Many are perturbed by the exclusion of the word ‘secular’ from Constitution draft. I see no reason why we need a government to guide our attitudes towards each other. True we had a rogue one that declared whatever to please his Arab Cash cows. That gratefully went nowhere as people cried loud enough to keep his tail in control. We are mostly mixed and almost every Muslim family has Christian cousins or grannies. That won’t changed whether the word appears there or not.

The fear that #Sharia will be forced on every Gambian is mostly unfounded. Not all Muslims follow true sharia especially in Gambia so I don’t see it being forced on non Muslims. Remember that the sharia court only applies to those that are affected by it. If just replaces the Cadi court.

A responsible government protects all of its citizens therefore the Sharia courts provide an avenue for muslims to marry, divorce, adopt and administer inheritance. If there are any Canon laws that we feel should add to the constitution, let’s do so . We still have a window. We will all amplify the cry for them to be added . When Gambia was declared a Muslim state we all got up. Let’s not lose that unity.

However, as we are interrelated, when one sibling in the household has genuine fear of your pet snake, the best thing would be to get rid of it. In this case, some of our Christian family has a fear about the word not being there. Why not indulge them? If you want it added, make a presentation to the CRC without sowing seeds of discord. Out of almost 300 clauses, we don’t need to be hung up on one word to try to divide us. Besides the CRC already made the freedom to practice one’s religion entrenched. This therefore makes the argument of a single word unnecessary. The word secular was illegally added there because it didn’t go to a referendum, rev. Kemeseng Jammeh Vs The State.

We should ensure that we continue to sow seeds of unity. Conflict is started when seemingly good people start to fan the flames of tribe , religion, region , race …….
It’s very simple if the word secular is important, just write to the CRC . We should be bold enough to address our issues that bother as and when they arise in a manner that will continue to foster peaceful cohesion. I do not recognise The Gambia nor the Gambian anymore. There is a lot of healing . If the TRRC think that the reconciliation is only limited to some of the abuses commented by Jammeh and co they are mistaken. The absence of the word “secular” has unearthed a broken society, revealed a certain level of anger, mistrust and bottled up emotions that one naively did not expect that they existed. Let’s help each other to heal. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt and avoid taking certain positions that could and should be easily avoided cause post referendum we have continue our peaceful co existence.

This is easy to solve . Make a submission to the CRC with all required amendments . Nyawor hejj jut fi . Some of the words that are being bandied about can be avoided because all that we are fighting for is protected.

We can move on to the other clauses that need adjusting like the one that makes assaulting a boy a felony and assaulting a girl a misdemeanor. We don’t need to encourage a few that are trying to fight the perceived marginalization agendas.
Wa Salaam, Namaste, Peace, Shalom!

The writer, Lamdo Sailey Sey, lives in the United States