students to fast would have no dire consequence on the long preserved standards of the school.
According to her, it was rather a very Christian thing to do.
She said, “But then again, doesn’t our Holy Book tell us not to be impediments to others in their faith: ‘Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.’ 1 Corinthians 8:13 NIV.
“Certainly, the entire school cannot fast on account of a few students observing Ramadan, but we must be careful not to cause them to defy their beliefs…unless we don’t respect their faith.”
She called on school authorities to permit the students to observe the fast as the school’s “foundation, tradition and values … will not be shaken by anything – certainly not by a 40-day fast by a couple of students.”
“Let’s practice Christianity in our decisions – faith, hope and love. Let’s take these decisions in love, not in fear,” she concluded.