By: Kebba AF Touray
Scores of National Assembly Members have on Tuesday said skin bleaching has adverse negative impact and implications on the health of those involved in the act.
The lawmakers make the comments while debating on the skin bleaching prohibition bill. Some of them argued that bleaching the skin is against the dictates and teachings of Islam.
Muhammed Mahanera, Member for Sandu, said: “Skin bleaching is against norms and values. International obligation is one thing, but obligation to the Creator is also another thing and as such I will not support repealing of the bill”.
Sainey Touray Member for Jarra East said: “I rise to express my strongest condemnation towards this skin bleaching bill. We pride ourselves when we are referred to as fair colored and one is not happy when he is referred to as being black or dark”.
Touray said it is ironical and that it is high time for Africans to value themselves, saying life is not about putting on beautiful dresses but it’s premised on values and Africans should respect their own values.
He said during the course of his stay in America, he has never seen a white man or woman applying cream that would make him or her to look black. Thus, he urged the people to desist from skin bleaching because it has health implications on human body and it is against the Islamic religion.
“The issue of ski n bleaching is a cause for concern and if need be a national conversation be held so as to deal with the pros and cons of the matter,” he said.
Saikouba Jarjue, Member for Busumbala, said: “I still maintain my position in the first reading of this bill that I will never support this bill. In other reports that we have discussed they have listed so many institutions that they have consulted on those issues. But in the skin bleaching bill, it is only the argument of the Child Protection Alliance (CPA).
“I am against the repealing of this bill on skin bleaching and I will always be against the repealing of it at any level”, said Hon Jarjue.
Momodou Camara, Member for Foi Bintang Karanai, said the bill was initially debated and rejected by the assembly as such asked for the executive to tell the Assembly the motive behind bringing the bill back to the legislature.
“I don’t know why they want us to repeal this skin bleaching. From submission of the Member for Sandu, skin bleaching contravenes the dictates of Islam and repealing the bill means we are opposed to the color given to us by Allah”, he said.
He said the chemicals used in the production of bleach are hazardous to the health of the human being and as such, he implored his fellow lawmakers not to encourage and support the repealing of the skin bleaching law.
Saikou Marong, Latrikunda Lawmaker, said: “Skin bleaching should just be a matter of choice for those who want to do it and that there needs not be any legislation to dictate penalties for being engaged in the application of bleach”.