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Spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, has justified the former’s decision to donate GHS50,000 towards the construction of the National Cathedral.

Sheikh Shaibu on Eyewitness News said the donation, which he described as a “symbolic gesture’ was aimed at fostering a peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians in the country.

“The spirit about the gesture is to deepen a harmonious relationship between Muslims as a distinct identified community. The Chief Imam has been doing things that are revolutionary in their significance. In a revolutionary manner, he is trying to move our mind from the tendency to see each other [Muslims and Christians] as enemies and to remove all traces of hatred,” Sheikh Shaibu explained.

‘National Imam employing sophistry’

His explanation however did not sit well with Haruna Atta, a former Ambassador to Namibia who insisted that the donation had nothing to do with deepening a harmonious relationship between Muslims and Christians.

“The National Chief Imam, in polite terms is employing sophistry because since when haven’t we had peaceful coexistence? Mr. Akufo-Addo had said that he had pledged to his God that should he win an election he will build a cathedral to his God and that has nothing to do with peaceful coexistence between Christians and Muslims.”

Mr. Atta posited that it was unfortunate that the National Chief Imam was supporting a project aimed at “enhancing mass standing within the Christian community”

“If Muslims cannot see it from that angle and we try to make excuses for what should not be done then it is up to them,” Mr. Atta added.

Plans for the construction of a National Cathedral continue to generate heated debate, and although the government insists it will be funded by the private sector and serve as a multi-purpose national edifice, some have raised concerns about its usefulness and cost.

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