By Amadou Jadama
A US based Gambian Imam has urged for greater unity among Gambians and respect for cultural diversity.
Imam Momodou Ceesay, who was on a visit to Gambia, was giving a sermon in Brufut Sanchaba.
He said at a prayer service attended by President Barrow and his vice president and the president of Supreme Islamic Council and other dignitaries that the reason for his visit “is to foster unity among the people.”
He said: “Allah has created different tribes so that we can recognise and learn from our diverse cultures, traditions and good manners among other things.”
The Imam said God selected leaders for every nation to lead their people.
“…Their leadership should be valued more than everything else,” he stated.
The scholar also advised Gambians to “love and respect” each other’s rights.
“Let us fulfill our duties to one another instead of hating and holding grudges against one another,” he advised.
The spiritual leader also spoke on the state of affairs but said: “Nobody can develop this country for us except ourselves. We should help and respect each other as human beings. We all come to this earth for a mission. We will all return to Allah.
The cleric called on Gambians to “respect” their scholars and “empower them economically instead of offering them white papers and candles.”
He said: “By God, if you turn your backs on them [Gambian scholars] and give your wealth to scholars from other countries, you will never reap any benefit from that. When you have naming and marriage ceremonies and disputes, it is them [Gambian scholars] that you consult to help you out.
“During the political impasse, it is our scholars who spent sleepless nights making supplications for peace to prevail in the country. So, these people need to be supported financially, and they must be respected as well.”
Imam Ceesay also advised young bachelors to work to tie the knot.
He told them: “Anyone who has the ability and capability should get married. Seventy five percent of the Gambia’s population are youth. People should get married.”
He called on Gambians to seek greater knowledge.
“Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim. No country can develop without an informed and knowledgeable citizenry.”