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Regional News of Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Source: GNA

Upper West Regional Minister worried over reports of homosexuality/lesbianism

Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, Upper West Regional Minister Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, Upper West Regional Minister

Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, has expressed worry over recent reports of homosexuality and lesbianism among the youth in their communities.

“These practices are strange and not in tandem with our culture. As Muslims, the Holy Quran in surah Ash-shuran verse 160 to 174 narrates the story of the people of Lut destroyed by the wrath of Allah because the men engaged in lustful carnal acts themselves,” he said.

Dr Bin Salih who expressed the worry during the 2021 Eid-ul Adha congregational prayers in Wa, pointed out that these acts were not only forbidden in Islam, but also have serious negative health effects.

He said according to the Ghana AIDS Commission, sexually transmitted diseases among same-sex couples were higher than normal couples.

“As Muslims, it is time we intensified the sensitization of the youth about the negative effects of these practices and help those involved in the act to reform,” the Minister pleaded.

Dr Bin Salih indicated that this could be achieved through support groups and counselling for the youth, especially those engaged in the act.

“I will like to call on our Imams, Islamic scholars, traditional authorities and opinion leaders to begin to engage the youth on the negative effects of these practices,” he encouraged.

On the Eid-ul Adha celebrations, the Regional Minister said the day should be a reminder for all Muslims to be selfless and adhere to the tenets of the Islamic Religion.

He noted that in surah al-hajj verse 37, Allah said “It is not their flesh or their blood that reaches Him, but what reaches Him is piety from you”.

He encouraged Muslims to let their sacrifices of cattle and rams on the occasion be a means for them to renew their faith and seek forgiveness of their sins.

The Regional Minister added that the day also admonished them to have empathy for each other and other non-Muslims.

He noted that for them in the Upper West Region, this good neighbourliness had been amply demonstrated by the religious harmony among people of the various religious persuasions, hence the peace and harmony that continued to prevail.

“I, therefore, urge you to use this day of sacrifice to safeguard the peace and tranquillity in the Region to engender the needed development,” he encouraged. On the recent shortage of fertilizer for the “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme, Dr Bin Salih said efforts were being made to bring more fertilizer into the Region for farmers.

He said the rainy season was the season for the outbreak of diseases such as malaria and cholera and encouraged all to adhere to the preventive measures by cleaning their environment, de-silting choked drains, eating healthy, sleeping under mosquito nets, and removing stagnant water.

He reminded the people that the COVID-19 pandemic was not over yet, hence the need for them to continue to adhere to the safety protocols issued by the Ghana Health Service, which included the washing of hands with soap under running water, the use of nose mask and frequent use of alcohol-based sanitizers.

The Eid-ul Adha congregational prayer, which took place at the Jubilee Park in Wa, was led by Alhaji Osman Kanihi, the Upper West Regional Chief Imam.

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