Tuesday, 29 June 2010

THE LEGACY OF THE LATE KARAMO DUKUREH: FORMER HEAD OF GAMBIAN MAHSALAS

The history of the Tabligh Jama‘at in The Gambia began with Karamoko Dukureh, who
went on pilgrimage to Mecca and afterwards studied in Saudi Arabia for about 20 years.” JENSON


Now this statement is very relevant. If Karamo Dukureh is a scholar in Islam and contemporary knowledge, why should his associate be regarded as ignorant?

Karamo Dukureh was a leading Tabligh member and also a man who understands the concepts of Dawatul Salafiya (puritanical interpretation of Islam). The Salafis don’t adheres to the methods of the Tablighs because they view preaching without strong religious qualifications as dangerous. To the Salafis, only scholars have the right to make pronouncements and preach in public arenas because, to confuse people over religious matters is a serious offence.

The Salafis maintain that, Islam is purely the oneness of Allah or nothing. You cannot venerate anything or anybody except God the almighty. You can hold knowledgeable men/women in high places, but you cannot seek any blessing whatsoever from them. You cannot seek blessing from graves, saints etc.
The concept of Ageeda becomes all the more important to Salafis than many other Muslim groups. To manifest a wrong Ageeda means, worshiping God without any knowledge or direction.
Karamo Dukureh, knew the Salafis basis of emphasising the seeking of knowledge and uncompromising over correct beliefs is something he internalised. However, he also show that, blending the high level of knowledge and the down to earth propagation methods of Tablighis is an important combination.
Salafis are criticise for being strict and inflexible whilst the Tablighs are flexible and patient with lax Muslims. Where Salafis will forge ahead with strong Muslims, Tablighs will follow weak Muslims, associate with them, talk to them and/or invite them, visit them etc until they can have an impact on the person they are targeting.
This is why mainly, Masalas have members across the spectrum of many societies including the Gambia.

Dukureh is From Gambisara (URR) A Sarahuleh By Tribe:
After his studies, in the early 1980s Dukureh returned to his native village, Gambisara, a Serahuli village in eastern Gambia, and set out to make the villagers more aware of their religion by denouncing their traditional ways of worship and popular forms of piety. One of his students told me that Dukureh condemned especially maraboutage, arguing that instead of paying a marabout to make a charm, one should pray to God directly.” Jenson

Analysis: In fact, the Gambia is synonymous with Marabourism. Durukeh’s early attack was on those class of spiritualist. He found them annoying and denying the masses the path to real Islam. The Salafis concept of Ageeda manifested with Durukeh evoking the futility of using charms and amulets. No sound Muslims will use Charms.. it is counterproductive to the teachings of Islam.

“In his opinion marabouts were charlatans who exploit their clients. Furthermore, he preached against activities that took place during life-cycle rituals, where men and women mingle, sing, make music, dance, spend a lot of money and neglect prayer. Other than a few progressive men, the villagers, who feared that Dukureh wanted to introduce a ‘new religion’, and even called him a lunatic, did not agree with his reformist ideas.” Jenson

The Sukuta Imam’s rhetoric is repeated above by the Gambisara Villagers. Indeed there are cultures that, both Tablighs (Masalas) and Salafis will define as Un-Islamic.. (free mixing the recipe for sexual advances and impure thoughts was the key fears) certain cultural practices are inter-woven with boys and girls spending time together. In the old days, this was innocent socialising, however, now...


“When Dukureh’s sermons became increasingly opposed to the village elders’ traditions
he was prevented from preaching in the mosque.” (Jenson)

Dukureh was excommunicated by the key influential Marabouts. His life was threaten by the (Komsinbaros) personal servants of the main Kabilos (clans). The final option Karamo Dukureh chosed was exile to Bundungka Kunda Serrekunda.

