The GAMBIA – “DEMOCRACY: A Brief Explanation of Democracy and its Inherent Troubles and Manifest Consequences.

 

Wed. 10.11.2021

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Choosing a Good Leader: “One Nation, under 54 Legislating Lords (NAMs) beside Allah, The Most High.”

 

There is a period in which I owe my silence. It’s not eternal. It’s not going to be forever.

Wrong objective: “Don’t chase performance – you will always be late.” (Perry J. Kaufman – American financial theorist, investment-expert and author).

The imported and greatly misunderstood ´Western´-“´Democracy´: Democracy is not about an individual (good/bad/ugly) – that’s called autocracy. Democracy is instead the people, laws and institutions…

 

Citizenship and Democracy

(Courtesy: FOROYAA, January 19, 2021, By Mustapha Jallow:

– “Lady Councillor: “Stop Running After Politicians Who Don’t Put People’s Interest First.” Madam Fatou Yabou-Manjang, the lady Councillor of Kiang Central in the Lower River Region (LRR).

– Salla Bah, also a Lady Councillor from Upper Saloum District, said “Democracy is Misunderstood in the Country.” She said “Democracy Stands for a Government to do the Right Thing and Put National Interest above All.”)

Citizenship is not a product of human imagination. In addition, not patriotism either. Citizenship is a positive shared responsibility. Citizenship is a collective work. Gambians – We still have the time and the responsibility of protecting this great Nation of ours.

DemocracyWe should be aware of the origins of the most ´misunderstood´ and ´misused´ word of democracy, and we should also know that it is not English, Fulla, Jola, Serer or Mandinka, but Greek in origin. It is a mixture and abbreviation of two words: ´Demos´ meaning people, and ´Cracy´ meaning judgement, authority (governance), or legislation. That means that the literal translation of this word democracy is the people’s judgement, or the people’s authority or the people’s legislation. This is the greatest asset of the democracy, according to its people, and because of this, they praise it and they give it a high status in society’s intellect. At the same time, it is one of the most important characters of the politicians, the rulers, and the falsehood which contradicts Humanity. In Democracy, the parents are the insincere politicians and their blind followers are the political slaves. This is the truth about democracy that its judgement was for the people or for the majority of people (which is the greatest wish of the democrats). But nowadays, the judgement is in the hands of the judges, or their families, or the big traders, or the rich people, or the drug cartels, who have the capital and the mass media that enable them to reach to the parliaments (the palaces of democracy), and with their god (the king or the president of a land) who has the authority to dissolve the parliament whenever and however he wants. So, this is the freedom of democracy: to be free from any laws (legislation and the exceeding of limits of national law). But the legislation of the positive law, will be preserved in their misguided democracy and everyone who doesn’t agree or doesn’t accept these limits, then upon him will be a punishment. They label you as a rebel and rebellious. The state would respond immediately with: “This is contradictory to the laws of democracy and its principles of freedom!” Everyone who accepts democracy means that he accepts to be ruled by legislation that is written according to the constitution, and accepts that legislation.” Abu Muhammad ´Aasim al-Maqdisi)

 

Democracy: – It is a system wherein the people legislate for themselves, by means of their appointed representatives, in a council or parliament, which is established for the purpose of implementing the laws and policies that reflect the desires of the majority of people of that region. ‘AbdulWahhāb Al-Kilālī said, “All the democratic systems are based on one ideology, which is that the authority is ascribed to the people, to whom the mastership belongs. In conclusion, democracy is the principle of the mastership of the people.” It is, as Abraham Lincoln put it, “The rule of the people, by the people, for the people”.

 

But in democracy it states: “If you are at variance over something, refer it to the people and their council, and to their king, according to the positive law and constitution” – as it was in their constitution, because that is the holy book of democracy.

 

Democracy is an exciting concept. It is a complex term for many, especially those in newer democracies. It takes a long time coming to grips with its practical meaning. There is a lot of information about democracy. The duty of educators is to clarify this information at the appropriate level to the learners. Democracy provides a very special challenge because it incorporates aspects of behaviour, skills, knowledge and attitudes as well as questions of politics and power.

