First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you for taking the initiative of banning and denouncing this horrible practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and for promoting female rights, especially the rights of our young girls. I would also like to congratulate you taking your time to research and discover a lot about FGM which postulates that FGM’s practice is solely based on cultural tradition and is not found in the Holy Quran or any authentic hadith of Prophet Muhammed (Sallah Laahu Alaihii Wasallam).
I hereby bear witness that Allah (SWT) is always with the righteous and the truth shall always prevail no matter how long it takes. I would also like to reiterate that there is no Gambian in The Gambia or in the diaspora who dislike you, the only difference that separates you from some of us is our different way of thinking. Therefore you being a person who claims to be democratically elected by the people, I wonder if there is any need for you to be reminded that every individual is entitled to think in his/her own capacity. Just so you also know that, anytime you differ in ideas and opinions from any human, it should not result in you insulting; torturing, jailing, killing or exiling that person. Indeed the leader of a nation should strive to be loved by his people, instead of creating a hostile environment and enmity between its people.
I pray to Allah (SWT) to guide, bless and protect our nation and its people. I utter these words not to disrespect or to praise you, but solely because it’s coming from my heart. You should try by all means to bring peace and togetherness between you and your fellow Gambians, your neighbors as well as the outside world for the benefit of the nation as a whole. Since you are the leader of The Gambia you have to get along with your people as well as neighboring countries. All said and done, you live in this world and have to get along with the people living inside The Gambia and other societies so that Allah will be pleased with you and spread his mercy on you and the people you are leading.
I pray to Allah (SWT) to bring peace to all mankind throughout the world. I equally pray for all organizations that worked tirelessly for the past thirty years to bring the horrible practice of FGM to an end. Such organizations include The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), the Foundation for Research on Women’s Health Productivity and the Environment (BAFROW) and others.
Again, I hereby asked in the name of Allah (SWT), the most merciful for you to unconditionally release all illegally detained personnel, political prisoners, religious leaders such as Imam Sawaneh, Gassama’ Colley and many others. I would like to conclude with this, as a Muslim and Religious Leader, I hereby advise you to work on a transition to hand over power before it is too late. Everything on earth must come to an end. Before leaving you as a brother I advise you to think about what great thinker call an EXIT ROUTE because most leaders who remain icons of history knew when it was time for them to leave through the big gate.
You are still young and able, there are more benefits in life to yearn for. There is life after the presidency.
As-Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu-llaahi Wa Barakaatuh,
Imam Baba M. Leigh
Washington DC, U.S.A.