The unmistakable Marakaz (centre) close to Nustrat High became his base. At the centre Dukureh established a school (madrasa), “where he instructed his students in Arabic, Islamic studies and some secular subjects. When the number of students increased in the mid-1990s the school was transferred to another neighbourhood in Serrekunda, where it still exists. This transfer was not only to do with lack of space, but also with a difference in perception between the madrasa teachers and the Tablighis in Markaz.” Jenson
It is important to highlight that Durukeh wasn’t just a Masala but also a Salafi. This is manifested by the insistence on having a school that teaches not just Islamic sciences but also secular knowledge. Whilst the typical Tabligh system is on-the-journey training across distant Mosque. Durukeh also rely on a Hadith, that state that “...even when one knows only one word from the Quran it is one’s religious duty to convey it.”
“When Dukureh died in 2000 Markaz no longer had a regular imam. Gambian preachers
who have long since been involved in the Jama‘at now led the Thursday night and Friday
prayers. A small council of ‘elders’ (shura) is in charge of Markaz. ‘Elder’ does not refer here to only age and generation, but rather to long-standing experience with missionary work.” Jenson

The Tablighs don’t emphasise much on age, they value long service in the cause than age, whilst the local traditions tend to place lot more claim to age. This is why, the Sukuta Imam refers to them as youngsters.

The Gambisara Controversy, the allege Sanna Sabally involvement:
A group of Dukureh’s followers, calling themselves Sunni Jama‘at, remained in the
village of Gambisara after their teacher’s exile. Like Dukureh, they insisted on praying with
their arms folded on the chest rather than, in the Maliki style of praying, with the arms besides the body, which is most common in West Africa. Since they were beaten by the villagers when they prayed with folded arms in the central mosque, in the early 1990s they decided to build their own mosque with donor money from a Senegalese reformist movement and a Kuwaiti sheikh. Most of the villagers believed it was improper to have two mosques in the same community and sought for state intervention.
Consequently, President Jammeh demolished the mosque and arrested four of Dukureh’s most prominent followers. Following their detention, the Supreme Islamic Council determined that people could pray any way they wanted, be it with folded arms, straight arms, or even with the arms on the back or head; but, still, Dukureh’s followers were reluctant to pray in the central mosque. Instead, they prayed in their homes and on Fridays in the mosques of neighbouring villages whose imams were more open to what they call ‘Sunni Islam’. This situation continues to this very day. (Jenson 2003-2006)
Jammeh’s dictatorship didn’t spare the followers of Dukureh...The Gambisara villagers went out of their way to invite the wrapt of Yahya Jammeh on the villagers. Whilst Sana Sabally blame both sides, Yaya went with the public sentiment.
The folding of the arm when praying is the strongest Islamic tradition. Imam Malick prayed with his hands down because he was beaten by the then Calipha's agents. His inability to fold his hands mean, he left them by his side. This became what the west African Malickites adopt. There was no need to split hair over that irrelevant practise.
May the soul of Karamo Dukureh rest in peace. His legacy continues with new leaders steering the Marakaz in the Gambia. The likes of Muhass Jallow, Kemo Kora, Badjie and many others from the Agric sector, education, and many other field of study.

Later I will discuss the areas Masalas require to address... youth over enthausiasm leading to misunderstanding the reasoning behind work, family and dawah.

Friday, 25 June 2010

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT MASAHLAS IN THE GAMBIA

Sukuta Imam's attack:
“Mashalas are lazy Muslims. There are too many Mashalas here, especially
among the youth. I don’t support them. They don’t act according to our ancestors’
ways. That is why I reject them. They don’t know anything about Islam. When we
accept their ways, misunderstanding will enter into Islam. That is why I send them
away when they come to the mosque in Sukuta (…). A child should obey an elder, a
son should obey his father, and the Muslim congregation should obey its imam. But they don’t show any respect for the imam.
These small boys are now provoking the elders. That shows that they are not true
Muslims but hypocrites (...). If someone is more knowledgeable in Islam than you,
why do you reject him? The Mashalas are ignorant; they only want to mislead
people (…). Life in this world is very short. We should try to inquire into Islam
before we die. You are welcome any time you wish to discuss more about Islam.”
( Comments above was by the Imam of Sukuta against the local Masalas: Ismaila Baye)


