Renowned Islamic scholar, Mufti Ismail Musa Menk, has arrived in The Gambia on Thursday ahead of his Saturday public lecture to be done at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
In collaboration with the Supreme Islamic Council, and the International Open University, Mufti Menk will hold a public lecture at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on November 3.
Describing The Gambia as his ‘’second home’’, Mufti Menk said: ‘’The Gambia has been very high on my list of places to visit since the last twelve years.. So, in my own way, I tried to find out more because it is not easy to just come to a country when you don’t really know so many people to trust them. To fast forward, Allah really wanted me to come at this time and I believe there is a reason for it’’.
According to him, he came to the Gambia with a message of peace and respect for differences, particularly the minority, taking into the peaceful coexistence between the different faith groups in The Gambia.
‘’I also believe that you have a very small population of non-Muslims in this country. I would like to remind myself, your Excellency and the entire government that the way we treat the minority says a lot about who we are and what we stand for. We must as Muslims afford them the freedom and rights they deserve’’, he opined.
‘’I am here with a message, not of tolerance because ‘tolerance’ is a word in the English language that has in it a sense of uneasiness, but rather a message of respect; respecting people”.
He said he is an advocate of moderate Islam and ‘’very strongly condemn any acts of terrorism, extremism and those who do not believe in peaceful coexistence’’. He promised to never utter any words that would bring disunity and division in the country.
In his welcoming remarks, the President expressed great pleasure in receiving Mufti Menk at the State House in Banjul, saying it couldn’t have come at a better time. He used the opportunity to express admiration for his moderate style of preaching, while highlighting the high level of tolerance, unity and coexistence in the country.
Others speakers at the meeting included the Special Adviser to the President on Religious Matters, Alh. Dembo Bojang; the President of Amal Foundation, the organizers, Mr. Lamin Sanyang; and the Emir-ul Hajj, Ousman Jah.