Gambia: United States Department of State Acknowledges Gambia’s Commitment to Religious Freedom

As required by the U.S. Congress, the United States Department of State released the 2017 International Religious Freedom Report on May 29, acknowledging the commitment of the government of The Gambia towards religious freedom and tolerance. Selected excerpts of that report follow.

In January 2017, President Adama Barrow announced the country’s return to a secular republic as prescribed in the constitution, overturning a decree by former President Yahya Jammeh that proclaimed the country an Islamic state. On several occasions, President Barrow stressed the need for continued religious freedom and tolerance, and in February 2017, he appointed a special advisor to the president for religious and traditional affairs. The President called for continued religious tolerance between Christians and Muslims in the region on various occasions, such as during a meeting with Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye of Dakar in August 2017.

The Gambian constitution provides for the freedom of religious choice, as long as doing so does not impinge on the rights of others or the national interest. It prohibits religious discrimination, establishment of a state religion, and formation of political parties based on religious affiliation.

Interfaith marriage remained common and accepted. There were continued tensions between the majority Sunni Muslim community and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. The Supreme Islamic Council (SIC), a religious council tasked with providing Islamic religious guidance, continued to state that the Ahmadiyya community did not belong to Islam, and it did not include members of the community in its events and activities. Ahmadi Muslims stated they were part of Islam and thus should be fully integrated within the Muslim community. The government largely did not become involved in the disagreement between the two communities.

At the embassy’s annual iftar in June, the Ambassador urged government officials and religious leaders to safeguard religious freedom and tolerance and to continue being open to different views and beliefs. The Ambassador encouraged Sunni and Ahmadi Muslims to practice restraint and tolerance and to allow one another to coexist in mutual respect and acceptance. Embassy officials met representatives of the Ahmadiyya community and the SIC on numerous occasions and expressed hope for continued peace and tolerance.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in The Gambia.

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4 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Progressive Islam. and commented:
    Quote —As required by the U.S. Congress, the United States Department of State released the 2017 International Religious Freedom Report on May 29, acknowledging the commitment of the government of The Gambia towards religious freedom and tolerance. Selected excerpts of that report follow.—

    Interfaith marriage remained common and accepted. There were continued tensions between the majority Sunni Muslim community and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. The Supreme Islamic Council (SIC), a religious council tasked with providing Islamic religious guidance, continued to state that the Ahmadiyya community did not belong to Islam, and it did not include members of the community in its events and activities. Ahmadi Muslims stated they were part of Islam and thus should be fully integrated within the Muslim community. The government largely did not become involved in the disagreement between the two communities.—

    So as long as Government follow the idea of majority sunni community, it means there is no freedom of religion or faith. What is about LGBT right?

    Justice for all means no discrimination agains Ahmadiyya and LGBT.

    Hopefully Ahnadiyyah and LGBT stabd up together to protest Goverment peacefully and tirelessly. Never give up your right as cituzen of Gambia.

    All love ❤️

  2. Rafiq—-. Quote—The Ambassador ( US ) encouraged Sunni and Ahmadi Muslims to practice restraint and tolerance and to allow one another to coexist in mutual respect and acceptance. Embassy officials met representatives of the Ahmadiyya community and the SIC on numerous occasions and expressed hope for continued peace and tolerance.+++++

    How nice US ambassador is to protect Ahmadiyyah in Ganbia.

    Rafiq— you still do not appreaciate US help for Ahmadiyyah? You still see US is not good country?

    I love US, because US is the most Kingdom of God. US is the peaceful home for all religion, treat all people justly and lovely ( except the extremist ).

    Ahmadiyyah should appreaciate US and help US when it need your help.

    All love ❤️

    • It is nice, yes. We appreciate when appreciation is due and we condemn when condemnation is due. You are a US citizen I assume. Yes, you have to love your new adopted country. Good for you.

      • This is a good lesson for us all, how to appreciate and thank to those who give help.
        For example. Takiban is a bad example.
        US help Taliban with money, arms and life of US citizen to help Taliban to expel Uni Souviet from the kand of Afghanistan. And very successful to expel Soviet — great jobs.

        Unfortunately, when US needed help from Taliban to hand Osma Bin Laden who hide innAfghanistan, Taliban Rejected— very disappointed. — US chose to assault Taliban in Afghanistan.—Most Islamic countries do not know how to appreaciate and thankful to those who help them. Very sad indeed.

        Hopefully Ahmadiyyah and Rafiq edithor TMT do not follow Taliban and extremist Muslim.

        All love ❤️

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