Police ‘Catch One’ Recalcitrant Imam Amid COVID-19 Restrictions?

IGP Jobe

by Alagi Yorro Jallow
The Gambia Police Force started enforcing the State of the Public Emergency Powers restricting worship of public places amid the coronavirus outbreak observing social distancing. Police today, Friday, arrested the recalcitrance imam in Lower River Region after he defied an order that forbids religious leaders and public worship places observing Jummah prayers.
According to an impeccable source, a recalcitrant imam was arrested and held at the Mansakonko Police Station shortly after leading Jummah prayer in his village of Jarra Kani-Kunda. He was later released on bail.
Who says religious leaders are above the law? The only thing politicians respect is numbers. When you have the numbers, if you control who votes and for whom they vote, politicians will respect you. In a country where actions do not have consequences, a place where you can behave anyhow without getting punished, those who control numbers can always defy the government and up the ante.
We heard a class of recalcitrant religious leaders in defiance towards authority, showing obstinate indiscipline. Those Imams boasted that no Jupiter could stop them and their followers from observing Jummat prayers, and they are right. They held Jummah prayers. They exposed their congregation to real danger without fear. No politician will want to lose the votes these religious leaders command. Add to that; faith and reason hardly go together, when the brew of ignorance, superstition, and poverty is added, the result can be left to anyone’s imagination.
We must update our priors in light of new facts, superior evidence in our started journey in public intellection, we often write that corruption is the Gambia’s biggest problem. A few years later, we noticed how low we have set the bar and how we have elevated mediocrity to state art. With that observation, we changed tune and rearranged our three most indicative failures as; mediocrity, impunity, and corruption in order of importance, thus making corruption a distant third. We feel so right about that categorization today.
To all religious leader s and imams and pastors who obey laws in other countries, only to disobey the laws of their own country, to the garden variety money-miss-road in the neighborhood who refuse to submit to simple traffic rules, estate rules and public decorum.
Let us hope this virus does not overwhelm the Gambia; if it does and hundreds die, they will attribute it to Allah’s will or divine punishment. May God save us from adverse actions, harmful diseases, and the evil of ourselves.

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