Speaking to The Standard at the Yundum Police Station yesterday where he was asked to report on bail, Muhideen Hydara, accompanied by a multitude of his followers, said as a descendant of the founder of the Islamic religion, he regarded his arrest and detention as an experience inherent in the work of his mission.
Speaking to The Standard on the condition of anonymity, a follower of the caliph explained: “The matter occurred following a miscommunication between the Sheriff of Darsilami Sanghajorr, Muhideen Hydara and Alkalo Buya Touray. Apparently, the chief had already informed the alkalo about the official decision from the Supreme Islamic Council for Eid-ul-Fitr prayers to be observed on Monday 28th August. Muhideen, without any knowledge of news about the sighting of the moon in the area or announcement from the Supreme Islamic Council went on to fast up to 30 days. Consequently, about forenoon on Tuesday, 29th August, he went out with his followers to the prayer grounds to observe the prayers. While at the praying venue, Muhideen noticed the absence of the alkalo and then sent for him to come as it was almost time to start the prayers.
“Upon return, the messenger came with the information that the alkalo was not feeling too good and could not attend. They went ahead and performed the prayers without delay,” he explained. Pressed on why someone did not inform the Sheriff about the official decision of the Islamic council, the speaker said: “This is just some people trying to philosophise things regarding the issue. The caliph did not sight the moon and also did not hear anyone claiming to have sighted it either. It is as simple as that.”
He said it was “important to clarify to the authorities that Sheriff Muhideen did not pray on Tuesday out of sheer contempt or to challenge or scorn authority. It is just that we did not sight the moon. His Excellency the President of the Republic has been very good and magnanimous to us since his rise to power. Therefore, if such a misunderstanding happens between the authorities and our family, I think people should try to preach peace rather than stoke the flames of fitnah.”
Sheriff Muhideen has been asked to report back on Monday, 11th August.]]>