The above statement is stereo typical of some local Imams against Tabligh Jamat members. The fear is that, the youthful religious Masalas will take over their Mosque and bring down their influence. Some of the Mosque committee react angrily whenever a young Masala youth wants to talk about religion.
They usually shout them down with unnecessary rebuffs. However, this only strengthens the convictions of these young believers. The Imam couldn't’t help himself without referring to them as ignorant, lazy etc.
The Masalas in fact engage mostly in reading and spreading what they learn. They follow the six points... I shall God Willing explain that concept later. There spiritual conducts are more rigorous than most the Imams who mainly recite their Tijani or qadiria Wirds which exclusive to the Tariga. You can find some the keen Tijanis not speakin during this process whilst the Masalas never fail to speak to brothers in any place.
The act of standing in a crowded Mosque and preaching the basic tenet of Islam is hard enough. The Imams actually follow methodological forms of preaching whilst the Masalas routine unconventional training in unfamiliar environment prepared them to stand and speak in any crowd or under every circumstances. This is what actually scares the Imams.

De-mystifying the misconception against the Masalas:

Jenson through his research found out that:
“...in The Gambia the majority of Tablighis had a modern, secular education. They are referred to as ‘English students’ in local idiom, and
are to be found particularly at Gambia College, the University of The Gambia, and also –
somewhat paradoxically – at Nusrat High school, the school run by the Ahmadiyya Mission.”
Analysis:
The fear from certain Imams or community leaders is also base on this issues. Secular educated Gambians have become more religious than religiously educated Gambians. Secular educated Gambians are openly living Islam whilst religious educated Gambians even graduates are trying to copy the secular live style of dress; suit and tie whilst secular educated Gambians are doing the opposite. This contrast of paradigm is causing many parents to rethink the old adage that, secular educated Gambians are likely to live a western live style which may include alcohol drinking and relax sexual habits. The myth of the Imams against secular Gambians have collapse and the Masalas from Gambia College have led the charge.

Mahsala live style and Mannerism:
“Every Thursday Tablighi men gather in Markaz to perform their prayers, immerse
themselves in constant remembrance of God, listen to sermons, recite the Quran and other
religious texts, talk about the faith, even spending the night there.” Jenson

Analysis:
It is true that, the members visit Marakaz in Bundung every Thursday night for sermons and spend the night there. This is followed by going out and visiting local Muslims, reminding them of their purpose in live, this process is referred to as 'gaz'.
Then on a Friday Night, a group that intends to travel to distant localities park their belongings and depart. No one pays for anybody. The food, drink and other basic needs are burned by the volunteer. And at the designated Mosque, the group is headed by the Ameer ( leader). He will take advise from the group and then the group will be split into parts (those in charge of food, cleaning, visiting houses and those that stays in the mosque is put in place).
The impression this organise routine has on new members cannot be over emphasised. The concept of (kidmat) appeals to many new and old members.
To be continued Insahalah.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Masala Movement in the Gambia.. Making their activities clear (Marakaz) Part 1 of 4

Analysing the work of Marloes Janson who carried out an extensive field work in the Gambia (2003-2006)

“When my neighbour – an elderly imam and Marabout trained in the Sufi tradition1 – in theGambian town of Sukuta where I was conducting field research, learned that I was interested in the expansion of the Tabligh Jama‘at (Masala Movement), a transnational Islamic missionary movement originating in South Asia, he summoned me to his compound.
After showing me pictures of his master, a Tijani sheikh from Senegal, he warned me of the dangers of ‘asking children (dindingos) questions about Islam’. Instead of interviewing them
I should have come to him:” Jenson
That is the typical reaction of Sufi Imams at the sight of young Masalahs (by the wish of God members). The name Masala is use as a derogation to the members of the Tabliq Jamaat. The Imam of Sukuta refers to them as Dindingos (children) in order to belittle grown up men.

This paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork undertaken between November 2003 and April 2004, April and June 2005, and March and June 2006 in The Gambia (West Africa). The research between 2003 and 2005 was funded by a grant from the International Institute
for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM), in Leiden (the Netherlands). The research in 2006 was funded by a grant from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), and conducted under the ZMO’s research project ‘Urban Youth Cultures in West Africa: Processes of Translocal Appropriation’. I would like to thank Mamadou Diouf, with whom I discussed my latest fieldwork data, for his valuable comments and suggestions. (Jenson)

Historical outline of the Tabligh Jama‘at and its establishment in The Gambia:
Narrated by Jenson
The emergence of the Tabligh Jama‘at as a movement for the revival of Islam can be seen as a continuation of a broader trend of Islamic resurgence in northern India in the wake of the collapse of Muslim power and consolidation of British rule in the mid-nineteenth century. One manifestation of this trend was the rapid growth of madrasas (Islamic schools).
The Jama‘at evolved out of the teachings and practices of the founders of the orthodox Dar-ul ‘Ulum madrasa in Deoband, a town near the Indian capital Delhi. The ulema (Arabic ‘ulama: scholars learned in Islamic sciences) affiliated with this school saw themselves as crusaders against popular expressions of Islam, as well as Hindu and Christian conversion movements, and they aspired to bring to life again the days of the Prophet Muhammad’s Companions (cf. Masud 2000: 3–5; Metcalf 2002: 4, 8–9; Sikand 2002: 16–17, 66).
Mawlana Ilyas was a disciple of the leading Deobandi ulema, who, after his graduation, taught Muslims about correct Islamic beliefs and practices at mosque-based schools. However, he soon became disillusioned with this approach, realizing that Islamic schools
were producing ‘religious functionaries’ but not zealous preachers who were willing to go from door to door to remind people of the key values and practices of Islam. He then decided to quit his teaching position to begin missionary work through itinerant preaching (Ahmad 1995: 166).
Ilyas strove for a purification of Islam as practised by individual Muslims through following more closely the rules laid down in the Sunna. In order to make Muslims ‘true believers’, he insisted that it was the religious duty of not just a few learned scholars but of all Muslims to carry out tabligh, that is, missionary work aimed at the moral transformation of Muslims. Missionary tours by lay preachers became the hallmark of the Jama‘at,8 established officially in 1927 in Delhi. (Jenson)
Over the years the Tabligh Jama‘at has expanded from its international headquarters in India to numerous other countries throughout the world. It has grown into what is probably the largest Islamic movement of contemporary times. It has come to establish a presence in about 150 countries throughout the world, and its annual conferences in Pakistan and Bangladesh have grown into the second largest religious congregation of the Muslim world after the pilgrimage to Mecca (cf. Ahmad 1995: 165; Sikand 2002: xi). Despite its worldwide influence on the lives of millions of Muslims, scholars have paid almost no attention to its spreading in sub-Saharan Africa.9 An explanation for this indifference is that this region is frequently, but unjustly, seen as the ‘periphery’ of the Muslim world. In this paper I focus on The Gambia, which, despite its small size, during the last decade has become a booming centre of Tablighi activities in West Africa (Janson 2005).

My analysis: Jenson's piece can be considered very fair and balance from his presentation of the founding of Tabliqh Jamaat or Masala movement to Gambians.
In part two I will bring forward the founder of the movement in Bundung Serrekunda, the common misconceptions and typical Masala mannerism. We all have friends and relatives that belongs to the movement. They are not a violent extremist movement, neither are they anti-work or culture. However, in every setting there will be those that go a bit far in their interpretations.

