Rawda renews loyalty to Sheriff Muhammed Nano Hydara led-camp

Feb 5, 2021, 10:02 AM

Members of Rawdatul Majaalis, the breakaway group of The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC) and the current executive have once again renewed their loyalty to Sheriff Muhammed Sanusi Nano Hydara led camp in administering religious affairs in the country.

This means the longstanding feud between the Rawdatul Majaali and the current GSIC executives, which replaced former president Muhammed Lamin Touray is taking another phase.

Few months ago, the former GSIC president-Muhammed Lamin Touray held a congress, where Gunjur born Sheikh Essa Darboe was elected as new president of GSIC.

Meanwhile, Rawda on series of occasion has accused former executive of GSIC of overstaying in office and non-inclusion of all imams in the country when electing new leaders, which they described as ‘undemocratic’.

Welcoming delegates who came from all the regions, Sheikh Abubacarr Cadi Kanteh, second vice president of Rawdatul Majaalis, expressed gratitude to delegates, who came from all regions of the country for their turn out.

He reminded that Rawdatul Majaalis is a religious body committed to propagating religious value and tolerance in the country.

“Among the aims of the group is to foster unity among Muslims in the country. However, in doing so, we are faced with serious challenges making our work difficult. We believe that there exists a number of people who are still at a low ebb when it comes to religious values.”

Also speaking Muhammed Lamin Yafaa, an executive member of the Rawdatul Majaalis underscored the importance of the gathering, saying The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council was initiated in 1992 with Soriba Jabbie being its first president.

The formation of the council, he said, was conceived by some concerned Muslims at the time, who saw the need to have an umbrella body that will further propagate and nurture Islamic values and for Muslims in the country to speak with one voice.

Yafaa recalled that Imams of various Majaalis in the country all played a lead role in the formation, adding that in 1994 shortly after the change of government, political interference made it difficult for the Soriba Jabbie led-camp to work effectively.

He indicated that within a short period of time leadership was hijacked by some few newly graduated from Saudi Arabia with government’s interference.

“This has to some extent cultivated religious differences in the country, as those at the helms of affairs at Gambia Supreme Islamic Council discriminated others. What they believe is that all the Muslims should view Islam as they practice it. And our views and even the way we see things cannot be the same as that’s human nature.”

Foday Marong, a representative from Kanifing Municipality revealed that there are 1873 villages in The Gambia.

“But when it comes to election for president of the Supreme Islamic Council, it one selected few that were given chance to vote. That alone it not right since the council represent the entire nation, we feel that everybody should have a voting right.”