of Kanifing Estate Mosque Baba Leigh said The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council
(GSIC) reserves no reason both in the Constitution and to the Qur’an to
petition against the issuance of television broadcasting license to Ahmadiya
Muslim Jammat in the country.
In his last Friday sermon during the Muslims congregational at his Kanifing Estate Mosque,
Mr. Leigh said the Islamic Council argued that Ahmadiya Jammat are outside of the Islamic pale and granting them license will allow them to pollute the mind of faithful Gambian Muslims.
Mr. Leigh debunked that argument, saying if the Ahmadis truly wanted to pollute the minds of Muslims, they would have used the social media. “It is not written anywhere in The Gambian Constitution to deny the Ahmadis from operating a TV license in the country.”
Last month, the Islamic Council say they were writing a petition to the country’s public regulatory authority – PURA- to ask them to deny issuing television broadcasting licence to the Ahmadis which was later challenged by The Gambia Press Union (GPU) who also called on the regulatory body to dismiss the petition.
Supreme Islamic Council and the Ahmadiya Jamat have not been in good terms for decades now. The council believes that Ahmadiya are not practicing the true teachings of Islamic religion and fear that if they are given the platform to have free operation in the country they could pollute the minds of Muslims who, they say are truly practicing Islam.
Some years ago, the people of Tallinding had a serious confrontation with the Ahmadiya when the Ahmadis wanted to bury one of their late member at the Muslim cemetery at Tallinding. The people of the area insisted that the body was not going to be buried at their cemetery because they did not share the same faith.
Mr. Leigh said the Ahmadis have been operation in The Gambia for decades and built schools and hospitals which are used by “our” sons and daughters which none of us denied. So why should they be denied from opening TV?
He said Ahmadis never offended or criticised other religions, saying any person who condemns other religions and take actions against them is termed as a “criminal,” which, he said the Islamic Council has to be careful of before making religious related statements. “They are not controlling the entire country on religious matters because there are other non-Islamic religions that have equal rights in the country.”
According to him, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was reported to have said that Muslims should not say or do anything that will affect somebody’s right or religion, emphasising that the confrontation that happen between SIC and Ahmadis is now bringing racisms among them.
He called on PURA to approve the Ahmadis’ request to open TV in the country and preached Gambians to maintain peace and stop tribalism, saying the country is not own by any tribe.