Secularism and State Neutrality: The 2015 Muslim Protest of Discrimination in the Public Schools in Ghana

Secularism and State Neutrality: The 2015 Muslim Protest of Discrimination in the Public Schools... AbstractPluralism is a discernible feature of many modern states. However, among the variants of pluralism, religious pluralism appears to be the most intractable in many modern states because faiths and values underpin the conflicts that are associated with it. As one of the legacies of the Enlightenment, secularism is a normative prescription for managing religious pluralism. Nevertheless, while many African states profess to be secular, more often than not there are no concrete strategies to objectify the secular arrangement thereby provoking questions on the status quo. Such was the case with the 2015 Muslims’ protest of discrimination in the public basic and second cycles schools in Ghana. Through primary (interviews and archival and historical documents) and secondary data, this paper examines the protest in light of the secularist arrangement. It first reviews the contours of the secularist’s lenses. Second, it historicizes Muslim-Christian relations in Ghana. It also analyzes the checkered partnership between the state and the Christian missions in the provision of education. Moreover, it evaluates the debates that ensued and the ambivalent communiqué that the National Peace Council (NPC) issued. The paper concludes with a note that underscores the dynamics and tensions that characterize many plural societies in their attempt to objectify the secularist principle. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religion in Africa Brill

Secularism and State Neutrality: The 2015 Muslim Protest of Discrimination in the Public Schools in Ghana

Journal of Religion in Africa, Volume 48 (1-2): 40 – Jan 1, 1

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0022-4200
eISSN
1570-0666
DOI
10.1163/15700666-12340123
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractPluralism is a discernible feature of many modern states. However, among the variants of pluralism, religious pluralism appears to be the most intractable in many modern states because faiths and values underpin the conflicts that are associated with it. As one of the legacies of the Enlightenment, secularism is a normative prescription for managing religious pluralism. Nevertheless, while many African states profess to be secular, more often than not there are no concrete strategies to objectify the secular arrangement thereby provoking questions on the status quo. Such was the case with the 2015 Muslims’ protest of discrimination in the public basic and second cycles schools in Ghana. Through primary (interviews and archival and historical documents) and secondary data, this paper examines the protest in light of the secularist arrangement. It first reviews the contours of the secularist’s lenses. Second, it historicizes Muslim-Christian relations in Ghana. It also analyzes the checkered partnership between the state and the Christian missions in the provision of education. Moreover, it evaluates the debates that ensued and the ambivalent communiqué that the National Peace Council (NPC) issued. The paper concludes with a note that underscores the dynamics and tensions that characterize many plural societies in their attempt to objectify the secularist principle.

Journal

Journal of Religion in AfricaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1

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