Monday, June 8, 2015

Imam Fatty is first a politician before he's an Islamic cleric

Imam Abdoulie Fatty
Amidst reports that Abdoulie Fatty, the former State House Imam, has fled the Gambia, there's debate in the dissident communities in the U.K. and America regarding how to treat the venerable Imam.

Whether he has actually left the Gambia or not, his role in blurring the boundaries of a secular and an Islamic State will remain, and will be called upon to respond to queries from Gambians.

Dr. Baba Ceesay is in a similar mold, and perhaps more radical and irresponsible as Imam Fatty.   Dr. Ceesay's version of Islam justifies the killing of opposition leaders, including other opponents of a regime ordained by Allah.

The brand of Islam practice by Abdoulie Fatty and Baba Ceesay has a high political content, with both associated closely with state-run institution.  Imam Fatty was Imam of the State House Mosque while Dr. Ceesay is still associated with the University of The Gambia - an institution that is filled with supporters of the regime.

These APRC clerics chose the political instead of the religious route; Messrs. Fatty and Ceesay among them.  They see nothing wrong with sharing political platforms with Yaya Jammeh, particularly Imam Fatty who has participated in the cultural "shows" in Jammeh's home village, and according to reliable sources he has witnessed beauty contests where scantily clad young girls are on display.  Jammeh had challenged these clerics to prove that beauty contests are impermissible by Islam which was met with deafening silence from venerable Imam thus giving Yaya Jammeh a pass because the Gambian dictator loves his beauty contests.

All is not lost.  As a commentator on my Facebook said so succinctly, "all the pious religious leaders and teachers I know are humble, honest and kind-hearted men who disapprove of the terror and depravity of Yaya Jammeh."  Karamba Touray continued in his comment to say "the ones you see prancing Yaya Jammeh are politicized opinion merchants operating in the guise of religion.

Although men of faith tend to ignore these merchants of politicized opinion, there are many unsuspecting group of Gambians including the youth who are highly susceptible the political propaganda wrapped in a nice package with the Islamic insignia deceitfully stamped on it.

It is our view that these category of clerics have contributed in no small measure to the blurring of the boundaries between a secular and Islamic state and thus have become part of the problem they help create.  Therefore, these caliber of clerics are going to be treated as any politician.