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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Letters to the Editor

Gov’t must listen to Supreme Islamic Council

Dear editor,

Islam is a complete noble religion with a readymade constitution, which is Shari’a. Shari’a laws are made up of the Holy Qur’an, the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad and validated opinions of renowned scholars otherwise muftis. The conducts and behaviours of Muslims are strictly guided by this constitution. Anything outside of this book is considered as innovation and storytelling.

A thorough understanding of Shari’a laws is essential prerequisite for giving advice on matters relating to Islam. The current adviser to government on religious affairs is a politician and not an Islamic scholar. Thus, he lacks the knowledge to recommend to government to decide on matters pertaining to Islamic affairs. Likewise, the executive itself.

Being the only national umbrella organisation of Muslims in The Gambia, the Supreme Islamic Council has a duty to defend and protect the integrity of the Islamic religion. And in doing so, the council is obliged to bring to the notice of government about anything perceived as threat to the Muslim Ummah.
Also, the council consists of scholars with in-depth knowledge in the Islamic religion. And this makes the group a perfect advisory body to government on Islamic affairs. So government must be listening to the Supreme Islamic Council on matters relating to the Islamic religion that require decision.
Hence the petitions filed by the Council against the granting of TV licence to the Ahmadis should be carefully studied. The Council has backed their petitions with evidence from the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad.

It’s no secret today to any genuine person that the media serves as a major propaganda vehicle for misleading many faithful Muslims. The Council understood this fact and holds a contrasting view regarding the issuance of licence to the Ahmadis. The views must be respected and treated like any other interested group views.

However, it’s disheartening to read the way some Muslims reacted to this petition as if it is the only petition that has been ever tabled before government by an interest group. Describing the Supreme Islamic Council as bigot, terrorist and extremist is an insult to Muslims because the group represents the entire Muslims in The Gambia.

In fact, those challenging the petitions can quote various sections of man-made laws but cannot quote even a single verse of the Holy Qur’an to support their arguments. What a shame! Muslims must know what they can challenge and what they cannot challenge. Islamic matters are not political issues. If you are mentally deficit in your own religion, then shut up and allow the scholars to do their job. Pooh! But surely, those making those descriptions will be accountable for their shameless comments.

As Islam is a complete religion with readymade constitution, man-made laws and personal views do not hold if they contradict the Shari’a laws. The constitution of the land and other associated policies are man-made laws which simply represent views. They cannot be used to decide matters of Islamic concerns.
But it’s quite sad that Islam is being compromised at the expense of so-called democracy. Legislations are made to satisfy man and donors regardless of their religious implications.


Sulayman Gagigo

On airport security breach

Dear editor,

Ummpa and Tamba did not “sneak” into the country. The duo travelled from Equatorial Guinea to Morocco, boarded Air Maroc flight from Casablanca to Banjul International Airport, went through immigration protocols, picked their baggage from the belt, passed through customs, boarded whatever vehicle and went home to their wives, slept, ate breakfast, exchanged pleasantries with people, called few friends to announce their presence in the country and may be even drank attaya. Had few hours in the country before they were arrested. And I bet they did not resist arrest. This is daring-do, absolute chivalry.

Granted the immigration officer who stamped their passports may not know them. But what about all those plain clothed security personnel who hover above when Sabena lands? Where were they? Ok they were all new too? Who looked at the list of passengers prior? Or yes, there are countless Umpas and Ansumanas…. Not even the 8th sense could raise an alarm?
And our intelligence didn’t have prior information? No Intel officer in Equatorial Guinea when we have in that country our most wanted Gambian?
Something is not adding up for me. Dereliction of duty. Betrayal. Perfunctory attitude to details. Corruption. Something is not adding up.
I do not trust those who are protecting me. There is complacency. “Security gives way to conspiracy” is a truth.

Our borders- land, sea and air- have never been well secured. This heightened period should be an alert. Do you care?
We underrate Yahya and his capability at our peril. Do not expect that affinity to him will go away so soon. For God’s sake he was President for 22 years and established connection with some people. He was their sustainer and some of them are where they are today because of him. They think they owe a certain loyalty to him. And these people are still up there, presiding over key decisions and privy to national security matters. A nexus established that long cannot be broken in a year. And you think you and us are safe.
You think we have crossed the Rubicon or rather that the coast is clear? Then you do not know how deep a dictator plants its tentacles. For God’s sake Yahya was President for 22 years and used transactional leadership to buy loyalty and support. Play on fiddle.

Njundu Drammeh

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