Quotes about Islam and its growth

"Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people..." [HILLARY RODMAN CLINTON, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1996, p.3]

Already more than a billion-people strong, Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion. [ABCNEWS, Abcnews.com]

"Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the country." [NEWSDAY, March 7, 1989, p.4]

"Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States..." [NEW YORK TIMES, Feb 21, 1989, p.1]

Moslems are the world's fastest-growing group..." [USA TODAY, The Population Reference bureau, Feb. 17,1989, p.4A ]

"Muhummed is the most successful of all Prophets and religious personalities. " [Encyclopedia Britannica]

"There are more Muslims in North America then Jews Now." [Dan Rathers, CBSNEWS]

"Islam is the fastest growing religion in North America." [TIMES MAGAZINE]

"Islam continues to grow in America, and no one can doubt that!" [CNN, December 15, 1995]

"The Religion of Islam is growing faster than any other religion in the world." [MIKE WALLACE, 60 MINUTES]

"Five to 6 million strong, Muslims in America already outnumber Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Mormons, and they are more numerous than Quakers, Unitarians, Seventh-day Adventists, Mennonites, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Christian Scientists, combined. Many demographers say Islam has overtaken Judaism as the country's second-most commonly practiced religion; others say it is in the passing lane." [JOHAN BLANK,US NEWS (7/20/98)]

"In fact, Religion experts say Islam is the second-largest religion in the United States... Islam has 5 million to 6 million members, followed by Judaism, with approximately 4.5 million..... And Islam is believed to be fastest-growing religion in the country, with half its expansion coming from new immigrants and the other half from conversions." [By ELSA C. ARNETT Knight-Ridder News Service]

It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Qur'├ón about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from Allah, or Allah, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovereduntil many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of Allah. [Professor Keith Moore, one of the world’s prominent scientists of anatomy and embryology. University of Toronto, Canada]

"But Islam has a still further service to render to the cause of humanity. It stands after all nearer to the real East than Europe does, and it possesses a magnificent tradition of inter-racial understanding and cooperation. No other society has such a record of success uniting in an equality of status, of opportunity, and of endeavours so many and so various races of mankind . . . Islam has still the power to reconcile apparently irreconcilable elements of race and tradition. If ever the opposition of the great societies of East and West is to be replaced by cooperation, the mediation of Islam is an indispensable condition. In its hands lies very largely the solution of the problem with which Europe is faced in its relation with East. If they unite, the hope of a peaceful issue is immeasurably enhanced. But if Europe, by rejecting the cooperation of Islam, throws it into the arms of its rivals, the issue can only be disastrous for both." [H.A.R. Gibb, WHITHER ISLAM, London, 1932, P. 379.]

"It (Islam) replaced monkishness by manliness. It gives hope to the slave, brotherhood to mankind, and recognition of the fundamental facts of human nature." [Canon Taylor, Paper read before the Church Congress at Walverhamton, Oct. 7, 1887; Quoted by Arnoud in THE PREACHING OF ISLAM, pp. 71-72.]

The founder of twenty terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammed. As regards all standards by whichhuman greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he? " [Lamartine, Historie de la Turquie, Paris 1854, Vol. 11 pp. 276-2727]

"If a man like Muhammed were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems thatwould bring it the much needed peace and happiness." [George Bernard Shaw]
"How, for instance, can any other appeal stand against that of the Moslem who, in approaching the pagan, says to him, however obscure or degraded he may be 'Embrace the faith, and you are at once equal and a brother.' Islam knows no color line." [S. S. Leeder, VEILED MYSTERIES OF EGYPT]

Saturday, 19 June 2010

ITEL LA NYIN SON-KOH

By Suntou Bolonba

Ban kuu sonnko
Moor bee lee daa bijee
kumoo bhee, bee jenkerin
Nko, Alafo Mansaa yee
Tan Tanwu sota le silan
Kanfa laa sii yaata
Tonya burukata

Kumo Mandiya Koten
Alin nkha laa
Kankuran don balo La denkilo
"Alaa bee faa"
Barii Mama Isabari
"Nko, Allaa bee faa Pakii!"
Kumo Banta, santo kumoo siiyata

Nen diya yee tonya buruka
kon nan teyaa ye senbo soto
Nko, bere wulllen laa mala malo
Jiki jensen
Alaman, tuunya yeelo

Itil Laa nyin sonko
Terimaa yee nyo koo mosee
jawoli yee nyoo derr derrr
waa nyaro botaa

Kebali ali kuma
Nin wontee
Daa-Jalo kodii
"Sateew tinyata, din din kebaa bee buwaa"

