Gambia: Gambia Gov’t Under Pressure Over Religious Minority’s TV Bid

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A prominent scholar Imam has warned Gambian authorities to desist from granting a TV license to the Ahmadis if they continue to call themselves Muslims, saying they are not part of the Islamic Ummah. Pressure is being placed on the country’s public regulatory body since they received application from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, requesting permit to operate a private TV.

“The Ahmadis have to stop making false claims about their true identity. They cannot apply a TV license on the basis they are Muslims,” Imam Ratib Muhammad Al Amin Drammeh told this reporter in an exclusive interview.

The Ahmadis have been keeping a low profile since they have launched their TV bid, making it very clear they are waiting for Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to make their decision based on the legal requirements. But the Imam of Sulaiman Mosque in Dippakunda, about 8 kilometers from the capital city, has used his last Friday
sermon to go tough on the Muslim minority. In the said sermon, which was delivered on March 2nd, he described the Ahmadis as ‘Kafir and enemies of Islam.’

Imam Drammeh said the Ahmadis are assigning human attributes to Allah as they hold the belief that He has wife, kids, father and mother. “Their spiritual leader Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has pushed the blasphemy to the extent of saying he slept with Allah,” he deplored.

He then added that the Ahmadis do not believe that the Quran was revealed in a clear Arabic language. “The idea that they maintain is the Quran descended onto humanity in English language.”

When asked if he supports the Supreme Islamic Council on the stance they have taken to challenge Ahmadis TV application, Imam Drammeh responded in the affirmative.

“I support the Islamic Council hundred per cent. It is the right step to take,” he added.

Information Minister Demba Ali Jawo and Gambia Press Union have issued statements decrying religious intolerance, urging PURA to not succumb to pressure and act in accordance with the law of land.

The Dippakunda Muslim cleric called on Gambian authorities to take into consideration the objection made by the country’s Islamic body.

The tiny West African nation is emerging from the shadows of two-decade long dictatorship. The new regime has expressed its resolve to build a democratic society based on justice and equality. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community’s TV bid appears to be a major test for the Coalition government.

Written by Abdoulie JOHN

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