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Monday, July 6, 2020

EU envoy slams Zakir Naik for ‘baseless, ridiculous’comments

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By Alagie Manneh

The European Union ambassador has refuted claims by renowned Muslim televangelist Dr Zakir Naik that the West orchestrated the ouster of President Jammeh because of his strong anti-gay and pro-Islam stance.

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Ambassador Attila Lajos whose office came under coruscating attack recently for prodding The Gambia to accept homosexuality, said: “I don’t know this Dr Zakir very well but I respect his views. However, [his statement] is baseless allegation. It is ridiculous. If that is the case that [the EU pressures poor Muslim countries] the EU will not be supporting The Gambia from the beginning. It is illogical to think that the EU attaches a precondition to its support programs for The Gambia to accept homosexuality. It is baseless.”

Asked whether the EU will reiterate its call for the protection of gay rights in The Gambia, Mr Lajos tersely said: “Frankly, I don’t see the point now [of you bringing up this issue again]. You should ask those people on social media who peddle it. I consider this issue closed.”

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