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ADDRESS TO THE NATION

BY

H.E. SHEIKH PROFESSOR ALHAJI DR. YAHYA AJJ JAMMEH

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA

    ON THE OCCASION OF

  EID-UL-FITR

SUNDAY 19TH AUGUST 2012

 

 

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished viewers

I thank the Almighty Allah for favouring us with His mercies and blessings, especially for the gift of witnessing the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan in peace and good health. It is particularly an honour and joy for me to mark the end of such a blessed month with this annual EID address to the nation.


Fellow Gambians

And Muslims the world over

On the advent of Eid El-Fitr, it is my singular honour to congratulate the entire Muslim community on this blessed occasion and to wish all of us a very blessed and memorable feast. However, I trust and pray that the Day will not be observed characteristically for mere celebrations and merry making, but will provide a somber platform for solemn reflection on our deeds and our relations with the Almighty Allah on the one hand, and our interpersonal relations between and amongst us as family, friends and neighbours, on the other.

Ramadan, or fasting in general, is renowned for its propensity to shape behaviour and alter the lot and destinies of believers in very positive ways, and this sublime precept is applicable in both Islam and Christianity. In fact, religious scholars, argue that one of the hallmarks of the acceptance of religious deeds in the Holy Month of Ramadan is positive attitudinal change and a tendency for pious deeds and fear of Allah. Therefore, the questions we need to ask ourselves, among others, are: Have we emerged from Ramadan cleansed and purified by ridding ourselves of all sinful habits of the past to lead better and righteous lives acceptable in the sight of the Almighty Allah? Are we committed or re-devoted to leading our lives within the prescriptions of the Holy Quran, which commands us to lead decent lives? The responses to such questions within our inner being will give each one of us an indication of how sincere and faithful to Allah we are; how repentant we are; and how inclined we are to changing for the better.


Fellow Gambians and

Muslims the world over

Distinguished viewers

The lesson to draw is that faith in the Almighty Allah and religious commitment are characterized by self discipline; discipline that emanates consciously from the inner being and not driven by fear of some secular force. This is the true shade of discipline that is lacking in society, both in The Gambia and elsewhere. To comment on indiscipline, Gambians have witnessed in recent times an undesirable and unwarranted escalation of such dreadful crimes as murder, armed robber, burglary and, alarmingly, kidnapping, to cite a few examples. These are crimes that were hitherto unknown in The Gambia, but they have found their way into the Gambian society. While we admit that most of these acts are perpetrated by non-Gambians, Gambians have either been accomplices or have also engaged in these dreadful crimes. There are increasing episodes of infanticide, as well as homicide committed by husbands against their wives and children against their parents! These are heinous crimes and wholly unacceptable, especially in a nation where over 90% of the population claim to be practicing Muslims; believers in Allah.

My government will never condone acts that endanger the fabric of our society or thwart the people's development efforts. Our objective is to create a peaceful, happy and crime-free nation where the standard of living will be excellent for every citizen. Thus, banditry, drug trafficking or its illicit use, homosexuality, murder, terrorism and other subversive activities against either the State or the people will not be tolerated, and Government will take whatever legal action is necessary to expunge these deadly and heinous acts from the country.

Critically, though, the people have to rally behind Government and support the relevant State apparatuses. It is only genuine patriotism, which is embedded in the real fear of Allah and love for the nation; as well as true passion for the people and what they stand for, that will salvage us together. Hence, together, we must ensure that we do not only abide by the laws of the Land, but also compel the criminals in our midst to retract permanently or amend their ways. There is no other option!

The security forces and the judicial system will continue to be empowered to enforce the law, where applicable. All those guilty of serious crimes and are condemned will face the full force of the law. All punishments prescribed by law will be maintained in the country to ensure that criminals get what they deserve: that is, that those who kill are killed, and those who deserve to be put away from society are put away according to the dictates of the law. By the middle of next month, all the death sentences would have been carried out to the letter.


Fellow Gambians

Distinguished viewers

We need not look far into history to be forewarned of the consequences of anarchy. The breakdown of law and order and the resultant atrocities in Mali, Syria, Somalia and other countries, as examples, provide sufficient instruction to remind us that crimes begets chaos, destruction and destitution, and, in consequence, should be nipped in the bud wherever it emerges. Gambians should look into the future with optimism, encouraged by the rapid rate of development and the tremendous achievements made in less than two decades. We ought to be optimistic of the feasibility of The Gambia's transformation into an economic super power and, therefore, commit ourselves to attaining the development vision and objectives set for such transformation. Let us cruise towards our destiny undeterred, and leave no room for retrogressive vermins to clog the wheel of rapid progress. We as a State will stand by our sacred duties of making sure that every law-abiding human being in this nation of ours lives in absolute peace, security and freedom.

On reflection, one is compelled to observe that we claim and pride ourselves of being Muslims and Christians; but, how devoted are we as Muslims and Christians? How many Gambians live by the noble teachings of the Holy Books? We are taught to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, just as we are taught that love for one's country is an element of piety. Do we manifest these teachings in our day-to-day lives? Have we not been admonished to repel hate and injustice, but how many Gambians are willing to expose the criminals in our midst to put an end to the insecurity, injustice and mayhem that those criminals perpetrate against innocent people?


