There is a great deal of pressure on African leaders to decriminalise or legalise homosexuality, which is an abominable crime in our society. Before going further, let me point out that I have no hatred for any nation, race or religion. I am a patriotic Gambian who is seriously concerned about issues which will impact on the future of our society. This wind of individual liberty blowing from the West is toxic and detrimental to the healthy spirit of our social liberty. I am therefore calling on my fellow Africans, Gambians in particular, to be firmly tied to our religious values, to emancipate ourselves from the yoke of Western influence, in order to safeguard our future generation from decadence. We must not allow our religious teachings and cultural values to be strangled and transformed into shameless display of immoral behaviour, in the name of individual liberty.
Homosexuality is unacceptable in our society because it is socially immoral and against our religion, Islam. Some so-called gay rights activists may argue that they do not offend anyone. That is narrow-minded thinking. Every society has its own values which govern their way of life. If you behave in a way that is against those values, you are committing a social crime because it a social offence.
If you are residing in a Western country as an African, you are obliged to integrate in the society and accept their values. Polygamy which is a pride in Africa is not accepted in the West because it is against their values. Similarly, homosexuality which is a pride in the West, is not accepted in Africa because it is against our values. Human rights should be based on justice, equality and respect for other’s social values so that there would be balanced freedom in the spirit of live and let live.
We, the Gambian people and African as a whole, believe in the existence of a Supreme Being Who created the universe, and we are answerable to Him in the hereafter concerning our conduct in this world. There are others who do not believe in this at all. They not owe their existence to a Supreme Being. So they only cater for the needs of worldly life. Considering this dividing line, how does one expect these two opposing parties (the godly and the godless) to see this issue in the same perspective? This is the question that they should seriously think about. In a godless society, there is very little to guide moral behaviour because they cannot find a true definition of crime supported in sound moral philosophy. In a godless society, sex is considered a natural urge which should be responded to without inhibitions. This is quite the opposite in a godly society. We believe that the purpose of our existence is to submit to the will of Allah, the Almighty. According to Islamic teachings, a natural urge has to be controlled and regulated and applied in its proper place. It then becomes a moral behaviour. This is the fundamental difference between human beings and beasts. We believe that the object of marriage and sex has been and should always be reproduction and propagation of species and not mere response to natural urges like beasts.
The fact of the matter is that, they have lost the grip of their religion, Christianity, which has played a pivotal role in creating a Western society that was morally excellent. Being shortsighted, they failed to realise that whenever religious values disappear from a society, modesty and morality bid farewell and give way to decadence. The decadence of the Western modern society is as a result of a decline in religious values. It is an undeniable fact that homosexuality was a serious social crime in Western society when Christianity was doing its duty there. Sadly, when they turned their backs on their religion and flung their cultural values over their shoulders, they suffer a fall in moral standards and eventually changed the definition of crime. If their ancestors were to come back to life today, they will bow their heads in grief and shame for crimes committed by their progeny.
We respect human rights laws but we are conscious of the fact that they are imperfect because it was made by imperfect beings. The only perfect law is the one which comes from the perfect being, Allah the Almighty. Religion is of paramount importance in Africa while in the West, it is a secondary matter. Equally, we have the right to believe and behave like believers in a godless society. Human rights requirs that everyone should be fairly treated and not in a cruel way. However, it is not a licence for people to behave in any way they wish, regardless of the social values. The right to individual liberty depends on the societal values.
The question I really want to ask is: Why is the West making much noise about the right to homosexuality in Africa? Are they really concerned about the rights of African homosexuals? If yes, why are they tight-lipped about the plight of African–Americans under their nose, who have been crying for so long for equal protection under the same law? They can monopolised the law but they cannot monopolise the truth. The reality of the matter is that they want to impose their modernised values on us with a view to transforming Africa into a decadent society and a safe destination for Western homosexuals to satisfy their sexual urges. The issue of homosexuality was a silent one in The Gambia because we consider sex as something private. As a result, people do not display or show off their sexual identity. In the West, people organise gay rights to act against the natural law. When they succeeded in meeting their demands, they came to Africa with the misconception that they could behave similarly, in the name of human rights. They use money to influence poor young people into such indecent behaviour which is foreign to our society. The government and people of The Gambia are conscious of the detrimental effects upon the morals and values of the society and that is why such tough measures are taken against homosexuality in The Gambia. This is worrying the West because they know that their citizens will fall victim, as they cannot confine their homosexual behaviour to their society. So, they are raising clamour against the government to ensure the safety and liberty of Western homosexuals in The Gambia and Africa as a whole.
It is a pity that Gambian opposition leaders could lick Western boots to satisfy their lust for power at the detriment of the morals and values of his society. Yes, The Gambia is a secular state but it is a godly society. If secularism means the exclusion of religion in the organisation of society, then in actuality, there is no secular state in Africa because the organisation of African society is influenced by religion.
Finally, I call on the government and people of The Gambia to solidify their positions. This is a fight against Western influence, a fight against decadence and a fight to defend our values and societal integrity. Let us not bow to Western pressure despite threats to withhold foreign aid. Any African nation that bows to Western pressure on the issue of homosexuality will regret its actions and it would be impossible to retrieve their steps.
May Allah the enable truth, modesty and morality to prevail over falsehood, indecency and decadence. Amen.
The author, Bakary Kujabi (Fela) is the headmaster of Kanfenda Ahmadiyya Muslim Basic Cycle School, Foni.]]>