Dembo Bojang, President Adama Barrow’s Religious and Traditional Affairs advisor has accused hardline Imam, Abdoulie Fatty of inciting violence and threatening national security.
Bojang said Imam fatty’s comments regarding the Ahmadiyya and threatening to have President Barrow ousted could bring instability. He urged religious leaders to be advocates for tolerance and unity.
“I heard somebody say that any day President Adama Barrow prays in an Ahmadiyya mosque, he will lose the power to rule. Who dares to say that because such kind of statement is not good for the country and it can bring instability,” Bojang said.
Imam Fatty was a strong backer of former President Yahya Jammeh. He has defended Jammeh’s human rights abuses and killings. He served as the chief Imam at the mosque in the presidential compound under Jammeh and serves as a senior leader in the Wahabi leaning Supreme Islamic Council.
Ahmadis in the Gambia have for long suffered persecution and those that have come to their defense have been threatened. The Supreme Islamic Council have declared them non-Muslims and advocated for violence against the group.
Authorities have not taken any strong measures to protect members of the Ahmadi community, especially under the rule of former President Jammeh. The threats still remain and several fracases have occurred.
The latest contention has been over the issuing of television and radio broadcast licenses to the Ahmadiyya Jamat. Senior officials in Gambia’s government, including the Minister of Information, said a precedent has been set after the Supreme Islamic Council was issued a license by the previous regime.
Presidential Advisor Bojang said the government will see the best option “because we are representing everybody and we will always work in the interest of the nation.”