Chebbo Cham ‘welcomes’ establishment of Islamic State

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By Alagie Manneh

Islamic scholar and imam, Chebbo Cham has said he will “100 percent” support the establishment of an Islamic State in The Gambia.

Former president Yahya Jammeh in 2016 declared The Gambia an Islamic republic allegedly at the prompting of the Indian scholar Dr Zakir Naik. It sparked huge controversy and outrage among the country’s Christian community.

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Speaking to The Standard recently, Imam Cham was asked about his feeling about that.  He replied: “Islamic State is what should happen in this country and that is among the reasons why I love former president Jammeh and up till now I love him, and I pray for him all the time for Allah to give him peace because of those intentions of his, and for all the other efforts he has done for the Islamic religion”.

He continued: “Even if we have a president who has littered all our roads with gold, if he doesn’t care for our religion and look after it, all of that will be zero. But even if we have only sand to eat but have a leader who respects and propagates our religion, in the eyes of Allah, he is more peaceful and progressive than the other because Allah wants an Islamic state.”

Imam Cham said the issues of crime including killings in The Gambia would have long been eradicated under a theocratic system of government.

On what would become of the non-Muslims and atheists in the country, under an Islamic state, Imam Chebbo explained: “It’s not that when the Islamic State comes into effect, those people will lose their rights or dues, or that they will be persecuted. For example, if The Gambia is an Islamic State today, they will be protected just like the Muslims, including their rights. Nothing will happen to them.”

When pressed that not everyone would want an Islamic Republic in The Gambia, he added: “They may not want that, but that is what Allah wants, Allah who made all of them, and to whom belongs all the dominions. If he or she doesn’t want that, let them leave Allah’s land. It’s irrelevant if they want it or not,” he stressed. 

Read the full interview on Bantaba