Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Minister Bah Urges Religious Leaders to Focus on Preaching Beauty of Islam, Avoid Scaring People

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By: Dawda Baldeh

Former Tourism Minister and now Minister for Lands, Regional Governments, and Religious Affairs, Hamat N.K. Bah, has urged the country’s religious leaders to focus their energies on preaching the beauty of Islam and avoid scaring people always in their preaching.

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Bah made these comments while addressing religious leaders at a convergence in Banjul on Eid-Al-Fitr.

Minister Bah acknowledged the powers of religious leaders and urged them to be truthful and respectful in their preaching.

“In your sermons, say what Allah said and respect what you are preaching.

You may preach to someone more knowledgeable than you on what you are preaching.

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So, respect those people; if not, some people will not listen to you, but if you are respectful, people will listen to what you are saying always,” he told religious leaders.

“You should say what Allah said and not add your opinions and be always respectful.

“You can’t continue scaring people with Islam; they will run away from it.

You have to teach them the beauty of Islam and guide them through it so that they can contribute to expanding the religion.

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Some Imams will always tell people they will go to hell and all forms of scary things…there are a lot of good things you can teach people from the Islamic religion that will help them give up all their bad habits,” he added.

The Religious Affairs Minister further claimed that there are preachers he wouldn’t listen to and there are some he loved to listen to.

He revealed that those preachers knew themselves as they were present in the gathering.

“So, I urge you all to promote peace and stability in the country in your preaching,” he emphasized.

Bah went on to claim that in other countries, preachers are licensed to preach, but that’s not happening here, saying, “We don’t want to reach that level.”

Regarding government critics, Bah told the Convergence that from now on, anyone who insults government officials will pay back.

“If you criticize Barrow’s government, we will criticize you back.

You own your pen and microphone, but we also own our mouths and we are not scared,” he said.

He claimed that people would go to any extent to criticize and insult government officials on baseless allegations.

This, he added, will end in the country; elders should be respected because they are Allah’s chosen people.

“People are insulting imams and the president who are better than their parents.

All they say about Imams and the president is bad things and anyone who does that will face retaliation.

We will not compromise with that anymore, and we are behind President Barrow in thick and thin,” he noted.

He reminded the gathering of how he struggled to remove former President Yahya Jammeh from power for 24 years, coupled with imprisonment and torture, which the coalition led by Barrow came in three months.

“We should be grateful for having Barrow as our leader,” he added.

He mentioned that people should understand only Allah chooses who should be a President and when he ends any presidency, no one can change that.

“If Allah ends Barrow’s Presidency, he will leave like President Sall did, and no one can change that,” he repeated.

Bah also re-echoed the significance of maintaining peace and supporting the government’s agenda for peace and development.

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