'Au will not accept a new Brand of Islam'
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
president of the Republic has said that the African Union (AU) will not allow
anybody to impose a new brand of Islam that the Prophet did not impose on
anybody, citing the present ugly scenario in Mali.
Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh was speaking to journalists
Tuesday afternoon at the Banjul International Airport shortly after returning
from the 19th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa,
to him, Malians lost their cultural heritage, integrity and identity and those
responsible claimed to be a brand of Islam. “They are
lying” he said, adding that these things have been there a long time ago.
”The Prophet (SAW) why didn’t he destroy the pyramids in Egypt. They were there well before Islam came and the Prophet (SAW) was aware of them and some of these were temples but he did not demolish them. Who are these people to come and destroy these things in Mali saying it is in conflict with our religion [Islam]. Do they have a new branch of Islam? Or are they reading the Qur’an upside down?” President Jammeh queried, while attributing some of these problems to leadership issues in Africa.
“Those who think that they can impose a new brand of Islam that the Prophet did
not impose on anybody, we are not going to spare them. And so we are bracing
for a fight but we will win at the end of the day because evil can never
prevail upon good. As it is now, my preference is for a peaceful negotiation of
the problem. For outsiders, we cannot negotiate with them. Even the birds know
that when there is no peace nobody survives. Some of us are responsible for the
destabilisation of the West African region and this is unacceptable.
Look at what
is happening in Mali. When you have people that are not fit to head even a
village and they become head of state and work for the interest of external
forces, this is what you get. So I think each country has to based itself,
defend itself and maintain peace and stability in its territory.”
The Gambian leader opined that it is always good to take right action at the right time, adding that this is what has been happening of recent in Mali. “We don’t have to compromise our principle but some of us are behind the coup and they brought in delay tactics and the situation escalates to a point where even the AU is asking for a UN backing for forces outside of the African continent to tackle a problem that started as a very small problem. And the longer we wait, the more these people the [Islamist fighters] prepare for a fight because they know that eventually there is going to be a fight.”
Election of AU chairperson
on the election of the chairperson of the African Union Commission, the Gambian
leader explained that selection for the post is based on merit and not on
“As far as we are concerned, every African who can serve the interest of Africa
should occupy a position of responsibility. Madam Zuma was not elected because
she is a woman. That is not the issue as far as I am concerned. We go for
whoever can deliver and if her term expires and we see another woman who is
more capable than her, we will bring her in. If it is a man, we will bring him
in. True Africans have always respected women because there is no society in
Africa where women do not play a crucial role in any decision-making process.”
He then made it clear that Madam Zuma is going to work based on the principles and aspirations of Africans. “Whether a man or woman is there, the person is supposed to work for the interest of Africans, period! There may be somethings that may change because she is a new person and each administrator has his/her own style of leadership but what is more important is that the fundamental principles and the objectives of the AU cannot be diverted by any gender,” President Jammeh concluded.
Author: Musa Ndow