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General News of Wednesday, 21 July 2021


Muslims introduced reading and writing in Ghana – Sheikh Aremeyaw

National Chief Imam's Spokesperson, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu play videoNational Chief Imam's Spokesperson, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu

• Sheikh Aremeyaw has posited that Muslims started teaching how to read and write before Europeans came to the country with evangelism and education

• He maintains that the Islamic Community did so with the general education of students

• The Chief Imam's Spokesperson also noted that Christians are pioneers of formal education in Ghana

Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Shiekh Aremeyaw Shaibu has attributed one of the fundamental traditions of education and civilisation to the Muslim community.

According to the Islamic cleric and scholar, the tradition of reading and writing in the country was first introduced by Muslims.

Taking his turn on GhanaWeb’s The Lowdown with Nii Akwei Ismail Akwei, the outspoken scholar posited that long before the visitation of western missionaries, Muslims taught reading and writing albeit informally.

He, however, adds that Christians brought formal education which also came with reading and writing.

Without citing a specific date of the assertion, Sheik Aremeyaw added that Christian missionaries came into the country afterwards and carried out massive activities including building of schools to aid the preaching of the gospel across the country.

Sheikh Aremeyaw was assessing what he described as marginalisation of the Muslim community as well as ill-treatment in second cycle schools.

“…if you take formal education, but if you take general education, Islamic education antedates mission western education.

“Islamic education was brought into this country; the tradition of literacy to write and read was introduced by Muslims in this country ahead of the coming of the Europeans.

“But if you take formal education, the Christian community is the pioneer of that, that is why they have many of the schools. And for them education is key to evangelism at the time… so they have built these schools on the foundation of Christian philosophy and doctrines,” he told host Ismail Akwei.

An incident at one of the premier senior high schools in the country, Wesley Girls, sparked a national conversation with many questioning the religious tolerance between Ghana’s major religions.

For a long time, Muslims in the school were not allowed to fast as a ban had been placed on the exercise. The directive meant that all Muslims in the school were unable to participate in the national fast by the community.

Although the Old Students Association of the school jumped to the defence of the school citing health reasons for the practice, there was still a national outcry nonetheless.

Sheikh Aremeyaw explained that there was the need to be accommodative of such practices to balance the scale. He noted that the situation could’ve been handled better.

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