"Gambia is my second home" Mufti Menk told the President
During a courtesy call on His Excellency, President Barrow at the State House in Banjul, the world renowned Islamic scholar and preacher Mufti Ismail Menk has spoken so graciously about the overwhelming amount of love and hospitality he has received since arriving in The Gambia last evening.
Describing The Gambia as his ‘’second home’’, Mufti Menk said: ‘’The Gambia has been very high on my list of places to visit since the last twelve years.. So in my own way I tried to find out more because it is not easy to just come to a country when you don’t really know so many people to trust them. To fast forward, Allah really wanted me to come at this time and I believe there’s is a reason for it’’.
The Imam said he got to know about The Gambia ten years ago when a young girl requested, through email, for him to visit the country. He added that he has since been interested and followed events in the country, stressing that he was proud of the achievements being registered in the country under the leadership of President Barrow.
While praying for the good health of the President and prosperity of the country, the venerable scholar said his coming is part of the ‘’Building Bridges’’ tour that he is currently embarking on around the globe.
According to him, he came to The Gambia with a message of peace and respect for differences, particularly the minority, taking into the peaceful coexistence between the different faith groups in The Gambia.
‘’I also believe that you have a very small pop of non-Muslims in this country. I would like to remind myself, your Excellency and the entire government that the way we treat the minority says a lot about who we are and what we stand for. We must as Muslims afford them the freedom and rights they deserve’’, he advised.
‘’I am here with a message, not of tolerance because ‘’tolerance’’ is a word in the English language that has in it a sense of uneasiness, but rather a message of respect; respecting people. We want to able to show the world that the leaders are doing something about educating their populace to enable them live with those who believe in something else. I want to guarantee you that on my part that I will never utter a word intentionally that would result or cause any form of harm or lack of coexistence, or disturbance’’
He said he is an advocate of moderate Islam and denounces ‘’very strongly condemn any acts of terrorism, extremism and those who do not believe in peaceful coexistence’’. He promised to never utter any words that would bring disunity and division in the country
In his welcoming remarks, the President expressed great pleasure in receiving Mufti Menk at the State house in Banjul, saying it couldn’t have come at a better time. He used the opportunity to express admiration for his moderate style of preaching, while highlighting that the high level of tolerance, unity and coexistence in the country.
Others speakers at the meeting included the Special Adviser to the President on Religious Matters, Alh. Dembo Bojang; the President of Amal Foundation, the organizers, Mr. Lamin Sanyang; and the Emir-ul Hajj, Ousman Jah.