The Gambia’s Information Minister Sheriff Bojang has got an axe to grind with the media for its reporting of President Yahya Jammeh’s Islamic State declaration.
“Instead of finding out the truth, some of these reporters and editors jump to conclusions making noise everywhere that “Christians are being defamed, persecuted and crucified.”
Mr. Bojang, a former journalist who is set to cleanse an already dirty leader, had a lengthy interview with journalists. He was asked whether the 31st December 2015 directive issued by the Office of the President requiring female civil servants to cover their hair during official working hours is not at odds with the president’s statement that there would not be enforcement of dress code for women. “Absolutely not. In fact, that directive has more to do with His Excellency’s social re-engineering crusade, than religion. The President believes it is imperative for the African woman – the mothers and moulders of our children, the future of our continent – to be proud, conscious and reassert their dignity. That is why earlier on, he banned skin bleaching in the civil service. The covering of hair by female staff is an attempt to discourage the use of false hair commonly known as mèche. He believes the use of such things is an affront to the dignity of the African woman and constitutes gross waste of resources. Some of these false hair packets cost in excess of D50,000 and they are mostly unhygienic and messy.”
Minister Bojang said the media reportage of the Islamic State declaration was economical with the truth. “Instead of finding out the truth, some of these reporters and editors jump to conclusions making noise everywhere that “Christians are being defamed, persecuted and crucified” as one Senegalese paper put it. Since when has a call for modest covering of hair during official government working hours tantamount to religious persecution and crucifixion? Christians and people of other faiths are freest in The Gambia and do not have any reason to fear intimidation of any sort. His Excellency, the President has Christians in his family, went to a Christian school and even lived in a Christian home. He is well-versed in the Bible and its history and believes both true Christians and Muslims worship the same God and except for some doctrinal differences like the nature of Christ and the concept of the Trinity, are the same. But even if you look at it on the flip side, 96% of Gambians numbering 1,782,859 are Muslims with 3.7% amounting to 69,638 as Christians. Together they represent about 99.7% and both the Muslim Qur’an and the Christian Bible call for women to dress modestly and specifically to cover their hair. Go read 1 Corinthians. All I can tell you is that His Excellency, the President, believes in the Qur’anic injunction that ‘There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion”.
Minister Bojang said that one newspaper in Guinea even went to the extent of reporting that the caliph of the so-called Islamic State in the Levant, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will visit The Gambia on January 28 “to ratify agreements that would provide oil supply to The Gambia for a price of US$10 a barrel [and that he] had sent a delegation of ministers of Defence and Oil to thank the Gambian president for having chosen the best religion for his people and his country.” Minister Bojang said this most ridiculous of stories was picked up other media outlets in Senegal and elsewhere and spread as if there is an iota of truth in it.
“In actuality, His Excellency, the President has been the most vocal in his condemnation of the so-called Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL) and all they stand for. In fact he dubs ISIL the “International Sons of Infamy and Lying” for their attempts in distorting and denigrating the true Islam which preaches moderation, peace and mutual respect for all peace-loving members of humankind.
The Information Minister said even the widely respected magazine The Economist fell into the trap of playing the stereotype by reporting that President Jammeh declared an Islamic State simply to curry favours from oil-rich Arab countries. “Anyone who knows His Excellency, the President, would tell you that his decision is informed by one thing and only one thing and that is his redoubtable and unalloyed belief in the supremacy and omnipotence of God and nothing else. But you know, even if President Jammeh dances in the middle of the river, there are people who will accuse him of raising dust. Some of these critics served in his administration, were removed, lobbied to come back and when rejected, dedicated their lives to a continuous drivel of idle chatter hinged on a single narrative that whatever President Jammeh does is bad! Gambians reject such dollop of hypocrisy,” Minister Bojang said.
Well Mr. Bojang: With all due respect you do not sound at all persuasive, especially regarding Jammeh’s motivation for trying to impose the veil on Gambian women civil servants. He simply had no business meddling in what Gambians should wear or not wear, or trying to impose an Islamic state on our country and people. Whatever happened after he made his ill-fated declaration on December 10 is his own doing. He should concentrate on things that practically matter to Gambians. And how can anyone expect that he will not be accused of trying to curry favor from wealthy Arab sultans? Anyone else would have been so accused and your excellency in particular is especially worthy of such an accusation because HE IS currying favor from the Arabs. And he should give us a break about pretending to be holier than thou because he is not, and we all know that. Might does not necessarily make right Mr. Bojang, and you very well know that truth. Jammeh should go stand before the mirror for an hour or so and force himself to think, if that activity does not come easy to him. Gambians are not his slaves or servants to “re-engineer”.
