Posted - 10 May 2023 : 16:52:03
Muslim, Christian councils preach peace amid rising religious tension
May 10, 2023
By: Pa Modou Cham
Amid rising misunderstandings between Muslims and Christians, the Minister for Religious Affairs on Monday convened the leaders of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (GSIC) and the Gambia Christian Council (GCC) at a live dialogue panel held on the State television (GRTS).
The panel included GSIC President Imam Essa Darboe, Minister Abba Sanyang and the Chairman of the GCC Most Reverend Bannie Ebenezer F. Manga. It aims to further consolidate the already existing religious tolerance and harmony in the country. This is prompted by the alleged confrontation between some religious youths and the issue of the ongoing veil case at the High Court in Banjul.
Imam Darboe extended words of wisdom to Gambians while calling Muslims to be mindful and follow the teachings of the Prophet (SAW) and the Qur’an. He said the country is founded on the principles of peace and love for each other, respect for foreigners and the citizenry.
"That's why the whole world cherishes us as a peaceful country. That's a great joy that our elders have been and still keep praying for peace to rain in this country. Let us all take the road for peace and avoid anything that will divide us as a nation," President Darboe stated.
He continued that Gambians can advance and protect our peaceful coexistence through dialogue, saying that's the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He added that if we dialogue and do not agree on terms, then the court serves as a redress.
If things reach the courts, he noted, then people should try to maintain peace during the processes of the court.
"I call on imams and teachers to continue to promote and preach peace. The Muslims and the Christians in the country have interrelated because there are families with both Muslims and Christians," he said.
The Most Reverend Bannie Ebenezer F. Manga of the Christian Council, in a video obtained from the State broadcaster, calls on Gambians to set our diverse religious views in order to live together in peace and harmony.
"Everyone should be aware that the nation is owned by everyone and can only be developed by us. To build the nation, we must do that in peace," he advised.
Minister Sanyang also appeals to Gambians to live in peace while urging imams, schools and teachers to work hard to promote peace. He reiterated that Gambians should preach peace in Mosques and Churches.
"Let's avoid violence and promote words of peace among our children. We should be dialoguing always in order to continue to live together in peace," he reiterated.
A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone