Last Saturday, 3rd November 2018, the world renowned Islamic scholar and preacher, Mufti Ismael Menk delivered a speech in front of thousands of Gambians on the topic ‘Respecting Differences’.
The Zimbabwean cleric spoke of the need to accept that every individual has the right to hold an opinion of his or her own. He said that is the only way to promote a peaceful coexistence in society.
The preacher’s message resonated with many people because it is indeed a wellknown fact that there are many in society who take differences to an extreme and sometimes personalize issues which should otherwise not be personalized.
This message is relevant in The Gambia especially at a time when we see a lot of differences of political, ethnic and religious nature. It is a fundamental right of individuals to have an opinion.
As we head to the next election in 2021, it is important that we all understand and accept the fact that we can never have one opinion on issues. Differences are bound to surface. What is important is how we view and treat people who hold opinions different from ours.
In truth, there is beauty in diversity. We must find a way of making the best use of our diversity for the betterment of our nation. Be the difference political, ethnic, religious or otherwise, it can – and should be – harnessed for the good of all.