WHY IS IT IMPOSSIBLE TO ESTABLISH AN ISLAMIC STATE BY DECLARATION?

A State has to have a Constitution. It is the 1997 Constitution which creates the Office of President, a National Assembly and a Judiciary. Section 7 of the 1997 Constitution states what should be the laws of the Gambia as follows:

In addition to this Constitution, the laws of The Gambia consist of –

(a)      Acts of the National Assembly made under this Constitution and subsidiary legislation made under such Acts;

(b)     any orders, rules, regulations subsidiary legislation made by a authority under a power conferred Constitution or any other law;

( c)     the existing laws including all decrees passed by the armed forces Provisional Ruling Council;

(d)     the common law and principles of equity;

(e)      Customary law so far as concerns members of the communities to which it applies;

(f)      the sharia as regards mattes of marriage, divorce and inheritance among members of the communities to which it applies.

The Constitution of an Islamic Republic must indicate the basis of the laws of the state. Section 26 (a) and (b) of the 1997 Constitution gives the following rights to every Gambian irrespective of religion:

Every citizen of The Gambia of full age and capacity shall have the right, without unreasonable restrictions –

(a)      to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives;

(b)     to vote and stand for elections at genuine periodic elections for public office, which elections shall be by universal and equal suffrage and be held by secret ballot;

Section 62 of the 1997 Constitution establishes the qualifications for the Office of President. Nothing bars any one from being President because of religion. Hence a Christian or Muslim could be President. The Constitution of an Islamic Republic should state whether the office of President could be occupied by a Christian.

Section 89 of the 1997 Constitution establishes the criteria for becoming a National Assembly member. Both Christians and Muslims could become members.

Sections 138 and 139 of the Constitution deals with the qualification to hold the Office of Judge. One has to be qualified to hold the position of judge of the Supreme Court or court of appeal or high court in a common law country to be appointed Chief Justice, Judge of the Court of Appeal or High Court judge respectively. Religion does not matter. What will be the criteria for holding such posts in an Islamic Republic?

Only a constitution could address such issues. That constitution does not exist. Why declare an Islamic Republic?