A lot has changed in The Gambia. One noticeable change is the fact that people have been observing Eids—both Tobaski and Koriteh—on different dates without fear of arrest.
Even though there were not many arrests during the former regime regarding the issue, the fact that there were some high profile arrests instantly scared majority of Gambian Muslims from observing feasts on a date different from that of State House.
However, it is rather sad hearing public announcements even on radios by a group about the ‘actual date’ of Tobaski.
The only body responsible for the welfare of Muslims in The Gambia is Supreme Islamic Council and that has been the case for more than two decades. There is nothing wrong in observing feasts on dates that convince you but going about with public announcement quashing SIC’s dates is worrying.
The Standard urges the Supreme Islamic Council to sit down with the new group and come to an understanding. This longstanding rift between a section of the Muslim society in The Gambia and SIC needs to stop! It is causing deeper divisions and that is a recipe for a full-blown sectarian tension.
The Gambia is too small—both in size and population—to observe feasts on different dates. It hardly makes sense to anyone. It is therefore cardinal for Muslim leaders to put aside their differences and solve this misunderstanding, once and for all.