In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with The Standard (see opposite page), Alhaji Mommodou Lamin Touray asserted that such perceptions are without basis in reality. He said: “Actually, first of all nobody has chased Ba-Kawsu out of this country. He left of his own accord. And even today if he returns no one will go for him and I am 100 percent sure of this. Secondly, if we are not in good terms with him then the problem is emanating from his end. Because there is no disagreement on our side. If you could recall when he was invited to State House I disclosed at the meeting that Ba-Kawsu had a travel invitation from America. One of the recommendations had to come from the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council. He came to the council himself and I instructed the secretary to go and provide him with all that he needed to support his application. The secretary did as directed and he went to apply for a visa at the American mbassy. But unfortunately he was rejected because he failed to meet the requirements.
“However, he was sent another invitation and it was explained to him how he should fill it as per the information and recommendation on the form. He came to us again seeking for our support with some recommendations from the council. And I again instructed the secretary to help him with all that he requested. And this was the last time I heard from him. Later I heard him delivering sermons at mosques shouting and making utterances which are in breach of the methodology of the prophet. And they are not the way of Muslims because he is not the only one living in the country and he is not the most knowledgeable person in the country. And human beings are by nature flawed. He hurts people with his utterances and our levels of patience are not the same. If it were me alone it will be very hard for me and him to have a disagreement but other people might be less tolerant of his provocation. I know the type of person he is. And after my personal analysis of him I resolved that I will never have any problems with him. To cut a long story short, there is no problem between him and the GSIC. Whatever he needed from us was made available to him and even if he comes tomorrow we will not hesitate to assist him if we are able to do so”.
Reminded of the power struggle between him and Ba-Kawsu for the presidency of the council which left their relations strained, he responded: “This place belongs to all Muslims. The council does not belong to me. It is a religious body, and it belongs to the country. I do not have any right to deny anybody their rights here. If I do that then I will displease Allah. If it were my compound and my house, I have definite rights to chase people out if I find them disagreeable. But in this council, Ba Kawsu and I are equal here. I do not have any problem with him. Positions at the GSIC are not in my hands, that is one. Secondly, if you seek for any position in this world, even if Yahya Jammeh wants you to have it, and not only that but has also given you all the necessary support so that you can have that position; if Allah has not written that position for you, you can’t have it. That is why if you want a position and have taken all the necessary steps to have it but you didn’t despite all the hard efforts, please do not blame anybody for it and the only thing you can do is just to see it as the decree of Allah. Maybe He will give it to you in the future but it can also be that you will never be given that position forever since Allah has not predestined it for you. But if it is something that Allah has written for you, even if Obama said you will not get it that would be a lie. That is why if a person yearns for something and lost and leaves it in the hands of Allah you will see a better way out of it rather than finding faults and putting blames on so and so”.]]>