Gambia's Top Cleric Declines To Comment On Anti-Gay Bill

Imam TourayBy Abdoulie John

Gambia’s top religious official has declined to comment on a controversial anti-gay bill that imposes life imprisonment on anyone found culpable ‘aggravated homosexuality’.

“Unless I know for sure, I have no comment to make on this issue,” the President of Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, Imam Momodou Lamin Touray, told this reporter.

On August 25, Gambian lawmakers adopted the criminal code amendment bill 2014, adding “aggravated homosexuality” as a crime under the country’s criminal code Act. The Gambian leader has 30 days to endorse or not a bill which continues to draw widespread criticism.

In recent times, Imam Touray made headlines in speaking out against homosexuality, warning Gambians that if “they failed to rid society of
such immoral behavior”, which he said offends God, “all will suffer the wrath of God.”

Following the arrest of 20 suspected homosexuals in 2013, Imam Touray was quoted by Gambia’s Daily News as saying: “It’s our responsibility, as compound owners and hoteliers, to protect our society from homosexuality.”

When asked whether the swift international outcry about the new bill has obliged him to adopt a new attitude on homosexuality, he remained mute.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has scaled up pressure on the Gambian leader and called for an urgent action geared towards stopping the ‘homophobic bill’ to be signed into law.

“The Gambian President is currently reviewing a proposed amendment to the Criminal Code which will further discriminate against and punish Gambians merely on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation,” reads a statement issued last Friday by amnesty.

The advocacy group has urged President Yahya Jammeh to “promote human rights for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to refrain from making threatening, intimidating, or discriminatory remarks against LGBTI persons.”

The tiny West African State got often spotlighted with President Yahya Jammeh anti-Western diatribe. The Gambian leader has accused “those who promote homosexuality” of trying  “to put an end to human existence.”


  1. The SIC is the most hypocritical association in JK’s hands to play with.
    One of them told me that JK delibrately indulges them to assist in his obscene parties where female dancers will shake their big butts to their delight. JK will turn to one of his accolite and point and joke on them laughing about their saliva drops and wide open eyes glittering as if they saw diamond. They will all go to HELL, JK will conclude.
    These so called imams only care about worldly matters specially money and little do they care about GOD. Their day of reckoning will be horrific and dreadful.
    I hate them for GOD sake.

  2. I won’t go as far as Jammeh went but I am slightly concerned about the aggressive lobby of LGBTI.

    In my chosen line of profession, I successfully represented and advanced the interests of LGBTI persons; but I don’t get it when I see all these hypes about the group, at times bordering on obliging non-LGBTI people to come out and declare their unequivocal support for them. Having said that, I am of the view that the Gambian legislation on the issue is shamefully pathetic and represents mispriorioty of governance in the country. As we (Gambians) take our moral guidance from Islam, there are plenty of verses in the Quran that deal with the issue and the people of Lut/Lot. The self-appointed clergy of the country can and should use these during their sermons. We don’t need legislation that is badly drafted; not properly debated; and is at best no more than a populist gesture.

    For all you know, the law may even be used to trump up politically motivated charges against perceived opponents of the forced rule in the country.

  3. Kemo , you will agree with us that because of this buffonery leader called Batara Mansa playing muslim politics and wants to drag people into this cheap propaganda whiles trying to make a fake name for himself tend to lead to misguided judgments. When dealing with the issue, having the debate initiator in mind will easily make one look like an LGBT apologist but such is not our position. Allah knows best.
    I do agree with you that they should STOP trying to dragg other people to approve their nature. Let them live their lives without risking repressive laws period. It is their rights.
    That’s my position as a liberal thinker.

  4. I agree with you, Deyda, these so_called SIC Gambia,are not only hypcrites they are a joke.These are the same guys sit with JK at Kanilai watch women and girls wiggle their bums in their faces. These people are not fit to tell no one how to leave their lives.Jk is not stupid he clearly kwow what he is doing.Thanks.