I would like to begin by praising Allah, the Lord of the worlds, Who created mankind from a single pair of male and female and made them into nations and tribes. May His blessings be upon His final messenger (pbuh) and all those who call to his way and establish his sunnah. I read a letter addressed to the editor authored by one Amet Ngalla. The letter is in defense of the recent call made by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the government to consider decriminalising same sex relationships in The Gambia.
The author specifically directs his argument at Momodou Sabally, former secretary general under Jammeh. The opening of the letter is an elaborate and decorative cadence with implied reproaches against Sabally. Perhaps to predispose the reader to develop a bias.
This response is in no way a blind defence of Sabally or a vindication of outstanding accusations against him. But make no mistake, I am 100% in support of his stance against the normalisation and decriminalisation of same sex relationships in this country.
The attacks levied by Sabally were against the NHRC and Imam Baba Leigh but were far from personal. In fact, almost the whole nation expressed similar sentiments. Ngalla believes we are getting ahead of ourselves by presuming that Imam Baba Leigh is a Muslim. My friend, we are not presuming anything. We know it for sure. He is a Muslim, that’s why he is an imam. Therefore, to defend homosexuality is not only a blatant misuse of his position as a senior Islamic cleric, but an embarrassment to all those in his position.
Human beings are superior to other creatures on account of our reasoning capacity and our faculty of free action. For this reason, we have a moral responsibility to account for our actions because we are aware of every decision we make in life. When those decisions and actions are incompatible with an end that has a natural purpose, we are falling into a black hole. We all have a dark side and there is a reason why it should be kept in check. It is perhaps lucky that no one knows what that dark side is, otherwise there will be chaos. For if we dig deep enough, we’ll reveal the sly, self-aggrandising suckers we are. That’s why every society has a standard according to which its members can be evaluated as good or bad. Our standard is laid down by our religion and culture. Gay is bad!
Unlike Socrates, who was accused of corrupting the minds of the youths (albeit among other things), the behemoths of the homosexual movement seek to defoliate us of our values, religion and culture, in addition to corrupting the youth, and the elderly, and the children, sadly. The Bible said the earth is round. So what? The Bible is not a scientific book, and even though we must accept it as the word of God, we openly acknowledge the fact that it has been seriously tampered with.
Homosexuality is not Allah’s will. How dare you! It is a perversion of what Allah meant to be. Teleological ethics directs the functions of our faculties to achieve the ends which they were designed for. The simple design of the genitalia of Homo sapiens disproves your argument that Allah’s will is in play here. The debate on homosexuality is not so much about the process of natural sexual inclination than an attempt to proliferate corruption and immorality. To accommodate a culture that is an anomaly anywhere, all over the world.
This of course goes through piecemeal progressions and is being imposed on us by the infiltration of a superior civilisation. It is, in essence, part of the development process embodied in an ideology that has nothing to do with us. They want us to modernize and in doing so embrace certain expedient elements. The history of homosexuality in this part of the world never became relevant until sociologists from the West started poking their noses in our business. It was never accepted and won’t be now. Part of the process of modernisation is urbanisation, which creates ample opportunity to explore our deepest and darkest fantasies including our sexuality. That’s a sociological fact!
There’s the story of your posthumous hero. While you consider him, please don’t forget the thousands more who are disremembered. It is simply a sad reality that some people are so invested in their animosity of an equal world that eliminating the good guys is routine to them. Sometimes it’s as a result of the others’ sociological disposition but it happened to all kinds of people in all kinds of places. At least the hero in your letter, Alan Turing, has got medals now. What is disheartening is the lack of recognition for those who stood up for justice and the dignity of black people around the same time, among many others. Perhaps it’s because the agenda of blacks is not a fancy movement yet – and never has been.
Muhammed Ali refused to fight in Vietnam but he was convicted. He was stripped of his title for standing up for his religion and justice for his people. Later, he was exonerated and all charges were dropped. My point is sometimes an individual is wrongly vilified or even persecuted while they are right. It has nothing to do with homosexuality in The Gambia. Till today, blacks are being persecuted by the same people who are flaunting the human rights of homosexuality and forcing it down our throats, no pun intended. You want to talk about human rights? Where are the human rights of the poor? We have more important matters than being activists for a movement that is so inessential. And please don’t let the actions of one man (Jammeh) speak for all of us. We are not projecting any guilt, we’re just indignant and downright livid.
Homosexual tendencies are not natural. There is no ‘gay gene’. Research has established that. However, we are not out to lynch perpetrators of homosexuality. Contrary to your insinuations, trust me we are compassionate. We can’t be a part of it because it’s just not who we are as a people. Love and relationships go beyond the aspirations of a few people. They are societal contracts. Marriage, for example, is more than just a relationship between two individuals. As Corvino puts it, “It is also a relationship between those individuals and a larger community” . All our actions, even those legally permissible, require moral approval. And same sex relationships don’t have that presently in The Gambia and never will.
Finally, opponents of homosexuality don’t claim to be saints. But our sins cannot be an excuse for not speaking out. Yes Jesus is believed to have said, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” , but the sinner and the one who judged him who was wrong first? You claim we judge, but you forget that we were given a reason to. Peace.
Ebrima M Ceesay
Division of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of The Gambia.