Sep 21, 2010, 3:41 PM
In welcoming the delegates, the president of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC), Momodou Lamin Touray, said the Muslim Ummah is facing wars in the world, adding that this would never be eradicated if Muslims do not have faith in Allah
He said the Quran is the book of Allah for Muslims to abide by, adding that Islam is the religion of the world, and that Allah told the Prophet that he sent him to serve humanity.
Islam means peace and tolerance, and no one is forced to join the religion, as it calls for the truth and doing the right thing in life.
This was why when the President declared The Gambia as an Islamic State, the GSIC did not waste any time to convene the conference, he added.
The DPS at the Vice President’s Office, Abdoulie Bah, in his remarks, said there are Muslims and non-Muslims in The Gambia, and the pronouncement by President Jammeh would cause no problem, as stated by the President himself.
Gambians would live peacefully in the country, DPS Bah said and congratulated the Islamic Supreme Council for their foresight.
Sheikh Essa Darboe, in his statement on the occasion, said: “We Muslims should help each other and avoid violence.”
He said there is no compulsion in religion, as a real Muslim should abide by the principles of Islam.
“This is what an Islamic State is calling for,” he continued, adding that Muslims should have respect for other religions.
Mr Darboe also said that under an Islamic State, Muslims should be knowledgeable.“They should unite and speak with one voice concerning Islam.”
Dr Omar Jah, of the University of The Gambia, said the first problem about religion is globalization of the media, adding that there is intellectual manipulation of interpretation of the message of Islam.
“If Muslims want to make peace, they should put their houses in order.”
Dr Jah added that there is “Islamism” rather than Islam, and fundamentalists rather than Muslims.
He cited some intellectual radicalization in the world, adding: “the saddest thing is the Muslims themselves”.
He also said peace is the highest value that Muslims are seeking, adding that Islam is a religion of peaceful co-existence.
A Muslim has to do good to non-Muslims, he said, adding: “If you cannot control the cybersecurity, you cannot make peace.”
Dr Jah indicated further that the West “radicalizes the youth”, adding that “Western education has done more harm than good”.
He also said Muslims fight among themselves, hence they should stop the importation of war.
Muslims should respect and tolerate non-Muslims, he continued.
“Where there is no justice, there will be no peace,” he told the delegates. “Give employment to the youths.”
In his remarks, Qadi Omar Secka said Sharia means honesty.
“It does not mean amputation of hands; it means peace. It has to do with freedom of religion,” he said, adding that it protects life, the mind, wealth and humanity.
“Some scholars said there are laws created by human beings and laws prescribed by Sharia. They say these are two different laws.
“Laws created by human beings are applied when there are faults, but Sharia guides people from being at fault.”
Sheikh Dawda Jallow and Imam Ousman Jah also spoke at the conference.
The chairman of the occasion, Dr Mbaye Kebbeh Kah, recognized and appreciated the presence of the Turkish ambassador to The Gambia, and the delegates attending the conference.