Saturday, 19 December 2009

Was Bakuwsu Arrested?

Reading through the freedom newspaper today:
I came across a story which states that, Sheik Bakawsu Fofana originally from Jarra Barrow Kunda was arrested for having a difference of opinion with the members of the supreme Islamic Council Gambia.
I have personally listen to tapes of Bakawsu lectures and watched a few of his DVDs to know his style of preachings. Bakawsu is a young man of 36 years as compared to Imam Muhammed Lamin Touray, the president of the Islamic council. Bakawsu and Imam Muhammed Lamin are very close friends. They both studied in Medina university and are both well verse in Islamic jurisprudence and general knowledge on Islam.
Bakawsu did his BA in Qur'an and Hadith studies, and his style of preaching is more or less base on those two sources. He doesn't mince his words and he hardly avoid stating the obvious. lecture of Bakawsu:
Mandingo speakers will appreciate his clarity in speech, although he has some speech impediments. Bakawsu's controversial lectures includes his advise to the Jola community to take religion seriously and seize following customs which are tantamount to Idol worship. He also do regularly advise women to dress modestly and avoid revealing their under garments.
He is also a no nonsense preacher when it comes to addressing we the secular western educated Gambians. He commented, "whenever there is a religious function to do, the secular educated Gambians would like to pass on the role to others." He further said, we spend most time on material pursuits and divide the resources of our country among ourselves. He said "from early age they go to school up till they enter adulthood, then they start to work from 9 to 5. They hardly have time to learn about their faith. When they retire, they commence reading newspaper by street corners and engaging in political debates all day on end." Bakawsu further advise that, co-education should abolish in the Gambia. He said co-education has killed the jealousy that couples should have on each other. on another topic, he attack the new custom female wrestling on TV.
Bakawsu on the opening of his local Mosque in Sanchaba, invited Imam Muhammed Lamin Touray as main speaker on the event. So for those two parties to fall out over mundane religious matters like the date of Tobaski is rather funny.
There is more to the story than the paper made it to be.
It is my believe that, both Bakawsu and Imam Muhammed Lamin have gone through rigorous training and intense research to be able to deal with a difference of opinion on the sighting of a moon. They have both dealt with issue far more advance and serious. At this juncture the freedomnews paper didn't say who in the supreme SIC did the reporting to the police, but since Muhammed Lamin is the president, we have to put him in the know of things. Imam Muhammed Lamin is far more experience and capable to solve low level issues like this.


solo said...

Would be interesting to hear his views on customs and traditions in relation to Islam


Indeed Solo, I think he favours all customs and traditions that wouldn't promote certain aspects of Senegambian cultures which have a relax rules on cohabitation, drinking, consulting idols etc.
I will be interested to interview him on such issues.

Anonymous said...

Bakawsu was not arrested.

I spoke to his brother, who by the way in also doing Islamic studies, in Makkah. He called and spoke to Bakawsu yesterday on the news of his arrest. Suntu you can call me and I will provide Bakawsu's contact number in Gambia for you, if you are interested.

Jalang Dembo


Thanks Jalang for the information. I thought so as well. Bakawsu is straight forward preacher, but he knows his limits. If the regime wish to censor Gambian preachers, then what else is left for Yahya to meddle with?