Democracy is a complex and contested concept. As a result there will always be differences of opinion, despite some considerable convergence on a core definition. Most definitions of democracy focus on qualities, procedures and institutions.

 

Why young Gambians need to know their history? Democracy does not consist of (one-size-for-all), a single, unique set of institutions that are universally applicable. The specific form that democracy takes in a country is largely determined by prevailing political, social, and economic circumstances. Moreover it is greatly influenced by historical, traditional, and cultural factors. Every country has its own history, people, culture, traditions, and customs. And religion plays a role as well. Self-knowledge is the first step to self-improvement.The Gambia is a “civic” nation and not a/an “tribe/ethnic” nation. The Gambian citizenship is not based on belonging to a particular tribe/ethnicity, but on national loyalty to The Gambian democracy and African/Gambian values and the Constitution. Every Gambian citizen should have a basic understanding of the Constitution and our system of government. We need the true knowledge as well as the opportunity and a sense of responsibility to participate fully in productive dialogue/public debates and other democratic activities. Many of us lack the basic skills about local civic matters. We need opportunities to enable us engage with others who hold opposing political viewpoints. Our insincere politics has become increasingly tribalized. We have lost a shared Gambian narrative and a sense of togetherness as citizens of this great Nation – to which we all equally answer to and belonged as “Citizens of The Gambia.”.

 

But any good democratic government requires also courage, resistance to evil, the firmness, law, and discipline which will enforce justice among men. It requires men to mingle with men, so that they can uphold the standard of Truth, against all odds if necessary.

 

Choosing a Good Leader: “One Nation, under 54 Legislating Lords (NAMs) beside Allah, The Most High.”

The Electoral Process and its Implications Upon the Voters

Certainly, the system of Democracy is dependent upon the masses to participate in elections so that it can be clarified which candidates are to represent them in the councils and parliaments. This electoral process is also essential in determining the ruling party and the President or Prime Minister of the country. Because the system is founded on the masses choosing leaders to legislate laws and implement policies on their behalf, the entire democratic process could not exist without elections. If it weren’t for the participation of the masses in the electoral process, Democracy would not be possible to implement as there would be no one to vote for any candidates and therefore there would be no elected members of parliament to act on the people’s behalf in legislation and government policy. ‘Abdulwahhāb Al-Kilālī said, “It means that the people, to whom the mastership belongs, do not practice the authority of legislating themselves. Rather, they grant it to the Members of Parliament whom they elect for a specific period and appoint to represent them in practicing this authority on their behalf.”

 

Shaykh Abū Basīr Mustafā Halīmah said, “Firstly, Democracy is founded upon the principle that the masses are the source of power. And included in that is the power of legislation and that takes place by means of selecting representatives for the general population who take their place in the duty of legislation and the creation of laws. And in other words, the legislator and the obeyed one in Democracy is the human and not Allāh. And this means that the one who is worshipped and obeyed in the issue of legislation and the permitting and the

prohibiting is the masses and the human and the creation and not Allāh, the Most High. And this is the essence of misguidance, due to its contradiction to the fundamentals of the religion and its Tawhīd.

So the reality is that these Members of Parliament, which act upon the will of the majority and take their place to legislate laws etc., can only do so when the masses elect them to the positions to do so. And if we conclude that these Members of Parliament commit corruption and lies by legislating laws that favours themselves, then what would be said about the people who elect them for this job, knowing that this candidate will be engaging in the formation of man-made laws on behalf of the people who elect him? It’s like a farmer who sets a wolf as the guard of his herds of cattle and sheep. As for those amongst the people who vote for them (i.e. Members of Parliament), they are committing the same corruption and lies as well, because according to the representative democracy, the voters are in reality delegating them to practice the mastership of corruption and lies – legislating laws on their behalf. Thus the voters give the members of parliament the right to implement corruption and lies and set them up – through their voting – as legislating lords. Consequently, taking people as lords is an utter stupidity and that is what those who vote for the incompetent and insincere politicians and members of parliament are doing. And this action falls into the description of the known rule: “Supporting corruption is corruption”, because the one who assists or enables the people to commit corruption or theft, knowingly, takes the same ruling as the one who commits the corruption or theft itself. Let´s look at the Latin legal term “Qui facit per alium facit per se” that means, “He who acts through another does the act himself.” 

