The Gambia’s Constitution has assured religious freedom and its people have and continues to ensure that that provision of the constitution is carried out to the latter. As a result, the country is known throughout the world for its religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence among the different religious groups that continue to practice their faiths in the country without hindrance.
We would therefore, wish to commend the United States ambassador to The Gambia, Patricia Alsup for recognising this fact and for admonishing other countries in Africa and beyond to emulate The Gambia.
As stated by the ambassador, Gambians’ tolerance towards each other is been demonstrated on our daily lives through our intermarriage, sharing of the same culture, enjoying one another’s holidays, and attending religious and social events that represent the wide variety of faiths in this country.
Tolerance is about the ability or willingness to tolerate something that one does not necessarily agree with, which is very critical to maintaining peaceful societies. From the leadership down to the last person, Gambians have this in abundance which is why our people will always continue to coexist peacefulness despite our differences in belief and opinion.
We agree with the ambassador that other countries should emulate The Gambia in terms of our religious tolerance because in as much as we continue to live harmoniously as Gambians, we have also seen how ethnic and religious conflicts have and continue to destroy other societies.
What those societies need as the ambassador noted in the case of The Gambia, is to keep building strong community ties; keep sharing one another’s celebrations, rejoicing in one another’s good fortune, and crying with one another in sorrow. This will help to create an unbreakable bond between them and that way they will emmpathise with one another.
But as Gambians, we are peaceful and we will continue to act as such.