Fellow Gambians and

Muslims the world over

Distinguished viewers

As we mark the end of Ramadan, this should be a moment of reflection and rededication to the principles and values propagated by Islam and, similarly, by Christianity. True believers stand steadfast in enjoining and doing good, while prohibiting and refraining from evil. I implore you all to stand firm in defence of our communities against crime. Let me re-echo the need for community Watch Groups to complement Operation Bulldozer. It is long overdue for all of us to mobilize our resources, muster our energies and innovate to build a progressive, secured and peaceful nation for all. In the thick of this, we recognize and applaud the sincere patriots who continue to support Government and dedicate themselves to the welfare of the people. We encourage them to continue to be the pace-setters of progress and development but more importantly, for a crime free Gambia.


Fellow Gambians and

Muslims the world over

Distinguished viewers

I congratulate the venerable Imams and other religious leaders who led prayers during the Holy Month and delivered sermons to strengthen the faith and correct the behaviour of their congregations in particular and the people in general. This is a never-ending Jihad, and I encourage you all to continue with such noble works and devote your sermons relentlessly to invoking good among the citizenry. In addition, together, let us pray for the sick and in the spirit of Islam, care for them and support them. Let us continually pray for the nation, but reinforce those prayers with positive action. Let us guide the young, give them the education and upbringing they require to grow into good Muslims and become useful law-abiding citizens of this great Nation. Remember that as true Muslims we should work together; for each other and not against each other. We are supposed to work together as one Family because that is what all Muslims are.


In conclusion, the occasion presents the opportunity to mention regrettably the division among Muslim communities, both nationally and internationally. It is due to the artificial divides among Muslims that Islam is projected negatively in the non-Muslim world. It is for the same reason that Muslims are weakened to the extent that their rights are trampled upon, and their wealth and property plundered. It is a dilemma and a source of concern that Muslims cannot rally behind their leaders and obey them. Sadly, every year, we begin fasting on different days and observe Eid El-Fitr on different days yet Allah is the One True God we worship; the Quran is the source of our faith; the Prophet's message (PBUH) is universal and conclusive; and the earth is associated with only one moon, unlike other planets. Therefore, there is no justification for unnecessary divisions within the Islamic world. On the occasion of this holy feast, I urge all religious leaders to set aside their differences and act in unison as members of one religious body. The Quran warns against division; hence, we should pay heed. By extension, as one nation, our salvation as Gambians lies in literally constructing the nation we wish for ourselves and our progeny, and working selflessly in harmony in the best interest of every one- the recompense for which can only come from the Almighty Allah.


Fellow Gambians and

Muslims the world over

It is very shameful and un Islamic that human vermins disguised as Muslims use the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan, when all true believers are fasting and repenting for their sins and seek Allah's mercy, to carry our heinous crimes of mass murder by bombing crowded market places, mosques etc. During this Holy Month of Ramadan alone, thousands of innocent men, women and children have lost their lives to these insane sadists across the Islamic Ummah. Our religion is seriously threatened more by enemies within our ranks than from enemies of the non-Muslim world.


On a daily basis, more Muslims die at the hands of such satanic sons of hell disguised as Muslims than at the hands of true infidels.

The Bombings in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and the carnage in Syria all stand testimony to this very un-Islamic episode that the Muslim Ummah now faces. True Islam is only one indivisible religion as enshrined in the one and Only Holy Quran and as practiced and taught by the Seal of all Prophets, Prophet Muhammad, Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him. We true Muslims must fight against these satanic forces within our ranks as they are responsible for all these atrocious conflicts now raging on this planet earth, by all means necessary and whatever it takes.

 

Let us stop pretending that the Islamic Ummah is unified, peaceful and prosperous today and conduct business as usual. The reality is that our Ummah is the most dangerous, for true and real Muslims; most divided and most conflict-ridden today than at any other time in our Islamic History.

 

I hereby appeal to all of my Colleagues in the Islamic Ummah, the religious leaders and scholars to come together to save our noble religion and our Glorious Quran. This is the true Jihad that our Noble Prophet fought for and won. We should practice love and care for humanity in general and fellow Muslims in particular and not hate and bomb them in their thousands at will.

 

I call on the OIC to convene as soon as possible an Islamic Reunification and Reconciliation Summit aimed at ending the carnage and strengthening the Ummah. As leaders, we owe it to our people and our children; but more importantly, we will be judged by the Almighty Allah one day without fail. We should defend our noble religion and we must succeed as failure is not an option. Let us work together as one great Islamic family and rid ourselves of these dangerous criminals from within.


Fellow Gambians and

Muslims the world over

Distinguished viewers

On this note, let me conclude by assuring you that the Good shall always prevail over the Evil, as the Almighty Allah is always on the side of the righteous.


Fellow Brothers and Sisters in Islam

Fellow Gambians

Distinguished viewers

While we pray that Allah, the Sovereign Guardian Lord rewards us for all our good deeds, may He continue to be our protector, guide and helper perpetually as we seek to climb the success ladder individually and collectively as admonished by the Almighty Himself. IN our quest for success both individually and collectively, let us be guided by the principal tenets of Islam of righteousness and the fear of Allah.

Eid Mubarak.

I thank you all for your kind attention.

Wassalamou Allaikum Wa Rahmatu llah Wa Barakatuhu

 

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