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City of Banjul
Thursday, October 1, 2020

On religious tolerance

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It has been reported that in the previous week, Cabinet met and discussed, among other issues, the raging inferno of religious intolerance in the country. This is indeed a cause for concern knowing that religious intolerance can plunge a country into chaos within a short time. It is important that citizens conduct themselves with a measure of tolerance and understanding. We should all try to be accommodating.

We have seen it too often in African countries that when the people are allowed to fan the flames of religious intolerance (sometimes hatred) it leads to violence and the total breakdown of law and order. It is therefore timely and commendable that the Cabinet instructed the Minister of Information, Communication and Communication Infrastructure to work with the regulators and proprietors of radio stations and other media outlets to ensure that no one uses their platform to spread intolerance and hatred.

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The Gambia is a secular republic and as such, the Constitution has given citizens the right to belong to any religion they choose, (or none at all, if they so choose). Everyone has the right to belong to any religious denomination and propagate the same without let or hinderance.

No one should be allowed to proclaim himself a moral policeman/woman for the nation. Each should strive to improve their own moral and spiritual state rather than trying to impose his/her own moral standards on others who may or may not take it kindly and thus leading to chaos.

We cannot afford to descend into chaos just because one or two people could highjack the airwaves, as it were, to spread intolerance. We live in the twenty-first century where the battle should be of ideas and not vituperations and insults.

Let us promote love and unity rather than hatred and intolerance. This is how we will build our nation and make it great!

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