The president of the Supreme Islamic Council has announced that the Muslim festival of Eidhul Fitr will be marked in The Gambia on Tuesday June 4, 2019.
“We would like to inform everyone that tomorrow is Eidhul Fitr in The Gambia. The last information that has come is Kerr Bamba, Nuimi. They have also called telling us they have sighted the moon,” Momodou Lamin Touray said over QRadio late Monday.
SIC has for more than two decades played a central role in determining the day Muslims in The Gambia can observe Koriteh. During this period, the issue of Koriteh proved to be not only a hot religious potato but it also was a hot political one when former Gambian dictator assumed central position in influencing Gambian Muslims in observing Id-ul-Fitr through SIC.
The matter of observing Koriteh put some religious leaders at loggerheads with dictator Jammeh, who believed that his authority in determining the annual date of Koriteh, was undermined by them. Former President Jammeh had warned that Koriteh in The Gambia will be held on dates determined by him and, of course, in cahoot with SIC. He was on record of issuing stern warnings to radical Islamic clerics who, he believed, refused to toe his line and that of SIC. The SIC’s credibility during this time waned.
Earlier on Monday, the first vice president of the council Sheriff Badjan said it was journalists who were inciting troubles in the country, during which he sent away a The Fatu Network reporter who went to visit the SIC Headquarters about the council’s present position on the issue of the sighting of the moon and Id-ul-Fitr.
“I will not talk to you. I don’t want to talk to you because the press is creating lot of problems in this country,” Badjan, who was sitting side by side the SIC’s President, Momodou Lamin Touray, retorted.