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Imam Fatty and ‘cutting just a little’

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Dear Editor,

Imam Fatty’s campaign to de-criminalize what he prefers to call “female circumcision” calls out for some clarity on what he is talking about and its implications for him and his supporters.

Newspapers report him saying he supports, not FGM, but “cutting just a little”. So, he needs to call forth his knowledge of the female anatomy to explain to everyone his understanding of what the various forms of FGM entail and compare those to what he promotes as “cutting just a little”. The bill sponsor, Mr Almamy Gibba, could help the imam by giving a presentation at the National Assembly to show, using illustrations, what they are promoting. 

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During his presentation he might be uncomfortable using proper anatomical names for the various parts of the female genitalia. Using the usual local term “private parts” is not helpful in this matter. But he could call on a medical expert for help. Dr Tamsir Mbowe of TRRC fame might do.

If Imam Fatty is serious about changing the law, he has a responsibility to educate the women “cutters” on what is okay and what is not okay. Some precision is needed here. Any thoughtful bill about this topic must be give detailed guidelines about the ritual.

He would be well advised to change his pro-“cutting just a little” position more digestible if he argues for leaving the decision to cut or not to cut to the victims themselves who are at least 18 years old. They can decide for themselves just what level of religious and cultural purity they want to achieve. They are the ones, after all, who have to live with the consequences, not Imam Fatty, Mr Gibba and their supporters.  Over and out,

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Amet Ngallan

Fajara

Dear Editor,

President Barrow does not understand: The obstacles to national development in The Gambia are the very bad economic policies and democratic laws. To develop The Gambia, we have to change the economic policies and the anti-democratic laws. Changing Yusupha with Musa, Awa with Kumba will not make any difference to the terrible political and economic development conditions in The Gambia.

The problem is the economic policies and how democracy is represented in The Gambia, the narrative. The president is a nice man but he doesn’t understand the obstacles to national development, economic prosperity and good governance democratic standards in The Gambia. President Barrow thinks that changing faces in government but rinsing and repeating the same counterintuitive economic policies would make the difference. President Barrow does not understand the obstacles to political and economic development in The Gambia.

I don’t know how much some of you understand about democratic politics and the economics of national development but I can tell you that the economic and political conditions in The Gambia will keep getting worse under President Barrow. And that will have serious security implications in the country. The problem is the bad economic policies and the wonky presentation of democratic politics in The Gambia. To develop the Gambian economy and democracy is not about replacing one bonehead with another half-wit; we have to change the economic policies, the democratic narrative and the bad laws. System change! And that requires a president who understands what the problems are and have the courage to do something right by the Gambian people and the national economy. That’s what Ousmane Sonko’s politics is about in Senegal. One would have thought that the UDP would have some clever ideas and want to change the system. But they are talking about Talib Bensouda, another tone-deaf politician. The Gambia will never become a developed economy and a happy people applying the same economic policies and interpreting democratic politics like some angry people going for revenge.

Yusupha ‘Major’ Bojang

Scotland

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