Nnin dindinwu koo donwu diyaataa ayee
Adundi Kenyo koono

Monday, 14 June 2010

War of words with Muhammed Bai Drammeh

Over the past few days, a regular insulter of UDP Party Leader Ousainou came back with is rude rants in the two Gambia mailing list (Gambia L and Gambia Post).
Muhammed Bia Drammeh for a long time now has been insulting Ousainou Darboe for no reason whatsoever. Although we all acknowledge that, politicians are there to be scrutinise, however, degenerating into personal insult is not done.
This boy never listen to any comments against his rudeness. Upon reading and re-reading his actions, I knew, his soul intention is to anger. He made the rude insult because he wish to irritate friends and well-wishers of Ousainou. Our country has strong values anchored on the principles of respecting elders in all occasions.
However, Muhammed Bai believes that, in his quest to get friends from the anti-UDP camp, he can insult, believing that, those imaginary friends will be please with his actions. Sadly, among the wider readership of the Gambia L/Post, only one person made a serious comment against Bai Drammeh's insults (Bailo Jallow). This happen after I have already responded to Bai Drammeh in a language he understands.
I took Muhammed Bai on a journey, an unpalatable journey. I made him taste the dish of how to wind-up people. I knew, Bai Drammeh will never respond to reason. The slave mentality imbue in him will not allow him to reason independently. His agendas are that, since he read that, the UDP is having a Congress, he is now in place to dampen that with his usual rhetorical insults.

For the sake of decency, I waited to see whether the Mailing list Managers at both forums will act. And true to form, they never said anything. As if to say, we have no problem with what Muhammed is doing.
I am not questioning the independence of the Gambia L or Post managers. I don't know them. However, they have been around forums long enough to distinguish between appropriate language and a potential statement that can cause offense. They said nothing for over 24 hours.

I knew, the opportunist do gooders will emerge once a hot mud is drop. They waited until one among them cry Woolf before they react in any way or form.
I decided to write the explosive narrative that send Muhammed Bai screaming with insults and more profanities. He realises after all, he is not even good at winding up people.
However, what do you know. The so-call straight talking Joe Sambou emerged, blaming me for fanning the flame that caused Bai Drammeh to insult. How bias.

Joe Sambou a die-hard PDOIS Halifarite, enjoys reading any adverse statement against Ousainou. His logic is that, since Ousainou is not my Father, I shouldn't respond to anyone insulting him.
How funny!
However, this Joe is not a young beginner in debating forums. He is a man pass mid-forties. Yet he feels that, Muhammed Bia didn't do anything to warrant my reaction. I know he has his loyal friends who finds him honest and un-bias. I disagree with such reasoning 110%.
Which straight thinking elder will see blatant insult against elders as appropriate?

Joe's bigger ambitions are many fold. He wish to use my religious narratives as yardstick to criticise me. He wish to take special attention in making sure, I don't say anything religious since I wrote an explosive comment against Bai Drammeh. Joe a Christan will but naturally dislike my different religious dispensation. No matter how much he pretends, this is the bigger motives behind his many interfering comments.

My message to him is to read the bible on how to respond to unruly comments. Should he choose to invoke the secular line, let him search for war of words between antagonist.

Muhammed Drammeh after finding his own game distasteful ran amok with claims that, I didn't want him to criticise Ousainou. What a pathetic lie.
I do criticise Ousainou myself on occasion. And I more than anyone criticise politicians as well.
I know better than that. However, insulting an elder, disguising that with genuine political statement is misleading.
For all who wrote to me personally to leave the subject alone, I have heeded such advise. I cannot name you for privacy sake. I value the privacy of my friends and associate very well. Under no circumstances will I betray the trust of my friends and close confidants.

