GHANA: Police avert clash between Muslim sects

The police were on Friday called in to prevent what could been a bloody clash between the AI Sunna and the Tijanniya Muslim sects at Aboabo in Kumasi.

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The two Muslim sects are generally not good bedfellows and have engaged in a number of bloody clashes in the past over differences in beliefs.

Last Friday’s incident was said to have been ignited by a demeaning comment, which some members of Al Sunna were alleged to have made about a deceased Imam of the Tijanniya sect.

Members of the Tijanniya sect claimed they had overheard members of the Al Sunna group pass the demeaning comment while the Tijanniya were on their way to the cemetery to bury the deceased Imam last Tuesday.

Tempers flared up and members of the two sects were said to have armed and organised themselves to attack each other during Friday’s congregational prayers. But the police were called in to prevent any breach of the peace in the area.

The Asawasi Divisional Police Commander, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nana Kumi, told the Daily Graphic that the police responded timeously and that there had been no injuries to any of the parties.

When the Daily Graphic visited the scene, policemen were patrolling the area, while the Al Sunnas were in the mosque worshipping.

The police had to maintain their presence while both sides congregated for the Friday prayers.

Tempers were high in the densely populated Islamic community at Aboabo where the two sects have their mosques.

DSP Nana Kumi gave an assurance that the police were in control of the situation.

There is a long-standing rift between the two Muslim sects and, according to Islamic scholars, the Al Sunnas strictly adhere to the teachings and practices of the Holy Prophet Mohammed, (SAW) whereas the Tijanniyas have, besides the five canons of Islam, certain optional practices which the AI Sunnas condemn as not conforming to the strict practice of the religion.

The Tijanniyas also recognise certain Islamic personalities whom they regard as saints. The disagreement has often resulted in bloody clashes in Ghana and Nigeria.

Daily Graphic