Please permit me with indulgence to communicate a message to the world on the ongoing rampant abductions of girls by Boko Haram, a so-called Islamist organisation in Nigeria. The abductions of hundreds of young school girls have attracted the attention of the media all over the world.
The dastard actions of these so-called Islamists is unacceptable. They are a million miles away from the proper dictates and teachings of Islam. In unequivocal terms, Islam totally rejects and condemns such uncalled for acts and behaviours anytime, anywhere since Islam claims to be the defender of women and human rights for a very longtime. The kidnappings of those young girls from their school dormitory rooms is so disturbing and disparaging that the United States has sent a team of experts to Nigeria to assist in the rescue operations. The parents of those girls are direly traumatic and terribly agonising and have been appealing to the militants to forgive and also not to sell the girls. In fact a US$300,000 reward has been promised to anyone who could give information on the whereabouts of the girls. Although the Nigerian government could be blamed for their late reaction and seeming disinterest in the matter, the terrorists, as practising Muslims waging jihad for the establishment of shari’ah in northern Nigeria, could not find anything tangible to facilitate their cause but instead are stooping low to their whims and caprices by capturing these girls only to be used as concubines and sexual objects to satisfy their desires. The kidnappers and their leaders are bandits posing as imposters under the cloak of Islam to tarnish the image of the religion.
Their cowardly devious operations are not sanctioned by Islam and there is a need to put a stop to their activities. Nigerian authorities must put up proper strategies to swiftly fend off these despicable activities which are a deliberate misconception and contravention of the teachings and rules of procedures of our Islamic faith.
If Boko Haram is advocating for disallowance of education for girls we do not know where they are getting it from because the Holy Prophet himself said: “Seeking knowledge is obligatory on both men and women”. There is no discrimination and argument about this and it cannot be compromised. Moreover, as such unscrupulous groups continue to spread their mischief and tentacles across the globe unabated, international peace and security is undoubtedly at stake. They continue to misinterpret religion to the people and their existence poses serious threats to overall human existence. Therefore these scourges of a menance must be eliminated from our societies as they have no place in this modern and civilised surrounding of mankind. Human beings can no longer afford to live in brutal and chaotic environments. I therefore called on the international community to take the necessary measures so as to put an end to such horrendous and inhumane acts as is the situation in Nigeria today by groups that hide under the pretext of Islam to violate the rights of people.
The Boko Haram members should know that it is important for one to read his or her religion before practising it. They are nothing but perpetrators of violence and instability in the world. The Islamic religion does not in any way condone violence, that is why Allah says in Sura al-Kafiruun: “…Take your religion and I take my religion”. This teaches us that the acceptance of Islam should not come with force but it is a religion that seeks out compromise and consensus.
Sheikh Sidat Fatty
I am filled with disgust seeing young men wearing saggy pants exposing their dirty underpants or buttocks to the whole world. From Kartong to Koina, everywhere you go, you see ‘Youtal’ as it is commonly known here in The Gambia. The girls have the equivalent called ‘hotpants’ and ‘check-downs’ which deliberately exposes their naked butts without shame.
What I don’t understand is why any decent young man would dress in ‘youtal’. Firstly, this practice started in prisons in America where prisoners are not given belts for their trousers for fear of using them to hang themselves, harm others or use them to escape.
But here, you see these boys and young men with belts in their trousers yet they let down their trousers way below their waists exposing their butts in public. In fact, the situation has degenerated to a point where our mosques and churches the very sacred places to worship God the supreme are not spared of these wrongful and shameful behaviours.
The government of The Gambia should pass a law making ‘youtal’ illegal in The Gambia. Some states in America did exactly this in a bid to curb this anti-social form of dressing.