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Rawdatul Maajilis Asked Religious Affairs Minister To Be A Neutral Arbiter

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Hon Abba Sanyang, Minister of Local Government, Lands a Religious Affairs and Abubacarr Jabbie, Vice President Rawdatul Majlis.


By Ramatoulie Jawo

The Vice President of Rawdatul Majlis, Abubacarr Jabbie at a Press Conference, held on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, asked the Minister of Lands, Local Government and Religious Affairs, Hon. Abba Sanyang, to be a neutral arbiter.

“Since the president appointed him (Abba Sanyang) to be the Minister responsible for religious affairs in the country, I think he should be a referee. So that when two parties have issues, he can intervene and play referee between them. Whoever did wrong, penalize that person. I think that should be his work as a Religious Affairs Minister. But he should not be both a player and a referee at the same time.” Jabbie said. 

Jabbie further expressed his disappointment with the Religious Affairs Minister’s response at the National Assembly about their long-standing feud with the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC). 

Gambians, VP Jabbie said have the right to form and join any group as long as the group did not break any law. He reiterated that the constitution guarantees freedom of association and they have that right as citizens of this country. 

“When the Minister was asked a question at the National Assembly about what he will do when the two Religious groups in the country, which is the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC) and Rawdatul Maajalis have issues as a Minister. He responded by saying that  ‘Rawdatul Maajalis is not a Religious group but rather an Association. I don’t know what is the other one then, whether it is an association or is the government that forms that organization I don’t know. They ask him again whether he has convened these two groups in one place and talked to them since he became Minister responsible for their affairs.

“The Minister said he did not convene the two factions to talk to them, but the former Minister did. I don’t know when was that because the former Minister Hon. Musa Drammeh once called us two or more times. We chat with him and he told us that he will call the Supreme Islamic Council and talk to them. He never convenes a meeting, but he never showed us whether he is supporting party A or B.  What he said was that “we are all Gambians and we all have our rights in this country to practice our religions the way we want it.” He did not call both parties to talk to them. But he also did not show to us which side he was supporting.” He added. 

Jabbie said what they were expecting from Hon. Abba Sanyang was to call on all Religious Leaders who are not on good terms and talk to them as their Minister. He denied the Religious Affairs Minister’s statement that “all the Muslims are under the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council except the Rawdatul Maajalis”.

The Hon. Minister of Religious Affairs in an answer to questions from the National Assembly Member for Badibou Central at the Parliament said Rawdatul Majaalis is not a Religious Organization but rather an association of people. The Minister went on to say that there is an organization in the country called the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council that oversees all the religious bodies in the country.

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