I would first apologize to my readers and specifically to Dr. Isatou Touray, the key target of my discussion, for concluding my last paper with the statement, “I rest my case” rather than “To be continued”, since it was an unfinished business. Indeed, I had few more points of contention equally or even more important to address that I realized would have lengthen the content of the article beyond intended.
One of such points underpinned another evidence of your insincerity with your dissident hosts in the USA when they literally obligated you to agree with their false allegation that the legal problems of your organization in the country in 2009 had something to do with President Jammeh’s opposition to your campaign to end FGM in the country. How you could allow yourself to fall for such a flagrant fabrication further revealed your level of intellectual dishonesty, considering the genesis of the case from the Spanish-based organization, Yolocamba Solidaridad that had accused GAMCOTRAP of stealing or embezzling funds they disbursed in excess of 30,000.00 Euros from a total sum of 129,824.90 Euros earmarked for microfinance projects that never happened. The case is still fresh in our minds when the Director of the Spanish organization Begona Ballesteros Sanchez flew all the way from Spain to testify against you and your colleague in Gambia’s courts.
And trust me Doctor, keen and objective followers of that court proceedings might agree with me that your decisive acquittal was attributable more over the language difficulties-court technicalities-faced by the complainant, Sanchez than anything otherwise. You had quite a good lawyer and, in the end, Begona Sanchez literally abandoned the case and left the country for what had looked like her lack of time and patience.
But hey Doctor, remember that O.J. Simpson was exonerated on court technicalities for murdering his ex-wife and her male friend, but later in his life got entangled in funny incidents that often prove the existence of a higher power having bottomless bag of miracles that always astounds us.
Doctor, from the little I understand about the law on such organizations, whereas NGOs are supposed to be autonomous in terms of their management and maintenance, they still fall under the jurisdiction of the government to ensure their compliance with all legal and ethical operations. Meaning, among other things, that when sponsors, including those from abroad, register doubt over the unaccountability of funds disbursed to support community projects through any NGO, the government, by duty, will take up the investigation to verify the facts, establish who is implicated and if there are any suspects, the judiciary prosecutes them accordingly. That is how most people understood the background of your legal troubles with the Gambia government in 2009.
Without doubt, every honest observer would agree with me that your problems had nothing to do with President Jammeh’s opposition to stop or discourage you from your fight to end FGM practice in the country.
But even if he was that dogmatic in supporting FGM in the past but later had a change of heart to the extent of declaring it forbidden, reinforced by well-entrenched statutes to permanently ban the practice, why then shouldn’t you be just celebrating the major achievement now, than trying to make it all about how badly you were treated during the campaign 7 years ago? Don’t you see the irrationality or inconsideration in that attitude?
As a result, I am almost impelled to believe some critics who are convinced that your NGO had in the end become a cash cow that upon its termination through the banning of FGM in the country severely hurt your pocketbook or rendered you bankrupt.
Anyway, I am not saying that you are among the perpetrators, but we were also, before the ban, aware of the large number of Gambian women traveling to the west in search of greener pastures carrying forged affidavits prepared by anti-FGM extortionists, tendered to immigration departments as supporting documents for asylum applications. From what I am told that cash trail is also drying up rapidly.
No matter what, Dr. Touray, I don’t think anyone or anything should turn you into a political prostitute; but even if you cannot resist the temptation I would expect that hooking up with the best pimps to maximize your profits makes more sense than surrendering yourself to the worst and most hopeless ones in the streets.
Candidly speaking Doctor, your sponsors are cheap pimps needing money far more than you do. And as for the presidency they are promising to help you attain in December, don’t bank on it for it’s all delusional.
I could also notice how they fed you with another one of their infantile talking points that condemning President Jammeh for declaring The Gambia an Islamic Republic is an effective arsenal to gain political sympathy or support from western nations. Do you really think President Jammeh is worried about western approvals or disapprovals of his style of governing his country?
However, to conceive the notion that the rampant “Islamophobia” in the west will provide you the necessary political edge if you continue attacking President Jammeh for declaring the Gambia an Islamic Republic further reflected your sloppiness with these talking points, packaged and handed over to you in the USA.
I respect people with original ideas; but you are so far not being original at all. To merely demand from the electorate a presidential five-year-term mandate as the only original substance coming out of your head will not cut it, Doctor.
Yet still, I would advise you to always factor the reality that all those western countries you are trying to impress with this negative rhetoric about “scary” Islam being practice in The Gambia have embassies, representatives or diplomatic missions there; and they know better. These foreigners despite all your portrayal of the country as a demonic Islamic state are everyday witnesses of the beautiful atmosphere in the nation that they know is far from how it is projected by the desperate opposition elements, at home or in the diaspora.
They know that the Gambia’s Islamic statehood resembles nothing to be feared about. That it is in fact the type of Islamic statehood that should be embraced and emulated throughout the world for its outstanding tolerance of peaceful co-existence of its population, regardless of race, religion, tribe or national origin.
You might never get the purpose of the declaration for being a remarkable step in the right direction of manifesting our true independence by giving our country the name that best represents its image and pride instead of clinging to one that was imposed on us by our colonizers and maintained by our neo-colonizers. In other words, it could be viewed as part of the ongoing decolonization of our country where we are under President Jammeh claiming our own unique identity and not of the one our colonial masters had forced on us.
But that doesn’t mean the kind of Islamic state where if you are not a Muslim your rights to worship your religion of choice is denied or threatened. It’s not the Islamic state where women are denied the right to reach out for their highest potentials, including the right to assume male roles or even drive vehicles; no woman is forced into adhering to specific dress codes like in other Islamic nations. It’s not the Islamic State where religions different from Islam are denied any rights or privileges to worship. It’s not the Islamic state where Sharia Law is the law of the land.
Nevertheless, these are some of the basic conditions characterizing a quintessential Islamic state that often give them scary outlooks in the west that you, Doctor Touray, very well know is not in The Gambia. But you still bought the junk idea from your sponsors
So just as I said in my previous paper, the PhD degree holder you are identified to be should have afforded you with the courage to challenge all these rubbish and not to exploit it for their political expediency that in the final analysis exposes your dishonesty or lack of conscience.
The Islamic State we have in the Gambia is a model state in the world where Friday is declared a worshiping holiday for Muslims and Sunday a holiday for Christians with no one being forced or restricted in practicing the religion of their choice. And I can bet that if a sizable percentage of the population were to convert into Judaism, President Jammeh would have accommodated them with the Satisfactory-Saturday-Sabbath required to keep them happy.
Muslims, Christians and non-believers could intermarry freely with state blessing; they celebrate together, play together, mourn together and see no threat of losing that beautiful living condition because of the country’s name being changed from the Republic of The Gambia to the Islamic Republic of The Gambia. You tell me, what difference does it make, anyway?
Hence, as much as you may think that the smear campaign could win you votes, I could also assure you that the irresponsible language and the unethical spirit at which you intend to conduct your political movement will take you nowhere near the Statehouse. You can take that to the bank.
Happy Tobaski to all Gambians and Muslims. May the Almighty Allah bless you all.
Long live the Islamic Republic of The Gambia!
Long live the Gambian people!
Long live His Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor Alhagie, Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babili Mansa; President and Commander-in-Chief of Armed and Security Forces.
New York City