By Omar Bah
A leading voice among the country’s religious leaders, Imam Baba Leigh of the Kanifing Mosque has said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at should be granted a license to operate a Television station in the country.
Imam Leigh made this remark during his weekly sermon on Friday. The TV application of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at is strongly challenged by the Supreme Islamic Council generating a heated debate among Gambians in recent days.
But According to the outspoken Imam Leigh, “The Gambian constitution stipulates that the country is a secular state where anyone can follow the religion of one’s choice without infringing into somebody else’s religion or belief. Since this is the supreme law of the land talking like that, then the Ahmadis should be given a license,” Leigh said.
“How can you stop the Ahmadis from operating a television when we have BBC, CNN and the Internet? The internet is showing what the Television cannot show and all our children are having their Smartphones. Has that destroyed all of them? No. It may for some, but not all. Please let us leave these people alone,” he urged.
Imam Leigh further said as Muslims the first thing one should consider is the dictates of Islam. “And what Islam teaches us is that God will not use somebody’s bad or good deeds to pay it to another person and whatever one does one should face the consequence.
“And the Quran also teaches us that those who are doing that which is not good will not reduce anything from us Muslims; all we need to do is the right thing,” he said.
He continued: “This is a country where the Ahmadis have opened schools and hospitals and nobody complains about it, so why now?” he asked.
Imam Leigh said the argument that Ahmadis don’t pray in other Mosques or behind other Muslims is immaterial. “As an Imam those who concern me are those who pray behind me because those are the ones about whom I will be asked,” he said.
He added: “I listened to one preacher recently saying if the government fails to take any decision, they will take their own decision. To me if anyone takes a decision in that aspect you are a criminal and a Muslim should not be a criminal. Any decision one takes against somebody because of that person’s concept in religion or Islam will be a criminal.”