Saturday, June 14, 2014

The radical form of Islam preached by Dr. Baba Ceesay has no place in The Gambia

Religion being the universally sensitive topic it is, and always will be, has often been avoided as a topic of discourse, and at at all cost for a variety of reasons, ranging from absolute ignorance to avoidance of  social discord, especially in closely knit societies like The Gambia.  No one is more aware of this than the recent Gambian Mullahs who have descended upon The Gambia at the invitation of Yaya Jammeh who is overseeing one of Africa's most repressive regimes.  

In a country of less than 2 million inhabitant, squeezed in a 4,1270 sq km slither of a land making it the second most densely populated country in Africa where over 90% of its population is identified as Muslim, every care must be taken by religious bodies and proselytizers of all faiths in propagating their respective faiths.

Gambia is a secular state that guarantees everyone, Gambians as well as non-Gambians, the freedom of worship among other fundamental freedoms.  The 1997 Constitution also guarantees every Gambian the right to associate and to assemble. These freedoms are universally guaranteed under the United Nations.   However, the version of Islam preached by Sheikh Dr. Baba Ceesay that demands total and absolute submission to the leader of say The Gambia.

There is no need to argue over the content of Dr. Baba Ceesay's sermon at the Ibo Town Mosque which was captured on You Tube.  Unless doctored, the video is clear and unequivocal about the incendiary and callous sermon by the venerable Sheikh who is presently a member of staff of the University of The Gambia, employed at the direction of the Gambian dictator.  Therefore, to suggest that Islam in The Gambia is apolitical is inaccurate.

The Islam in The Gambia organization reacted vehemently to the blow-back from Dr. Baba Ceesay's radical view of how Islam, according to him, views authority. The absolutism of authority as depicted by the radical cleric was the subject of a blog post that kick-off the debate.  The reactions from Gambian and non-Gambians alike have been swift and our mailbox inundated with concerns about the radical nature of the cleric's message that preaches death to opposition leaders as legitimate.  To deny this is fact by Islam in The Gambia is shameful and against everything they claim to represent.

The 'Letter to the Gambian opposition' by Islam in The Gambia, posted in the Islam in the Gambia web site tried to conceal the fact that Dr. Baba Ceesay advocated for the murder of anyone who is opposed to the current leadership in the most disingenuous manner by attacking this blog, being the first to comment on the sermon.  We will not react to the rest of the letter but to reiterate our position by standing by our criticism of the vile words of Dr. Baba Ceesay.

Our friends at the Islam in The Gambia organization invoked Boka Haram's name in Nigeria as an example of political instability but stopped short of naming Islamic radicalism of the sort propagating by Baba Ceesay, as the cause.  And it is for this reason that we will continue to oppose any attempt by Islam in The Gambia or any other organization for that matter that tries to transplant radical and unorthodox forms of Islam in The Gambia from afar.   These are foreign interpretations of the Quran to fit a particular political objectives.

To tolerate any form of Islam that preaches and justifies total submission of the political will and freedoms to Kings and Presidents will be met with the strongest form of resistance.  In closing we'd like to leave you with these thoughts from our Facebook entry of yesterday in reaction to the political transformation that is taking place in real time as sectarian violence when we warned against sectarian politics of divide, isolate, conquer and rule.  It is a policy that is not only expedient, temporary and dangerous, but a recipe for disaster once the layers of sectarianism start peeling off to expose the false premises of false prophets like Dr. Baba Ceesay that formed a faulty foundation.