This week witnessed the appearance of representatives of the Supreme Islamic Council before the TRRC. The examination of the witnesses gave rise to answers that should help the Gambian people to truly understand the place of religious leaders in a state controlled by presidents with executive powers. Most of the religious leaders claim that they had no armies or police or instrument of coercion to compel people to obey their dictates. One went as far as to say that where Sharia obtains he has no authority to command for the cutting of the hand of a son who stole another’s property.
This summed up the fundamental lesson that arbitrary rule has no place in religion or state. The lessons can now be drawn that if those who control state power respect the constitution they swear to defend, they would allow religious leaders to promote their values without having any role of policing other religious groups. In that regard, each religious leader will be an ambassador of his or her faith and the Gambian population would be able to exalt those leaders to assume their status of being venerable citizens whose fundamental aim is to be role models in terms of promoting good values and good works. This is the only lesson worth learning and promoting from the whole exercise of involving religious leaders in TRRC.