29.2 C
City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

St Theresa’s and the veil – bad omen for tolerance and cohesion.


Religious sentiments go beyond academic debate and objectivity – their reaction and defensive (and sometimes retaliatory) gestures can be very counter productive. They can be very emotive.

The treatment of girls wearing a veil covering the head only (hijab) in the school should be of great, great concern to the Government, Board of Directors of the school and the Christian community.

This society has enjoyed a lot of religious tolerance. In the current world filled with religious tension, the least that should be done is to unnecessarily stir the peaceful coexistence of religions.

This is not a question of an institution setting its rules. Such rule must be in conformity with traditions and culture of society to the extent of not awakening reactive religious sentiments. It creates a fertile ground for the promulgation and arousing support for extreme religious and political ideologies. It is contrary to the Constitutioal rights of the kids.

Human rights organisations must step in. The Government must not be passive. Parents must react. The entire school population must make their voices heard – Christian and Muslim. It is a universal principle that is being undermined.

The arousal of religious sentiments by some uncalled for and seemingly provocative and unnecessary policy is an existential threat to security. It disrupts social cohesion.

The timing seems awfully wrong and inappropriate in the midst of a struggling global economy with so many preying ideologues of violence.

Please, please, the Board of Directors must reconsider this provocative decision. The Government and society (both Christians and Muslims) take heed. The quickest and most insidious way to arouse a violent disruption of the peaceful coexistence of a society is through religion.

Just Thinking Aloud

Lamino Lang Coma


The voice of the people – not an empty barrel

Do citizens have to make so much noise in order to be heard? Politicians must learn to ask “how high” when asked to jump and not “when”. Too much delay in response to the demands of citizens makes the jump higher and more difficult to cushion.

When the economy goes stale, its stench becomes abominably hard on livelihoods. Corruption is a major catalyst to its decay. The tools and bitter medicine for cure cannot come from the same systemic staleness.

The corridors of sycophants that stir the flames of poor judgement and a lack of action or attention on the part of leaders must be swept clean.

No less now more. Otherwise it will be like the proverbial ostrich burying it’s head in the sand – like making policy statements with no backing of strategies or an action plan. Time will be of the essence when the noise gets boisterous.

The best security of tenure of any leadership position, is fulfilling the aspirations of the people. Difficulties of livelihoods – in hunger and comfort – can never be left to be cured by time. Hardships of an economy going bad don’t come to pass by brushing them under the carpet.

Fixing the engine of the economy cannot be done by mechanics who steal from its life supporting parts – worst, when the garage manager and chief mechanic becomes part of that ignoble venture. The cure comes from competence – in leadership and team.

Progressive countries around the world have a common disposition – good, savvy and honest leadership supported by strong and competent institutions.

A leadership and its team must develop a knack for good listening because the voice of the people is not a sound of an empty barrel – it can be filled with fury. Vox Populi Vox Dei – the voice of the people is the voice of God (literally).

Just Thinking Aloud

Lamino Lang Coma


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