Fighting broke out today at the Njaba Kunda mosque. This followed what some section of the congregation called the Imam’s alleged castigation of the villagers of Gumaloya, amid a dispute over the sighting of the moon for Koriteh prayers. The villagers of Gumaloya were the first to sight the moon on Monday. The community prayed on Tuesday. For some unknown reasons, Imam Alhagie Seedy Mucktarr of Njamba Kunda Friday mosque preaching didn’t go down well with the villagers of Gumaloya. The villagers of Gumaloya, in the North Bank of The Gambia, became infuriated by the Imam’s alleged comments. A dispute later ensued among the congregation.

“What really happened is that the moon was sighted in our village, which was communicated to the Supreme Islamic  Council and was subsequently aired by GRTS. As a result, some people celebrated Eid on Tuesday. Today in his Simon, he make our village a subject of insult. Some members of the congregation protested and as a result fighting broke out. His son reportedly beat one old man for protesting against his father and the old man was reportedly injured,” a native of Gumaloya tells Freedom Newspaper.

He says the Imam’s alleged derogatory comments against his villagers triggered the showdown at the mosque.

“He is slowly and steadily losing his popularity in the community. His remarks angered the villagers; hence there was a fighting among the congregation. People couldn’t perform Friday prayers at the mosque,” he added.

“We the people of Gumaloya village strongly condemn the imam’s derogatory comments. We maintain that the moon was sighted, and we stand by it. The imam’s comment was irresponsible, malicious, disingenuous and dangerous,” he says.

The concerned villager therefore called on the Imam to apologize to his community.

“We therefore called on the imam to apologize to th village in no uncertain terms.  We have anything against Njaba Kunda and its people but let the imam knows that what he thinks or believe is irrelevant to us. We didn’t ask the imam to pray the choice was his to make let him leave us alone.,” said the villager.

The Imam could not be reached for comment.

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