In a disturbing incident that occurred on Sunday evening, a young man identified as Mansour Mutawakil was allegedly attacked by a group of individuals in Maamobi, a Muslim community in the capital city of Ghana. Eyewitnesses report that the attackers, numbering around seven, violently assaulted Mutawakil, driven by their suspicions that he was engaging in homosexuality.
According to the eyewitnesses, the assailants justified their attack by claiming that Mutawakil, who is not currently employed, was frequently giving money to young boys in the area. They accused him of introducing homosexuality into the community. Maamobi, known as one of the zongo communities in Ghana, has a reputation for being conservative in matters relating to sexual orientation.
A close friend of Mutawakil, who preferred to remain anonymous, confirmed that Mutawakil identifies as gay. However, the friend clarified that they both refrained from practicing their sexual orientation within the community due to the prevailing attitudes and potential repercussions. Mutawakil has reported the attack to the Kotobabi Police Station, where an ongoing investigation is taking place.
While this and other similar incidents have brought attention to LGBTQ+ rights in Ghana, it has also ignited a wider debate on cultural and religious values in the country. The Agbadzena Muslim Youth Movement, an organization dedicated to preserving Islamic values and Ghanaian cultural traditions, has called for the immediate passage of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021. The proposed bill seeks to criminalize LGBTQ+ activities while upholding Ghanaian family values and traditional norms.
During a recent press conference held in Accra, the Agbadzena Muslim Youth Movement expressed its opposition to homosexuality, emphasizing that it has no place in Ghanaian culture or ethnic groups across the country’s regions.
The organization argued against imposing foreign ideologies on a population that rejects them, deeming such actions as unfair and contrary to democratic principles.
Various religious leaders have also voiced their support for the bill. Joseph K. Frimpong, the District Youth Leader of the Church of Pentecost in Kotobabi, cited religious scriptures to discourage participation in LGBTQ+ acts, drawing upon the story of Sodom and Gomorrah from Genesis chapter 19 to reinforce their opposition. Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, speaking on behalf of the National Chief Imam, expressed Islamic doctrines that consider LGBTQ+ activities abominable and praised public figures like the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, for endorsing the bill.
The Greater Accra Mushie Chief, Is-Hak Sulleman Naaba Sigirie I, issued a warning that unless stricter sanctions are imposed to deter LGBTQ+ activities, faith-based institutions would mobilize to protest against individuals or organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Naaba Sigirie called upon Ghanaians to utilize the media to advocate against LGBTQ+ activities, questioning the existence of those advocating or engaging in such acts by invoking their parents’ role in their birth.
As discussions on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021 continue, Ghana remains deeply divided on the issue of LGBTQ+ rights. On one side, there are those emphasizing cultural and religious values, while on the other, individuals and organizations advocate for equality and human rights. The ongoing incident in Maamobi and similar ones at other places serve as a catalyst for this complex and important conversation within Ghanaian society.
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