Monday, April 22, 2024

Batchilly Calls for Respect & Tolerance in FGM Debate

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By: Dawda Baldeh

The leader of the opposition Gambia Action Party, Musa Ousainou Yali Batchilly, has called for respect and tolerance in the ongoing debate surrounding Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

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Batchilly emphasized that FGM is often rooted in religious beliefs rather than solely being a cultural tradition, and therefore, a nuanced discussion is necessary.

He argued that advocating for the acceptance of FGM does not undermine democratic principles but rather highlights the importance of respecting diverse religious practices.

Batchilly further stated that the proposed bill supporting the practice of FGM aims to address the religious motivations behind this tradition.

He urged Parliamentarians to prioritize passing this bill to strike a balance between cultural sensitivity and religious freedom.

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However, he clarified that supporting the practice of FGM does not negate the need for regulations and guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of those involved.

Batchilly also highlighted the importance of addressing other pressing issues such as corruption, nepotism, bribery, laziness, and embezzlement of public funds, which directly impact the nation’s well-being.

He urged Parliamentarians to actively work towards legislation that combats these issues while safeguarding the rights of women.

Batchilly emphasized that drawing comparisons between FGM and unrelated issues such as LGBTQIA rights can be misleading, as each matter requires individual consideration.

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He called upon Parliamentarians to focus on creating legislation that addresses various concerns without pitting them against each other.

In conclusion, Batchilly stressed the need for a democratic state to respect diverse religious practices while ensuring the well-being and rights of all citizens.

He urged Parliamentarians to protect individual freedoms, even when faced with controversial issues, and promote understanding and tolerance in recognition of the fact that diversity is an integral part of a democratic society.

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