OPINION: It is wrong for Mufti Menk to use state property for religious gathering
IT IS WRONG FOR GAMBIA GOVERNMENT TO ALLOW MUFTI MENK TO USE A STATE PROPERTY TO ADDRESS RELIGIOUS GATHERING! I am with an ardent opinion that it is wrong for government of the Gambia to allow Mufti Menk to use a state property for a Muslim gathering. Considering the fact that the Gambia is a country of laws and the constitution is the supreme law of the land. WHY IS IT WRONG? starting with the supremacy of the 1997 constitution encapsulated in section 4 which reads; "This constitution is the supreme law of the Gambia and any other Law found to be inconsistent with ANY PROVISION OF THIS CONSTITUTION shall to the extent of inconsistency, be void" The true effect of the supremacy of the 1997 CONSTITION can be found in the case of JENG (N0 4) V GAMBIA COMMERCIAL AND DEVELOPMENT BANK Going forward, it is captured in section 1 of the 1997 constitution of the Gambia that, the Gambia is a "sovereign secular republic". After establishing the fact that the Gambia is a sovereign secular republic, it is therefore wrong for public institutions to be used for any Islamic gathering.! The Gambia is not an Islamic state nor is it a religious state, In fact, even the national assembly does not have the authority to make the Gambia a religious state by virtue of section 100 2(b) of the 1997 constitution of the Gambia. It is therefore by all indications, that, allowing Mutfi Ismail Menk to used a state institution to address a religious gathering is wrong as far as laws of the Gambia are concerned. WHAT IS A SECULAR STATE? A country where the state is kept separate from religion, and the state does not discriminate or favor persons based on their religious beliefs. within a secular state, the Government does not interfere with religion and its activities. In a secular state as the case is in the Gambia, the government does not give state privileges over any religion over another. That is suffice to say, the government by all mean should not allow state properties to be used for religious functions. One may argue citing the case of Kemeseng Jammeh v the state over the Gambian being a secular state, but looking closely on the doctrine of secularism, it is crystal clear that by all indications the Gambia is a Secular state. DON'T GET ME WRONG! Of course practicing a religion is a fundamental human right of every individual in the Gambia who wishes to practice a religion as captured in Chapter IV sections 25 sub (b) of the 1997 constitution. One may confused this with Mufti Menk's Gathering. This section is not in any way giving permission to any Muslim group to organized a public religious gathering using a state property. State properties are to be used for nothing but only and only state Functions. INCLUSION Mufti Menk who is an Islmaic Scholar, can be called by private Islamic groups in the Gambia and do their private meetings using private properties. It must be clear to all that The Gambia consist of Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Hindus and other religious denominations. None of these religions should and never be given priorities over another. ALL religions are equal and should be treated equal.
All religious matters should practice using private properties and not state properties. Written by Ensa Kinteh UTG STUDENT RESIDING IN THE USA.
PHOTO: Ensa Kinteh
Editors note: Views expressed herein are those of the author and does not represent the views of Gunjur News Online