I think there is a big issue of misplaced priority amongst Muslims especially in the Zongos or urban areas.
You would see a small community with less than 300 to 400 people but over a dozen mosques all over without proper healthcare or educational facilities.
Every two blocks you pass, you would probably see a mosque so when you are a stranger and there’s a call to prayer, you wouldn’t even know which one to go to.
Whenever there’s even foreign aid or support, the community leaders would still advocate for the construction of a mosque even though there are many around that municipality.
Now, when you want to take your children to the best schools in the country they are all undoubtedly Christian schools.
Talk about the St. Peters’, St Francis, St Monica’s, St Augustine etc.
You decide to take your children to these catholic schools and when they are asked to go to church and your daughters are prevented from wearing a hijab, you start to complain and cause a riot.
Forgetting that if you focused on education and built schools, you would equally have the autonomous right to set your own rules and regulations in line with your faith.
Same goes for health care delivery.
It is shocking that some Muslim men will bring their wives to the hospital and refuse to allow a male gynecologist to examine them.
If you want female doctors and gynaecologists, focus on education and also build hospitals so that you can train and employ female doctors.
It is howver important to note that the only set of Muslims who are organized and take education and healthcare issues very seriously are the Ahmadiya Muslims.
But we would sit there and say they are not pure Muslims and therefore won’t allow them to even pray in their mosque.
It’s high time we change that mentality and stop building mosques with the intention of pleasing Allah when in reality we want fame and recognition.
We need to build schools, build hospitals, build social centres which will in turn better the living standards of our people.
We must know that love for humanity is the best form of worship.
While Christians are boasting of schools like Presec, Pope Johns, St Francis, and many more, what do we have?
Name one Islamic school we can rank in that regard… I’ll wait!!!
It’s no secret why Muslim communities and youth from these areas are mostly uneducated, ignorant and poverty-stricken.
There’s no clear focus and these youth are mostly misled or misguided by these ‘so-called’ scholars.
So my advice is, “When they bring the funds, tell them you have enough mosques and you want schools and hospitals.”
The writer, Hakim Gumah is an alumni of University for Development Studies.