By Ousman Bah
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
We praise Almighty Allah and invoke His blessings upon His Servant and Messenger, the Holy Prophet Muhammad son of Abdullah May peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him.
Abdoulie Fatty should know that issuing political threats against President Adama Barrow and castigating government officials for standing by the truth will not cover his (Fatty’s) miserable failures in his campaign against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at in the last two decades.
He is again at it trying to garner public sympathy and popularity by using religious sentiments under the cover of freedom of speech provided by the Barrow government. When some students incited by some Islamic scholars decided to go against the code of dress of St. Theresa’s School, the former government of Yahya Jammeh prevailed over the students in favor of the Christian administered school. Abdoulie Fatty was so infuriated he composed a poem in one of his Friday sermons at the State House Mosque in Mandinka saying that “President Yaayaa Jammeh ye Muslimoolu kumbondi a ye Kaafiroolu Jelendi.” Meaning that President Yahya Jammeh has made the Muslims cry and the disbelievers laugh by making a decision in favor of the Christian administered school against the Muslim children.
The cassettes were confiscated and that sermon was never relayed on GRTS as it used to be done on previous sermons but Mr. Fatty kept quiet after that; he never talked about it in public again to my knowledge during the time of the former government. Why did he keep quiet and did not announce in public that he will join politics and form a political party and dislodge Yahya Jammeh for his decision at the time? That was the right time so that his party will defeat Yahya Jammeh and save the Gambians from the mess we the Gambians find ourselves in today and also make his campaign against the Ahmadis very easy, because if a party formed by Abdoulie Fatty was in power today we all know what decisions will be taken by that government against the Ahmadis but instead, he went ahead showering praises upon praises on the former president, giving him names like ‘Sheikh and Nasiruddeen’ going as far as Saudi Arabia at the House of Allah to pray for him and his government and cursing whoever is against Yahya Jammeh and his government.
Till when the Gambian people decided, ‘The Gambia Has Decided’ now he is here again trying to fool us using the same religious sentiments as a weapon. He has again started castigating those Gambians who dare raise their voices to tell the truth that they are exchanging their faith with money as if he is the All-Knowing God. Any government official, be it a Muslim, Christian or belonging to any other faith in the Gambia who bends the laws of the land in favor of his or her religious beliefs is a corrupt person. He or she is neither a true Muslim, Christian no a good citizen. When we take up public office we swear by the Holy Quran or the Bible that we will serve all equally without favor or illwill, we will not discriminate people based on their color, class, religion etc. As one Sheikh Seedy Ali Janneh has said in one of his videos, “The Gambia belongs to the Gambians but the Gambia does not belong to any religion.” Imam Baa Kawsu Fofana also said that the responsibility of the government is only to keep the peace but not to serve as a judge in order to determine which religion is on the right path; that is the work of Almighty Allah. Imam Baba Leigh of Kanifing mosque is also of the same view.
The Gambia Press Union (GPU) have also done the right thing and should be applauded for that, they are brave lions fighting for freedom and equality for all Gambians. Nobody should keep out of this TV license issue other than the Supreme Islamic Council because it does not concern them; the Council should not use religion to try to force the government to take a decision that is against the laws of the land. Members of the journalism fraternity may not necessarily be Islamic or Christian scholars but to me, their contribution is far more than the Supreme Islamic Council. Their profession covers all aspects of human life, be it religion or whatever, we are living witnesses to their contributions in everything we have been doing or are still doing in this country. Please, Gambians lets wake up and keep up the struggle for tolerance, peace and development.
I appeal to President Barrow to urge his security men to closely monitor Mr. Fatty’s activities in the country and in the subregion but let him not be touched for his opposition to Ahmadis in the country so far as Ahmadiyya is concerned, he is a toothless wolf and also a fertilizer for the Jama’at. You hear him saying CDS said so and so to me, the Minister of the Interior says so and so in his video. In 1997 when he started his vicious campaign against the Ahmadis one top security officer who was once an IGP during the former regime told me in his office in Banjul in the presence of one Gambian elder that he (the officer) advised the former president to stop Fatty from preaching against the Ahmadis; that he is a dangerous person, he has started with the Ahmadis but he will go further whenever he finishes with them but the former president just looked at him and laughed.
But when the St. Theresa’s School dress code case came up and government decided in favor of the Christian administered school, he became angry and he composed a poem in one of his Friday sermons saying that President Yahya Jammeh has made the Muslims cry and disbelievers laugh, when the president is being thrown in hell fire the soldiers will not be there with their guns that day to protect him. The former president ordered him to be arrested but as security expert, he advised the former president against such an action for security reasons. He told the former president that “Don’t you see that you have given so much popularity and fame to this man that his name is mentioned over GRTS more than you the head of state? Don’t you also see that during some of his Friday sermons some of the soldiers in attendance do cry out of emotions because of the sermon? A t then more schools have been built, more provincial hospitals opened, charity and other social humanitarian services have doubled, membership have increased two fold, members are more active today than ever before, the Jama’at’s annual gathering that used to be held at Nusrat school used to attract members in their hundreds. According to sources Nusrat school grounds have become small for the gathering, now they are meeting in Masroor school in old Yundum. The last annual gathering held there in 2017 was attended by more than 7000 participants including government ministers and delegates beyond the Gambia. Masha Allah.
My humble advice to Mr. Abdoulie Fatty is that instead of turning to violence, let him face the Ahmadis directly and have debates with them, saying on radio that 300 young men came to him to seek permission to attack Ahmadis is irresponsible and futile effort to blind the masses. Instead of violent confrontations please face the Gambian Ahmadis and have an intellectual debate with them, prove it to all Gambians right in front of Ahmadi scholars that as you alleged they are not Muslims, Ahmadis are your fellow citizens. Please come forward, you know where their mosques and offices are; go there and have a debate with them or call them to a suitable place like Mr. Kemo did last time so that the Gambian people will decide for themselves.