 

To Vote or Not to Vote”,

Strangely, “To Vote or Not to Vote”, can be used as an excuse in seemingly agreeing that this rule is only to be applied when one is compelled to choose between multiple impermissible acts. One of the most fundamental principles that the religion of Islām is based upon, is that if a person is presented with two evils and has no choice but to perform one of them, then he wards off the greater evil (or harām) even if it means performing a lesser evil (or harām). Imām Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allāh have mercy upon him) said, “The Sharī’ah has been revealed to obtain all possible benefits and to prevent as much harm as possible and reduce it. Its aim is to produce the best possible scenario from two good options if both cannot be achieved together, and to ward off the worst of two evils if both evils cannot be prevented.”

 

Why Vote, and Who to Vote For?

Leadership is a God-given privilege. And this can be abused. Leadership has its privileges, but more important—it comes with huge responsibilities.

Why Vote, and Who to Vote For?” – this rule to permit the participation in democratic elections. It is clearly apparent that individuals are sometimes placed in a situation in which they are compelled to make decisions which may normally be deemed unacceptable or which may be far from their liking, due to the fact that it is the best available option open to them.

 

The Gambia´s 25 POLITICAL ACTORS and HYPOCRITES:Today many voices, some, completely unknown, are crying out from Social Media, radios and TVs, Online-Newspaper Outlets, personal visits (political campaigns), and singing “Follow me! Vote me! I have the Truth. I am the Best.” It’s a cacophony of confusion that often leads people astray. Many are merely “hypocrites and blind leaders of the blind.” Appearances can be deceiving. People never look like what they are. Of some unscrupulous politicians I’d say that if we could see them as they really are; they would be sitting there at dinner party with daggers in their teeth. To all outward appearances they are upstanding citizens, yet they are hypocrites to the core. Today, and every day—let’s choose with great care the leaders we follow. A GOOD LEADER KNOWS THE WAY, SHOWS THE WAY, AND GOES THE WAY. A good elder is more than a person, who knows, He instructs with his words and his ways; May Allah give us the grace to reveal who He is, and to model His Truth all our days.

 

Letting the Inside Match the Outside: Is everyone a hypocrite? Almost all of us live two lives: what people see outside and what is really going on inside. In politics, politicians learn what outward signs of attention will please the people. They (politicians) put up a good front. As if donning a mask, they style their tongue (talking) and use their body language to impress those around them. Over time, they learn to excel at hiding truly serious national problems. They wear colourful African ´three-pieces´ Grand-Boubous, and yee Moori-Naafool londi (wearing Islamic skull caps) and “yee Tashabiyi jam´mbaal muta” (carrying long prayer beads (Rosary/Chaplet) – They attend every Muslim activity from Christening to Funerals, trying to proof their standing in the society. This is hypocrisy – and it´s shameful. Today, with age; I have come to understand what my Grand Father used to tell me; “Bairo, you are shameless,” and when I argue, “but I have trousers on…” he will interject with “and you are totally naked inside your trousers.” This was whenever I did something wrong and tried to hide my guilt behind honey-coated words or good deeds. These insincere politicians too are very naked inside their diaphanous political clothes. The Gambians can certainly ´see-through´ them. There is no God but Allah. We should want to die for the Gambia Flag. This is what we ought to prove if our Citizenship has any genuine meaning, but we only say it with our tongues. You say (or perhaps think) that you are the most patriotic citizens of the Gambia, but where are the fruits of your good citizenship? Allah knows the innermost motives and secrets of your heart, and you cannot deceive Him by attaching a certain label “politicians” to yourselves. This is true as many of us as we call ourselves “pure GAMBIAN CITIZENS”. If all of us call ourselves “pure Gambian citizens”, then who is an “un-pure Gambian citizen”?

We want a clean and very efficient administration, from the top down. No one who practices deceit will dwell in our government offices; no one who speaks falsely will stand in our presence in government offices to serve the nation and humanity. We all know that whenever power or wealth or influence or any good thing is transferred from one person or group of persons to another, it involves added responsibilities to the persons receiving these advantages. They must be the most zealous in charity and all good works, for that is part of the evidence which they give of their selfless service and gratitude. And, besides, their good deeds carry their own rewards.

