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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Gov’t urged to check controversial preachers

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By Omar Bah

Operation No To Tribalism, a non-partisan movement formed by Gambians from all walks of life, has called on the government to reprimand preachers for insensitive comments. 

The movement’s chairman, Kebba Ceesay told The Standard on Thursday that they were approached by angry Rawdatul Majaalis leaders and a host of other Islamic scholars to ask the government to warn the controversial preachers.

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“They want us to talk to the government on their behalf to warn these kinds of preachers to stop insulting them or else there will be serious consequences,” Ceesay said.

He said though his movement is focused on fighting tribal bigotry, they are equally concerned about issues raised by the scholars because it could generate violence, if not addressed.

“We urge the government to as a matter of urgency write to these preachers and ask them to change their ways. We are worried that if nothing is done there will be serious consequences on that front too,” he warned.

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He said all Gambians whose children are studying in the hands of these preachers should advise them to stop the attacks or withdraw their children.

“Our movement visited one of the preachers named by Rawdatul Majaalis to discuss with him but he refused to listen to us,” he said.

Ceesay said the government should take issues of hate speech very seriously. He added that Gambians tend to focus on discussions about tribalism, religion and ethnicity but “partisan political loyalties can become tribal too and when they do, they can be as destructive as any other allegiance.”

Political bigotry

Mr Ceesay urged Gambians to avoid being used by politicians to insult their fellow Gambians in the name of politics. “Partisanship should not turn Gambians against one another or the principles enshrined by our founding fathers. Being Gambian is not the preserve of any particular racial, ethnic, or religious subgroup,” Ceesay said.

 “This is why the government should take a giant step to dismantle tribalism and religious bigotry,” he added.

Meanwhile, a group of Gambians living abroad led by Musa Koteh better known as ‘King Sport’ the founder of ‘3 Years Jotna’, has recently called on the government to facilitate the deportation of one Musa Saidy, who they alleged engages in hate preaching.

Musa Saidy was once accused of recording several audios attacking the community of Sheriffs and politicians and recently, the Rawdatul Majaalis.

However, Musa Saidy had denied that he ever targeted any group or person for insults or derogatory remarks claiming his preachings are often misinterpreted and misunderstood by people.

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