Nov 10, 2010, 11:18 AM
The Gambian leader President Yahya Jammeh has said that the religion of Islam is not a religion of violence, and that true Muslims are noble and honourable.
President Jammeh, a stanch Muslim himself, made the remarks last Friday in Banjul during his annual traditional meeting with Banjul Muslim elders at State House.
He also used the forum to speak against the decision of one Terry Jones in the United State who vowed to burn the Muslim holy book the Quran.
"The people in the West. I want to send you a message. The message is that Islam is the best religion, and that there would be no other prophet after the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW)."
He said that there is a lot of double standard in the West. "Your security cannot be guaranteed by fighting Islam. We Muslims will defend our religion with our blood, and we will never be intimidated," said Jammeh.
President Jammeh stressed that he has never seen any demonstration where the holy Quran is being burnt, and that "any country that allows any copy of the holy Quran being burnt, Bilahi Walahi Talayi, you will regret it," he declared.
The Gambian leader asked why if denying the holocaust is crime, then why not caricaturing the holy Prophet of Islam. He further noted that such an action could endanger world peace, and that the holy Quran belongs to Allah the Almighty, adding that anyone who plays with it would surely pay the price.
He further warned the West that insulting any religion is not freedom of expression, neither is caricaturing the holy Quran.
"Caricaturing the holy Prophet (SAW) is unacceptable, and we will not accept it and there would surely be consequences. If you want your security respected then respect the security of others; if you want to be dignified, respect the dignity of others," he said.
Commenting on the numerous problems facing the Muslim Ummah, Jammeh said that those fighting Islam do not believe in any religion, adding that equally so those bombing places of worship are not true Muslims.
"We the Muslims are ready to pay any prize for worshipping Allah. We will worship even in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We are going to fight, and defend ourselves" he stressed.
The Gambian President made it clear that Islam has nothing to do with the September 9/11 World Trade Centre bombing. Muslims, he stressed, do not commit suicide.
He blamed those who claimed to be Muslims and rally behind the religion in the name of Jihad to terrorise innocent people. He described such people as Kafiri (unbelievers).
"Let us also know that, in every religion there are criminals who can use the religion for their criminal enterprises. However, the actions of a few cannot justify generalising it to all Muslims," he noted. He called for religious tolerance in the world in order to maintained world peace.
Back home, President Jammeh said that he has given powers to the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council to deal with 'those troublemakers' in the Islamic religion. And that if the later knows they cannot take care of it let them write to inform him, and he would take the appropriate measure.
In The Gambia, he continued, "we are true Muslims, and that is why we live side by side with Christians," and warned that he will deal with anyone who wants to create trouble in the country.
Intolerance, he said, would not be accepted in the country, and does not care what the international community will say.