‘I’ll Continue To Defend the Truth’
Friday, July 06, 2012
Because, if the controversial, unbowed Islamic scholar’s manifestations are to be adjudged, he isn’t anywhere near being cowed.
“No amount of human-induced punishment would stop me from defending the truth in spreading the words of Allah,” the imam of SanchabaSulay Jobe said.
“As far as I am concerned, I will always do my preaching in accordance with the teachings of the Islamic religion.”
Ba-Kawsu Fofana, a failed aspirant for the presidency of the country’s governing authority on Islamic matters, Supreme Islamic Council, is known for his straight talk, not sparing the excesses of the powers that be.
In a country where censorship reigns when it comes to misconduct associated with the powers the state, this has endeared him to the public, though many seem to disapprove of his own excesses, for instance, his castigating of tribes and personalities.
In 2009, his weekly lecture on a state-owned radio and a community radio was banned. Severer punishments followed when he was ridiculed by President Jammeh, who told him: “Even the shoe I wear is closer to Allah than you are.”
This was not before his school which enrolled hundreds of students was temporally banned.
On Thursday May 30th of this year, perhaps in what the state thought was to be the last straw that would break the camel’s back, Imam Fofana was arrested, detained in communicado and even tortured, as alleged by him.
But the outspoken imam has come out from that detention instead of having a broken back, he seemed more emboldened.
“I remained unbowed. As a preacher, my duty is to enlighten the people on the teachings of Islam,” he said.
“I am not set out to create any trouble, but rather to inform the people on their religion.”
Imam Fofana was speaking at a recent Islamic conference organised by the Brikama Daruhairu Women Kafo in the town of Brikama, the administrative centre of West Coast Region.
Under the guidance of the grand marabout of FoniBondali Village, Alhagie Ebrima Fatty, who doubles as the adopted father of the women’s group, the event was one of the many that Fofana has featured ever since his release.
Yet, one month after his release from a nine-day detention at the NIA headquarters in Banjul, the capital, the Imam is still in pains to understand why he was arrested, or even tortured.
Nevertheless, he said: “I put all my hopes [for justice] in Allah, the Almighty, as He is the everlasting and the most supreme.”
Author: Alieu Darboe