However I will put here the comment of one man who is not a friend to me and who I have no relation or contact with. This is what he says:

"I am sorry to see your exchange with Drammeh degenerate into this slanging match, to the extent of involving your parents and family members who have no part in this. I am appealing to you personally to desist. From what I know of you, I believe you are a decent individual, so I believe it is unbecoming of you to allow yourself to be drawn into this exchange of verbal insults.
I know you may not appreciate my entreaties, but I believe I am oblige to appeal to your finer qualities as an activist and a Gambian brother. Desisting from this exchange with Drammeh, will not take anything away from your dignity and pride, but more importantly it will not reduce the great UDP or its leader, who is a personal friend and family member of mine, a single bit. Don't allow this spat to divert your attention and energy from supporting your party's programme and interest, especially at this important time in your party's calender. Take care!!"

This writer is a Gambian Christian brother. I heard of him to be of a strong character, but our parts never cross. I fully comprehend where he is coming from. In fact, others from Sweden, America, U.K etc have express similar sentiment.
To all of them, my reasoning for responding to Muhammed Bia Drammeh is not out of pride or anger. In fact, Without boosting, I have done quiet well in not taking things personal. However, there are times, when rascals should be treated like such. History is full of accounts when Men of God respond to their abusers in Kind.
The Prophet Musa spoke to the Pharaoh politely but with strong statements. The Prophet Muhammed too was never rash or angry, however the Qur'an address his abusers with strong emphatic statements and the Bible too have many such verses. Sometimes you address people with what they understand.
I have in the past ignored Muhammed Bai provocations. However, what he failed to realise is that, ignoring him doesn't mean, we fear his style, it means we respect the readers. But when the neutral readers failed to act, then it becomes paramount that, we who respect and see Ousainou has an elder respond. That was why I treated Bai Drammeh to the rude awakening.
However, all those who know me can testify that, I have never address anyone like Bai Drammeh.
It was a one off and also message that, no one has monopoly over rudeness. I am happy with the efforts in place in making the UDP acceptable to diverse groups of Gambians. And in my small way, I have reached out to many individuals and groups which as yielded result.
I will continue to focus on what matters. The Charity I have put in place which is taking off smoothly and my political and community work. I value the advise and council of my friends.

Should anyone go over the top and believe that, I have damage my reputation in addressing Muhammed, my answer to you is that, I haven't.
One as to face crude situations sometimes in order to get ahead. This are why nations go to war, men of God challenge tyrants and devil advocates. Hence, fearing the perception of people is no justification for avoiding controversy.
I salute all the honest folks that spoke to me over the matter. I appreciate your sense of fairness and justice.
To the list Managers of Gambia L and Post. Do what you feel is right. The blame lies in all of us. You fail to act on several occasions in addressing Muhammed Bai's insults of Ousainou. This is the outcome of prejudicial watchman-ship.
Some of you are PDOIS sympathisers, however I hope that do not interfere by de-listing UDP members. The mailing list are relevant, however I am able to communicate and deal with wider Gambians on different platforms. This is a big opportunity for me to slow down my activities on the lists. I have been advise my many journalist friends to stop commenting at the forums. They reason that, you get misunderstood for no reason.
Thanks to all readers of Suntoumana and personal friends.
Accept my personal apology in the way I dealt with the serial abuser. I hope he leant his lesson. Let him criticise Ousainou or the UDP anytime, so long as he observe the bounderies, he has no recourse to expect me to engage him. Folks like Oceanic Lad, Lamin Sey, Joe Sambou and others regularly take the UDP to task, but I have never insult them. This matter will always be an infamous episode, just like many others, with time, it will be a lesson for all that matters.
I have enormous respect for open dialogue, this is why, I read what others have in mind, and I too contribute my quota.
The vast majority of members only read and talk amongst themselves on hot issues, the burden here in regulating the list is not a light affairs. Individuals can be reprimanded as soon as one of the list managers observe a departure from the normal decorum. I hope we never go down the path of, what don't offend me shouldn't offend others because such statements have been use before.
Nagging doesn't cause conflicts because it's a regular occurrence, it is because of that, which results in all sorts of unhappy endings. Civilise people prevent conflict situations, they don't wait for the fire to start and then starting blaming both sides.