Mr. Bojang you are trying to defend a lunatic dictator whose days are numbered. Dictator Yaya has lost his mind and he is constantly trying to create confusion in the country to distract Gambians from facing their day to day realities of hunger, poor educational system, disastrous economy, bad roads and no job opportunities for youths. We cannot afford him anymore. You will be fired before you know it. Good luck.
Sherriff Bojang should simply shut up. Sheriff Bojang didn’t know that Jammeh himself spend close to 500, 000 . 00 dalasis every year (five hundred thousand dalasis) on few of his young Gambian mistresses to buy false hair called meche. Most of the time, Jammeh will order Brazilian hair with countless other expensive gifts like gold necklace, shoes for these girls across the country. Jammeh even ordered prostitutes from Latin America who all live in the statehouse and these are unknown to Gambian people. Gambian president is simply a male prostitute who is destroying the country using Islam to entrench himself in power. Sheriff is simply too ignorance of Jammeh and he has no idea who he is working for.
If sheriff’s claim that his boss only trying to re-engineer Gambian women, then why only the poor minority civil servants. Why not all the women in the country?
We all know the female civil servants are just a tiny proportion of the women population. You see, lies are always too easy to unearth.
It is merely because the civil servants are the only ones he can bully and coax into complying with his mad directives or reprimand them. That was why he attempted to try them.
Why didn’t he try with his satanic wife first as charity begins at home.
This madness has to stop.
If his directive was to discourage the use of meche, why didn’t he limit it to banning of meche by civil servants as he claimed he did with skin bleaching???
I simply pity people who try to defend Jammeh for they don’t even believe in their own defense.
There are some local political implications in the “head covering dictates” for our Murderous Oppressive kanilai Manipulative armed syndola Tyrant, with women…
The First Prostitute of State Concubines zenab will never conform, to the DEVIL’s dictates & cover up in public, which will give away loads, of what transpires in the Murderous Oppressive syndola Tyrannical Idolatrous so-called “first family” circle….
At elections too, can result to women revulsion, into massive votes against, for opposition, & or demonstrate at some point against, which is a border-lying….
The realistic motive for our Murderous Oppressive Manipulative Devilish Idolatrous syndola armed DEVIL Bandit-yaya’s rescind were all about the media suggestions & insinuating of DEVIL-yaya jammeh & its affiliation to ISIL & world terror groups….
Our Murderous Manipulative syndola Tyrannical DEVIL was all about Islamic State declaration for funds, loans & grants soliciting only, from the middle east & Muslim world in general….
Our Murderous Oppressive SELFISH Tyrannical kanilai yaya-MURDERER, just as been since from July 1994, decided to ram the hypocritical Almunafiqism in declaring Islamic state “unqualified statements”, borrowing from a syndola-Devilling Disciple terminology…?
Only for the Murderous Manipulative Idolatrous Tyrannical syndola DEVIL to rudely be awakened, by the implications & ramifications for such careless oppressive manipulative tendencies of such a declaration; particularly by this time & hour of worldly issues; then our brave-coward panicked into rescinding….??
Where’s the bravery in the Murderous syndola armed Bandit’s inflated ego; just by hiding behind the forcefully hijacked state machinery, terrorising humanity will CONTINUE to be CHALLENGED by all genuine Gambians, in all ways, by all & any means necessary, UNTIL sanity & rule of law is fully restored in affairs of State; come RAIN come SHINE; the day too WILL arrive sooner for Gambia…..
France imposed restrictions on muslim women for wearing our very beautiful dress code. If government have no business in peoples lives, then what did you say about France.
This is my problem. Whatever African people do is considered wrong and fatal. But you are seeing the west killing innocent, violating human rights in broad daylight and you are passive on them. What’s going on black people.
We will fight to keep our values and traditions. Go to hell if you don’t like that.
Malang, since you are a joke looking for recognition, listen to your utterances: “We will fight to keep our values and traditions. Go to hell if you don’t like that.”
