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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Imam Fatty challenges Imam Leigh to public debate on FGM

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By Amadou Jadama

Islamic cleric Abdoulie Fatty has challenged Imam Baba Leigh to a public debate on FGM. Imam Fatty is the key proponent of the crusade to decriminalise female genital mutilation which he refers to as female circumcision while Imam Leigh supports the anti-FGM brigade.

A member of parliament is sponsoring a bill to repeal the law promulgated by former president Yahya Jammeh which bans the practice in The Gambia.

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Delivering the Friday sermon at a mosque in Bundung, Imam Fatty said FGM will be practised in The Gambia even if government imprisons its practitioners.

In throwing the challenge to Imam Leigh, Imam Fatty stated: “Who are you to say that female circumcision is a culture and is not Islamic. The prophet Ibrahim would not bring anything into this religion which is not accepted by Islam. His wife went through the practice.  Ya imam, you should seek forgiveness from Allah, and you and your colleagues who are anti-female circumcision should fear Allah Who will judge you according to your deeds.

“People are calling for debate between you and I. You know me very well, and I know you too. We are relatives and I call you grandfather.  I challenge you to a debate on GRTS, QTV or any other media platform. Your Sheikh Oumar Futi Taal was here and people were practising female circumcision but he never condemned any tribe for practising it. We want you to tell us why he did not condemn it. Your Tijaniyya caliphs never condemned it. Then who are you to condemn people for practising female circumcision when your own tribe, in fact, are practising it? We will continue to practise female circumcision in this country. Even if they send all of us to jail, we shall practise it…”

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Threats

As the FGM decriminalisation bill has already been gazetted and set for introduction in parliament next month, Imam Fatty said he and his cohorts will go to the constituencies of any NAM who supports the anti-FGM law, and campaign against their re-election and that they will back those who back the repeal.

“We don’t compromise our religion because when you die, they will not ask you about your political party but about religion. We are sitting and watching you and I am calling on all the imams to go to parliament and face them. On that day, we will know who are Muslims and who are hypocrites,” Fatty said.

“We elected you to represent us in parliament and to serve our interest. I heard that a minister is saying that imams should control their sermons. We are not politicians. All the violence happening in the country is caused by politicians. There is no imam who involved in violence, treason and demonstration.  He [the minister] is our servant and that is why he was appointed. Let him go and work and help the agenda of the president, and if he fails to deliver then he should resign. We will defend this Islamic religion up to our last breath. Any minister who does not like it, should shut up his or her mouth,” he fumed.

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