At their national day of prayer at the stadium yesterday, the religious leaders who advocated for peace indicated that the president of The Gambia should be the president of everybody, be they Muslim, Christian or non-believer – all should be treated equally.

The religious leaders are speaking the language of the constitution which states in section 25(c) that “Every person shall have the right to freedom to practise any religion and to manifest such practice.”

Furthermore section 100 of the Constitution states: “The National Assembly shall have no power to pass a Bill to establish any religion as a state religion.”In short, the national assembly cannot even consider passing a Bill to establish an Islamic State.

Still further section 33 of the Constitution asserts that, all persons shall be equal before the law and no law shall make any provision which is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect. It further states that no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority. The definition of discrimination includes affording different treatment to different persons attributable wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, colour, gender, language, religion, …….whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject, or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

Since the declaration of The Gambia as an Islamic Republic by President Jammeh the Christian community has been looking for assurance. This should be a concern for all presidential aspirants.


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