The Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Sheik Abdul-Mummin Haroun, is calling for a ban on preaching at public places in the region following concerns by residents of Aboabo No.2 regarding the content of Islamic teachings by some clerics which led to a clash resulting in injuries and destruction of property recently.
The Imam said he had received several complaints from the public of preaching laden with insults and intolerance by some Islamic clerics. Thus, a ban has been placed from now till the end of the November 7 general elections.
“We have given letters to the Regional Police Commander and the District Commander at the Zongo Police Station and the Regional Army Commander to go ahead [and implement what is stated in the letter] that they should stop them from preaching because this year is an election year,” the imam said.
The Alsunnah and Tijaniyyah Islamic sects in Aboabo No. 2 were involved in a bloody conflict on Thursday May 19.
Machete-wielding youth of both sects attacked each other following a brawl on Facebook.
XYZ News’ regional correspondent, Owaohene Addai Munukumu, reported that two people sustained scathing machete wounds in the religious conflict. Cars were also vandalised in the conflict.
According to him, the two sects had been taunting each other on social media but things got to a head on Thursday evening when one person from the Tijaniyyah sect was attacked by some youth from the Alsunnah sect. A subsequent misunderstanding between the youths from the two groups led to the clash.
According to XYZ News sources in the area, there have been long-standing tensions between the two sects. Preachers of both sects are said to be in disagreement with each other whenever they mount the podium to address their followers.
The Chief Imam in an interview on Friday May 20 stated that the regional leaders would be meeting to find an amicable solution to the conflict.
To him, when the clerics are allowed to preach in public they are often found “abusing leaders and that one can also bring political violence”.
“We shall discuss what happened yesterday [May 19] and later they can do their work,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, an Islamic cleric and Executive Director at the Office of the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam stated that the Muslim leadership will make sure the directive is enforced “to prevent any future occurrence which could spill over to cause any election-related violence before and during the November poll”.