Attitudes such as drug dealing, high prices of basic commodities, wearing of scanty cloths and prostitution are social vices done by Gambian Muslims, according to President Yahya Jammeh.
Gambian Christians are not involved in such acts, he adds while calling on Muslims to desist from such vices during an August 30, 2011 meeting with Muslim Religious Leaders at State House in the capital, Banjul.
The courtesy call by Religious Leaders followed the feast of Eidul-Fitr (Koriteh) which marks the end of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadaan (fasting).
The Gambian leader also stressed that he will not entertain any religion that will bring misunderstanding among Muslims in the Gambia. “They (Muslims) should fulfill their duties and responsibilities to build a better Islamic society,” he said.
According to him, the enemies of Islam, the country and those who are enemies onto themselves are saying the “Supreme Islamic Council (SIC) is working under the directives of President Jammeh”.
Nonetheless, he said even if they are working under his directives, then they are working for Islam because Allah said in the Holy Qur’an that people should respect their leaders.
“The Supreme Islamic Council is following what Allah said and the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad,” he said.
However, he warns them not to misinterpret the Holy Qur’an and should not tell lies whatsoever. “You should tell the truth at any cost and not to look into anybody’s eye,” President Jammeh stressed. “You should be honest in all your dealings and do not sell the Holy Qur’an for the sake of your selfish interest.”
He also told the Muslims leaders that they should know their roles and responsibilities and preach the real teachings of Islam to the people in peace and brotherhood.
The Islamic world is facing so many hurdles as all these wars and killings are done by Muslims who claim that they are fighting in the name of Allah, which is not acceptable by the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, he noted.
He said as pure Muslims “we should desist from such acts which are totally against the teachings of Islam”. He said Islam calls purely for peace and brotherhood.
“Muslims in world are the richest, but still Muslims are suffering because we are not helping each other. Even in wealthy Muslim countries, people are suffering. You can claim that you are a Muslims while non-Muslims are far better than you because non-Muslims help the Muslims more than Muslims do,” he said.
“If Muslims countries that have money give out Zakat (help the needy) as prescribed, then even dogs will not go hungry in the world. Muslims are killing each other while Christians are sitting, enjoying peace, helping each other and even helping Muslims who are suffering.”
He added that Muslims who are bombing mosques in the name of Jihad (Holy War) are on the way of Satan.
“In the Gambia, 98 percent of the business men and women are Muslims but they are the people making the cost of living difficult for their fellow Muslims. They present themselves as good Muslims but they cannot fool Allah,” President Jammeh said on Tuesday.
Mode of dressing
President Jammeh, who spoke on a variety of issues, said the mode of dressing among Muslim girls has been “the talk of the town” for the past years, stressing that the current mode of dressing by Gambia Muslim girls is un-Islamic and unacceptable. Such dressing mode is untypical of Christian girls, he argued.
While urging parents to teach their children what is right so that they benefit themselves in the future, he noted that the Islamic religion is incorruptible and that truth cannot be substituted with anything else.
He charged that parents should take real care of their children and guide them in the right path and as well instills self-discipline, respect in them.
The schools are not discipline grounds for children. Parent should be truthful and responsible in everything they do and should not be afraid of their sons and daughters. The government has two discipline centres, that is, the police and prisons, he said.
On human rights, the Gambian leader once again reiterated “I will not let human right, and freedom of expression to jeopardize this country, where man and man, woman and woman will marry.”
Other speakers include the Imam of State House Mosque, Abdoulie Fatty, who earlier on said Islam and politics are different and as such, people should not attribute Islam to politics.
He called on the Muslim community in the Gambia to follow the Supreme Islam Council as the authority overseeing the affairs of Islam in the country. He also said Islam teaches that “we should respect our leaders and followed their command”.
NYSS announces orientation for 11th batch
The National Youth service Scheme (NYSS) has announced on Monday the conclusion of mobilization and recruitment of prospective corps members of the Scheme’s 11th batch in which 200 people across the country have been selected.
The orientation, meant to introduce the new intake to leadership skills and good practices is scheduled for September 3 - October 17, 2011, during which the students will also be introduce to lectures in all skill areas, including counseling, sexual and reproductive health, cultures and traditions.
This, the NYSS said will instill discipline in them, strengthen their social and mental endurance and also to polish their practical, social and leadership skills prior to their 22 months deployment to various training institutions to acquire more skills.
The tuition fee and stipend of the prospective corps is being paid for by the Government of The Gambia, and the NYSS noted the initiative setup in 1996 is meant to address the plight of the youth who constitute over 50 percent of the population.
This section of society are said to be the most vulnerable to the social ills of unemployment, alcohol, drug abuse, prostitution and among other things.
During a press conference at the NYSS office in Bakau on August 30, the Executive Director Mr Nuha Y. Jammeh noted funds have been released for a complete renovation of the NYSS Campus including the acquisition of new mattresses for the corps.
“NYSS campus is undergoing extensive rehabilitation with the provision of water and electricity supply, and sanitary measures to bring the campus to standard,” he said. He admitted that the campus was in deplorable conduction prior to this intervention.
He also noted that while the corps members are put on job placement for two years, the NYSS do monitor their progress at various institutions (public and private).
Source - The Voice Newspaper