Editorial | Tribal bigotry MUST be rejected by every meaningful Gambian
The trajectory of tribal bigotry must be nipped in the bud to avert potential racial conflict in The Gambia, known for peace and stability the World over.
Marie Sock and the bigoted woman
We were horrified to hear the bigoted remarks of a woman in a leaked audio on social media, in which a woman supposedly Wolof and from Banjul was heard tribally assaulting the Mandinka tribe, to a presidential hopeful Ms Marie Sock.
The distasteful remark towards the Mandinka tribe from the woman follows similar remarks by another Banjul wolof several months ago.
We appreciate that Ms Sock later issued a statement in which she condemns, distances herself from the comments and apologises on behalf of the bigoted woman. Is Marie Sock sincere in her statement? What we know and we are certain is that Marie will need the support of the Mandinkas for any slim chance of winning the race to State House in 2021.
Tribalism in any form is wrong and must never be allowed to prosper in The Gambia. Since time immemorial, Gambians have inter-married and continue to do so to this moment. If it wasn’t for the bigotry of these knuckleheads, there are very bad wolofs just like there are very good and decent wolofs, as there are some bad Mandinkas, likewise majority good Mandinkas, just as in any other tribe, there are good and bad. Being bad is not synonymous with any single tribe, so calling Mandinkas “bad” is bigotry and highly ignorant. No single tribe or race is better than another. As Muslims and Christians, we must remember that the best among us are the righteous and not because of our tribal distinctions.
Islam rejects all forms of tribalism, racism, and bigotry. We must not construct a false caricature of other groups in order to justify oppression, blanket indictments, and collective punishment against them. We must take the lead in upholding justice and the natural rights of every Gambian.
As reported by Aisha: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“Verily, the greatest of people in falsehood is a man who insults another man by disparaging the entire tribe.” (See Sunan Ibn Majah, 3761)
In another narration, the Prophet said:
“Verily, the greatest criminal among people is a poet who disparages the entire tribe.” (See al-Adab al-Mufrad, 870)
But why are some Banjul Wolofs hateful to Mandinkas?
Banjul Wolofs benefit most from the Mandinka tribe than any other tribe in The Gambia. They say whenever a Mandinka man becomes wealthy, he marries a “Banjul wolof” to enjoy the newfound wealth with! Furthermore, a large chunk of lands in Kombo which are historically mainly owned by Mandinkas are occupied by Banjul Wolofs. In fact when there was a need for port expansion in Banjul, families who were affected were relocated to Kombo, on lands owned by mainly Kombo Mandinkas. Banjul Wolofs can be found pretty much everywhere in the Kombos on lands owned by Mandinkas for centuries, and the list goes on.
Now then, how can Mandinkas be so bad that a presidential hopeful who needs the support of the Mandinkas to win the race to the top job be warned to be careful of them because they are “bad”?
And don’t tell us that Mandinkas are the ones who insulted their fellow Mandinkas first, therefore it’s okay for a Wolof woman to insult Mandinkas! A black man loosely calling a fellow black man a N***** doesn’t give a whiteman the right to call a black man the “N” word!
Tribalism and tribal bigotry in all forms in The Gambia must be rejected by every meaningful Gambian. We are a diverse people intricately related due to many years of inter-marriage between all the tribes found in the country. We must all shun the dirty politics of tribe, unite and focus on the things that matter the most, to lift our country out of abject poverty, into a prosperous, developed nation for genearations unborn.
We call on all political leaders in the country to denounce tribal bigotry and condemn this divisive act in the interest of peace and stability of our beloved country. ”For The Gambia, our homeland, We strive and work and pray,That all may live in unity, Freedom and peace each day. Let justice guide our actions, Towards the common good, And join our diverse peoples, To prove man's brotherhood. We pledge our firm allegiance, Our promise we renew; Keep us, great God of nations, To The Gambia ever true.”