By Ousman Mbowe
Over the years, the world has found its head sinking in the shackles of anarchy, strife, and mass destruction of lives and properties due to the acts of very few people. Man has been endowed with the ability to reason and to make just judgement before acting. However, when people become indoctrinated, and are made to think in only one direction, without being given the chance to reason, it reverts man into an animalistic state wherein all his senses of right and wrong are overshadowed with only the instincts to execute what he is meant to believe.
Everyone today is aware of the disasters occurring in other countries throughout the world. Unfortunately, when we look at all the countries in chaos, majority are Muslim-dominant countries. Islam, which literally stands for peace, has been distorted by extremist-minded scholars who teach their followers that there is salvation in killing someone who adheres to a different belief from theirs. Innocent people have been turned into killing machines, not having the slightest regard for national security, the lives of women, children, and even men who have done nothing worth being killed for. This is all due to the false presentation of the true teachings of Islam by the Islamic scholars, who by the word of their mouth, and their acts, promote the killing of adherents to other faiths, promising salvation and paradise to the doers of those atrocities.
This reminds me of one narration of the sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) who is quoted to have said:
“By the one in whose hand is my soul, a time will surely come to people in which the killer does not know why he has killed, and the one killed does not know why he was killed.” (Sahih Muslim, 2908).
This unfortunate situation is what the world finds itself entangled into. Innocent people worldwide are being killed mercilessly without committing any crime. The ones who commit such atrocities don’t themselves know what offence those innocent souls committed for which they were killed.
This is just a quick overview of what the world is going through; a situation which has torn down developed countries, brought both the rich and the poor to their helpless knees, turned comfortable people homeless, and destroyed the peace and comfort of every nation in which such was encouraged. This is exactly what Imam Abdullah Fatty is trying to do in the Gambia, and I call upon the authorities to take the right step now before our beloved and beautiful Gambia turns into ruins and ashes due to the words and actions of hate-preacher(s) like him.
On Friday 2nd February 2018, Imam Abdullah Fatty had a radio program at Star FM Radio station (96.6fm) between the hours of 9pm to 10 ….pm. He said a very serious statement which is a very powerful spark to national instability and the threat to National Security. He said in his own words “One day, I was sitting at night and young men came to me. They said to me that at this very moment, 300 young men are seated, ready. We came to you, only to ask you to command us to attack these people (the Ahmadis). I said Abadan! Don’t do it. The young men cried! I said to them that ‘if you attack them (the Ahmadis), the game will be spoiled because it will then be between you and the government, and I will not be able to bear it; the image of Muslims and Islam will be tarnished’.”
First of all, if youth of this country chose to approach Imam Abdullah Fatty to seek permission to attack the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at simply due to difference in beliefs or more so specifically due to the fact that Ahmadis applied to the government through a legal and democratic process for a television license, it only portrays that they have either been mentored by Imam Abdullah Fatty himself to develop such ideas and thoughts, or have seen him as a potential leader or accomplice to such plans and acts.
Secondly, Imam Abdullah Fatty being someone believed to be a scholar of Islam, I was hoping to at least hear him say to the youth that Islam doesn’t allow anyone to attack another due to difference in beliefs. Rather, he said to the youth that they shouldn’t attack the Ahmadis “otherwise it will be between them and the government, and he (Imam Abdullah Fatty) will not be able to bear it”; he did not tell the youth that their intention was wrong, nor did he tell them that it is against the laws of the land, and the laws of Islam.
He only told them to stop, fearing to have problems with the government. Who knows what else he said to those youth after that! Not cautioning those youth in relation to the laws but being concerned about his personal image and status with the government, it clearly shows that he is encouraging such acts, and promoting them, but only waiting for the ripe time to act. Here is a man, clearly being a wolf in sheep clothing, pretending to the government that he has regard for the government, whereas he is only playing a game of deception. This same Imam Abdullah Fatty is the one who, in 1997, said on a pulpit that “all Ahmadis should be taken to the 22nd July Square, and slaughtered like sheep”. How can such a man be trusted by the government to be innocent of inciting such violent thoughts and ideologies in the youth of our dear motherland today?
I would like to kindly ask the authorities responsible for intelligence and security—the SIS, NIA, Police—or whoever may be responsible, to place an investigation on Imam Abdullah Fatty. I strongly advise the government to take him in for interrogation for two main things:
1) Imam Abdullah Fatty should tell the intelligence and security unit who those boys are, whose attempt is directly tantamount to the distabilisation of the peace and stability of our dear and peaceful Gambia. If these boys are left unidentified and taken into custody, their next attempt may lead to mayhem. Religious uprising don’t have happy endings either for the people or the country. The world is there for us to see and learn!
2) Imam Fatty is cooking up stories, falsely claiming that boys came to him asking for permission to attack the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at. By doing this, he is spreading into the minds and hearts of people, particularly the youth, that such attempts and actions are possible, and that they only need the permission of someone like him to carry out such acts when the right time comes.
In either situation, Imam Abdullah Fatty should be called upon by the intelligence and security units for interrogation to either identify the boys who are intending to act as rebels to the law of the State, or to take Imam Abdullah Fatty himself into custody for inciting violence and discord in this country, a big course for concern to our beloved National Security which is cherished by all.
This is the birth of religious extremism, suicide bombings, instability and the destruction of the cohesion and brotherhood of any country, and of course The Gambia. If the government doesn’t take necessary action, I tell you that whatever this country in plunged into by Imam Abdullah Fatty and his kind, it will be too late to stop or reverse, and the blood of every citizen will be on your hands for not acting when you should.
From a humble and concerned citizen!
Kindly reflect on these words:
For the Gambia, our homeland, we strive and work and pray, that all may leave in unity, freedom and peace each day. Let justice guide our actions towards the common good. And join our diverse peoples to prove man’s brotherhood. We pledge our firm allegiance, our promise we renew; keep us, great God of nations, to The Gambia ever true!