To me the case is close, whoever wish to talk on it is more than free to do so. I see myself as an inclusive Gambian, May God bring out the best in us all. Amen.
Astaghfirullaaha--Allahuma Antas Sallam wa minkas-sallamu, tabaarakta ya Thal-jalaali wal-Ikraam (I seek the forgiveness of Allah. Oh Allah, you are peace and from you comes pece. Blessed are you, Oh owner of the majesty and honour).

Allaahum-maghfir lee thanbee kullahu, diqqahu wa jillahu wa awwalahu wa aakhirahu wa alaa-niyatahu wa sirrahu (Oh Allah, forgive me all my sins, reat and small, the first and the last, those that are apparent and those that are hidden)
Wasalam

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

PARADOXES IN YAHYA'S GAMBIA.. A STORY

I remember not so long ago. A famous man from a village came back after a couple of years in Tubabudu (Europe). Usually, this is preceded by fan fare and camaraderie. The entire children body were all over the house of the traveller. However since kids can hardly withhold the unfortunate wind, a couple of bad smell commence disturbing the crowded house.
The sitting elders did what grown ups do, they chase away the kids.
One of them exclaimed... Al fin tiii, Al bee bunw bee sunkandila... (get out you kids, you are making the house to stink).
Well the kids slowly start to leave the strange traveller's house.
Funnily, the famous village traveller warn the elders. He said, "Nin al yee din dinwui baye, nin asunkanta koo tenkee, wooto, itel keeba lii lemu" (if you chase away the children, if any bad smell occur it will be we the elders who are to blame).
In short, Yahya Jammeh has been forever arresting, sacking and blaming his close associates and former friends with all sort of fallings. He never hesitate to sacrifice any of them. However, calamities seems to follow one another.
So if a couple of brothers are in prison for drug dealing, yet, more and more drugs seems to have its way up the Gambia river, one wonder if the Keeba himself (President) is not behind the shady operations tarnishing the good name of our beloved country.
Yahya, you have discarded all your right hand men, now who is to blame for all the endless crimes? --

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

RAAki Web Owner In the News: Buharry want Essa Sey to Appologise

Buhaary Gassama is complaining in Gambia-Post and Gambia L forums about Freedom news paper radio broadcast.

Did Buharry contacted the editor and proprietor of the freedom news paper for redress? If he does, then I believe one can expect result, however if the hope is that, complaining about the matter here will lead to the freedom taking action, then the matter may not be resolve quicker.

I will beg to defer in that, each media outlet must expect Gambians to view and see their actions in ways they are comfortable with. This is the end result of a democratic system. It is democratic also for Essa to be suspicious of the ways Raaki has been promoting issues of lesser iterest to human rights advocates whilst tentatively promoting items deem pro-government propaganda.

It is at this juncture an unpalatable thing to say, but Essa is not on his own in seeing the actions of Buharry of late as a systematic pseudo APRC propagandist. I am not saying this is the case, however, if all his recent exposure of the photos from the Gambia and the new propaganda portal etc, one has to ask when will the Raaki owner also provide us materials that will expose the GREATER EVIL in the Jammeh administration.Propaganda is in many different ways.

We all know the GRTS is nothing but a mouth piece and the genuine item of Hitlers news reel. To this end, certain Gambians are uneasy with Buharry's new strategy, and if folks should see things contrary to his liking, that is democracy also.Essa Sey may have been on the wrong side of the fence, but he has done a lot more in correcting his ways. The current spat shouldn't take anything away from his regular contributions.

I am sure, Essa is big enough to say to Buharry, I withdrew my comments, however, he can maintain the fact that, Raaki's enhancement of GRTS's propaganda is a legitimate subject to query. This is not the popular thing to say right now, seeing Buharry's friend queuing to defend him, but it is a point of departure. I hope the Editor at freedom can run a message withdrawing the statement against Raaki, since with all the evils not broadcast by the GRTS, Buharry has the right to air what he wish on his website. And also there are selective programs on GRTS that folks can enjoy without watching any APRC propaganda, e.g cultural programs for instance.