CONFUSION STILL REMAIN ON PRESIDENT JAMMEH’S DECLARATION

The representatives of the different churches visited the state house to discuss with the executive after submitting a letter to enquire about the state of Christians in the Gambia.

The Supreme Islamic Council also convened a conference to discuss what type of life is expected under an Islamic state.

The irony is that both communities are motivated to react to a declaration which has no basis in law or practice.

One fundamental question that each Gambian should ask is as follows: If the president could declare an Islamic Republic and it comes to fruition what would stop him from declaring a one party state?

Religious leaders should be selective of what they support. What Muslims and Christians need to live with each other in peace and harmony is a secular constitution which guarantees equality in sovereignty of all citizens and the right of each to a religion and to associate freely with others to practice one’s religion.

The Republican constitution still exists. Anybody could now occupy the office of president. The nature and functions of the executive, legislature and judiciary in the constitution are quite explicit.

Does the Supreme Islamic Council have an idea of what constitutional changes would be required to have an Islamic state? What would be the religious qualification of the head of state? If it is the most knowledgeable person in Islam, who should lead?Would the current president be qualified to lead? .Who then would lead? Would there be a self declared khaliphate and khaliph or elected one?

The Quran was not meant to be the mundane constitution of a mundane state. It was meant to be a guide towards a path of righteousness for a community of believers worldwide. A constitution is a contract between people. It could be amended. The Quran is believed by Muslims to be handed down by God and cannot be amended. No Islamic scholar should equate the Quran with a Constitution.

Now that we live in an era where Muslims live in multicultural states where they could still meet all the conditions comprising the five pillars of the religion, true believers should try to be ambassadors of their religion by their fairness, honesty and dedication to public service.