In an exclusive interview with The Standard at his offices in Kanifing, the Saudi-trained cleric asserted: “Whatever people say they should be able to have evidence and proof to back themselves. So whenever they say, ‘they are in the hands of government’, they should have evidence to back themselves. We have put clear emphasis on this a long time ago. I support the president 100 per cent! The president has given us all our liberties and he listens to us. That is why sometimes when a critical and sensitive situation arises, he advises us that we should assert our authority before he intervenes. What does this mean? It means he does not interfere with our functions. Frankly, he has given us our independence and does not place any force on us. Actually, if our critics are saying defending and supporting the person of the president in the service of religion, is politics, then we have accepted to be politicians.
“I swear by Allah the Most Supreme, no president has ever ruled this country who has built more mosques than President Jammeh. The number of people he has single-handedly taken to Mecca for pilgrimage, no person has ever done that since our independence. The prize he had has pledged and given for Qur’anic competitions, I have never seen anywhere – even in all the countries in the world I have been to. The support, ease and opportunities he has rendered to Muslims, I have never seen anywhere else. People who are outside do not know this. Communities would normally approach us to help them with a mosque. We would negotiate and lobby from our partners and other philanthropists until we acquire the required funds and when we are ready for construction, then a managing director would refuse to allow us to embark on the project. He might be a Muslim but probably afraid the area belongs to government. Numerous mosque construction projects have been cancelled in this country prior to the coming to power of Yahya Jammeh. And when he came to power, the most critical of such issues which he solved was the building of a mosque at The Quadrangle in Banjul. We wrote him a letter informing him our intention to build a mosque at The Quadrangle. He replied asking us to inspect the place and build it wherever we thought would be suitable. Truly he is a kind of person who no Muslim should hate and if you harbour any rancor against him you are doing it without any justification because he hasn’t done anything to your religion and religion is what you should be concerned about. That is the reason why we love him and we are with him all the way because we are satisfied with what he has done”.]]>