Since your killer and fake muslim boss is so obsess about the west, why don’t he take his mighty army, his jungulars ans green militia to go and fight France and leave our women alone?
@Malang….”France imposed restrictions on muslim women for wearing our very beautiful dress code. ”
You need to do a bit of research on any subject that you want to comment on..In that way, you don’t expose your ignorance…
The ban in France was not specifically against “Muslim women for wearing our very beautiful dress code,” but rather, against the wearing in public places, of anything that covers the face…and this affected both males and females, Muslim or not..It covers helmets (except when riding a bike), balaclava, masks (except when exempted, like health workers), niqab/burka, zentais (skin tight garment that covers the entire body) and any material that covers the face…
Of course, the biggest challenge facing France and the world today, is the criminal and wanton destruction of lives and property and it will be foolish to argue with the French decision…
The Niqab or Burka is not an Islamic requirement and may actually contravene the Quran because it is an extreme manifestation of one’s religion (what can be more extreme in the manner of dressing, than the Burka )…
The Quran warned against extremism in the practice and observance of religion…
Malong is for the French to deal with their government and for Gambians to deal with their government. If Jammeh do something stupid, we say it and YOU can go to hell if you don’t like it, to use your own words. Our tradition is musoor, not veil which is a foreign Arabic tradition. Gambians who want to cover their heads cover their heads and Gambians who don’t want to cover their heads will not. Who the hell is Jammeh to impose veil on Gambian women? I am so happy that he retreated with his mad tail between his legs when everyone ignored his stupid directive. As for @Soninke, I doubt he even has a head to think.
Islam have become an attire for many Muslims in Muslim countries, rather than a soul searching religion. Islam should be able to touch first the individuals heart in positive ways. When this hearts dominate a nation, thereby we shall realise its values. Malang search your own soul in Allah’s name. He says, ‘learn’, and your religion is first priority.
Fake news to make the west happy? Or to get aid? As no conflict between Muslim and Christian in The Gambia , 98% of really Gambian are Muslim that’s mean Muslim republic by nature So please stop fake news be really person love peace in The Gambia
To all fakes, there are authenticities. Within these unfolding fake news, as you claimed, you are the authentic crap. As you think @Soninke, that the U.K is a Christian Kingdom , is simply due to the fact that you see these crowded malls with all those veiled women from Paskistan, Indonisia, the Middle East and from around the entire Muslim world. It takes real good patience to help one like you to see the light..
To be honest Gambia is Muslim country like or not but its and we are proud to Gambian and Muslims
Muslims and Christians always living together in peace but the fake news is there just Hippocrates , don’t trust them
Ha ha haaaa, you red eyed hypocrite with horns. Haven’t you considered some of your fellow citizens as ‘Kafir’ or however you wrote it, in an article that made reference to Bishop Telewa Johnson?. You are the typical hypocrite not to be trusted in any community or country’s affairs.
Africa’s main problem is citizens like you. If there were NO types of thinking capacities like you in Africa, Africa would have been pretty far from where it is today.
Deyda…please attack my views. The only recognition I look forward to is the day of judgment when my God read to me that I’m entering paradise because my good deeds far outweigh my bad.
Once again, French government regulated the dress code squarely targeting muslims. The whole west including the mighty USA applauded that. Once Jammeh talked about embracing our tradition, then am hearing stinky mouth insulting every Gambian.
Unless black people realize themselves, we will never be taken seriously. I am not here seeking for any recognition but bringing my points like you and everyone else. Thank you.
And how about deregulating a country’s constitution to squarely target your own fellow citizens in killing them, torturing and incarcerating them? You know, they can target all these Muslims in France because there are a lot of hypocrite elements in Muslim appearance around the peace loving Muslims and their realities from their day to day lifes.
God won’t forgive hypocrites and assasins of all walks of life. Imagine those so called Muslim countries where racism is officially endorsed, where they can kill an African without a case. You can fire up a debate where alternatives can be opined to urge the west to better their gestures in making good business and good development counterparts and that is it. This is a genuine debate and not your tired, boring and desperate efforts in calling for a civil unrest in the Gambia. Most of those big bearded and turbaned young men in the Isis are drugged and misguided. You have mentioned ‘recognition’…., who knows you’ve got it where you need it. I am not Deyda but yet felt it a duty.