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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Muslim cleric condemns conviction of imams, urges court to return fines

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By Amadou Jadama

Momodou Ceesay, a US-based Gambian Muslim cleric has strongly condemned the recent trials and convictions of imams from Brikama for leading Friday prayers.
At least three Imams were tried and convicted by the Brikama magistrates’ court for breaking COVID-19 prevention rules which suspended all public gatherings to avoid spreading the virus.

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But according to Imam Ceesay, a native of Jarra Toniataba, the court should reverse its verdict and give back the convicts their fines with apologies.
“Imams are very important people and playing a pivotal role in the country and they fought for the current change and therefore should not be dishonoured in this fashion. They should not be subjected to harassment as it was the case under Jammeh,” he said.

Ceesay, who is an imam at the Muslim Centre at the state of Michigan, said taking D2000 from imams as a fine will hurt their pocket since they are not earning anything from the humanitarian services they carry out daily for the community.

“In fact, the closure of mosques, Arabic schools, majaalis and Qur’anic memorization centres have all made imams poorer since these are the places they make their bread,” he said.

Imam Cessay noted that generally all the imams in the country respect the order to close mosques. “So it is too harsh to convict these few. The police should have invited them instead of treating them like that,” he concluded.

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