 

The rule: “The Benefit is Taken over the Harm”

And this rule is similar to the one which has passed. Those who use this rule to permit the participation in democratic elections say that the benefits that result in electing a candidate whose policies are the least harmful to the Citizens, outweigh the harm of other candidates, whose policies are more threatening towards them.

 

I say: The intentions and acts of the Partisan Tribalists Politics (i.e. PTP) here are false and rejected for different reasons. From them, it was wrong for him (insincere politician) to encourage the Citizens to participate in the game of Democracy, which is in place in Gambia and that which takes place due to it from mistakes in creed Political gains whose results are unpraiseworthy, and which cannot be excused no matter how many benefits are claimed.

 

Why Vote and Who to Vote For?” Voting itself is not obligatory or recommended according State law, rather the aim behind it is to achieve the greatest benefit for Citizens or avoiding evil. “Anyone” can list the benefits s/he saw from participating in the democratic elections. With that and in conclusion, it is the opinion of this “anyone” that due to the situation we face in our lives today, the Citizens of The Gambia should get politically involved in the various forthcoming electoral processes in order to achieve various benefits.

 

The Rule: “Actions are Based on Intentions”

And those who apply this principle say that as long as one’s intention is to lessen the oppression upon the Citizens, or to provide them some relief or things of this nature, then the action becomes permissible. And they say that as long as one does not intend by his participation in democratic elections to commit any evil and as long as the only intent is to bring about the good, then this permits the action and makes it praiseworthy. And we say that this error in logical thinking is not only prevalent in the topic we are addressing, but it also permeates other serious topics as well. Therefore, we will give it some detail here, Inshā’allāh.

“Why Vote and Who to Vote For?” The Citizens are recommended or even obliged to vote for the party who will be of most benefit on a national and international level, who will increase upon that which is good, or at the least, lessen the extent of the current evil prevalent in the world today. At the same time, the Citizens should exert the utmost effort to oppose those whose policies are against the welfare of humanity.” We ask Allah for protection.

 

So it is obligatory upon those who understand the reality of the practicing of Tribalism and in particular, the supporting upon participating in tribalism politics, to make this issue clear to the people and to clarify and remove these misconceptions.

 

Conclusion: There is no doubt that the Gambians are facing terrible politically motivated disturbances in our time. And the eyes are wet with tears and the heart is full of rage seeing the images and hearing the news of our brothers and sisters being faced with these current circumstances. Anyone who does not feel anguish and depression when they reflect upon the current political reality must question their faith and examine their dead heart. And at the same time, we remind our brothers and sisters not to be deceived by the traps of the insincere politicians who wish to lead them astray. And we must beware not to allow ourselves to be taken advantage of by those who would like to exploit our sympathies and our fears so that we fall into the trap, thinking that we are performing righteous deeds. And with that in mind, we do not forbid the participation in certain political activities, which do not involve hatred or tribalism, as long as one does so in compliance with the constitution and our traditions and does not fall into misguidance concerning that, such as needless violent demonstrations and rallies and campaigns and other than that from the politically-oriented activities, which do not enter into the prohibitions of the Constitution and or the IEC´s rules and regulations...

The IEC Independent Electoral Commission is The Gambia’s only authoritative body and repository of electoral knowledge. It provides comprehensive information and specialised advice on any aspect of electoral processes. The foremost aim of IEC, is to foster the integrity of elections and to promote credible, sustainable, professional and inclusive electoral processes throughout the country.

Nothing but harmony, honesty, industry and frugality are necessary to make us a great and happy nation. What´s most important right now is our relationship with each other as citizens of the Gambia in a single united Gambia.

 

In closing, this is what I have been able to produce in response to this recent debate, which has been sparked recently and it has been my intention to address the particular issue of participating in the democratic elections and refuting some of the claims of those who call to this.

 

And if what has been presented is correct, then it is due to Allāh, the Most High, and any errors or shortcomings are due to myself and the Shaytān, from whom I seek refuge in Allāh.

And may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his

family and his companions until the Last Day.

 

 

Sana-Bairo Sabally

Kassa Kunda Village, WCR,

The Gambia

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