Ahmadis task Barrow’s govt to protect religious freedom

Ahmadis task Barrow’s govt to protect religious freedom

Ahmadi leaders have called on the Barrow administration to protect the right to religious freedom and help end the persecution of minority religious groups in the Gambia.

Ahmadiyya, an Islamic sect is facing increased persecution in the Gambia, where some clerics have urged authorities to expel them and ban their form of Islam.

A powerful group of Sunni clerics has declared Ahmadis as non-Muslims and former President Yahya Jammeh had threatened to disbanded, accusing them of sparking division.

Ahmadis have reportedly being subjected to hostility and ill-treatment. They have been denied burial rights at Muslim cemeteries.

Tensions flared last week between Sunni Muslim youths and Ahmadis, who were trying to bury one of their members that passed.

The local police have been blamed for the rising tension in Tallinding, a township outside the capital, Banjul. Riot police had to be deployed from nearby Kanifing to avert tensions from escalating.

A controversial influential Sunni leader, Imam Abdoulie Fatty told local reporters that the Ahmadis should have their own cemetery to avoid clashes.

Fatty’s comments towards the Ahmadis is always seen as extremist and Alhaji Ebrahima Mbowe, a senior Ahmadi leaders say the government should monitor and avert Muslim extremism for the peace, security, and stability of the Gambia.

Gambia’s laws provide every person the right to practice any religion, as long as doing so does not impinge on the rights of others or on the national interest. It prohibits religious discrimination, the establishment of a state religion, and religiously-based political parties.

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