#Article (Archive)

Islamic Scholar Calls For Cultural Rehabilitation

Sep 15, 2009, 6:18 AM | Article By: Alieu Jabang

It is truism that culture plays a significant role in fostering and creating discipline within the community, an to ensure that children are obedient and respectful to the elders and the laws of the land, while serving as deterrent to offenders of the law in local communities.

It is against this backdrop that Utass Ibrahima Jammeh, an Islamic scholar in Gunjur, Konmo South, has called on the general public to embark on cultural rehabilitation for the interest of the wider society.

Oustass Jammeh, who was speaking at the annual translation of the Holy Quran at Gunjur Central Mosque, said it  has come to a point where Africans are almost loosing their rich and valuable cultures, most of which, he said are hailed and accepted by Islam.

"Our cultures used to encourage the children to be respectful and obedient to their parents and guardians. It used to encourage the masses to be obedient to their Governors and the Governors to have mercy for their masses," he said, adding that it also fosters good moral values and discourages all sorts of corrupt moral conducts in societies.  "It helps us live peacefully without harm. One can travel a long distance in the lonely bushes without harm or rape, all these was as a result of the rich African culture. What is nicer than this? Why do we change our system of discipline to live in a world of confusion, hatred, jealousy, with high crime rate of murder, rape and stealing," he reasoned. According to him, "it is incumbent on us all to encourage all the good moral values of society so as to enable us live in a decent, safe and violent-free world". This, he added was what our culture encourages.

"I can now understand why Dr. Kwame Nkrumah stressed the need for Africans to behave like Africans, dress like Africans and do things like Africans. He was living a century ahead of us. If you want to know who you are or what you can do, it will be difficult without your culture," he stated.

In the view of the learned Islamic scholar, there was no university or technology in the ancient days, yet our ancestors had lived up to expectations. "They support each other in terms of difficulties and rendering service to the community becomes a concern for every member of the community. They were doing all these without universities or modern technologies but through the influence of culture. That's why I said we must all go back to reinstate and rehabilitate our cultures," he concluded.