Gambia: Ahmadis Face Rising Persecution

(JollofNews) – The Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the Gambia is coming under increased persecution by the country’s predominant Sunni Muslim sect.

The small community of several thousands consider themselves Muslims, but that is a view rejected by mainstream Islamic sects.

The Gambia’s main Muslim body, Supreme Islamic Council,  responsible for the general activities of all Islamic affairs in the country has classed Ahmadis as non-Muslims, who only used the Muslim declaration of faith (Kalimah) to confuse other Muslim sects

The council has issued a fatwa in 2015 forbidding the burial of Ahmadis in Muslim cemeteries.

“It is forbidden by Shari’ah to bury a non-Muslim at a Muslim cemetery. It is authenticated by Shari’ah law that Ahmadiyya are a non-Muslim community. Therefore it is totally forbidden [for them] to bury their dead at a Muslim cemetery,” the Muslim council said.

Since the fatwa was issued, Ahmadis in the Gambia are finding it difficult to bury their relatives.

Last Saturday, a tension erupted in Tallinding, Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) between Sunni Muslims and Ahmadis over the burial of a 70-year-old Ahmadi man at the town’s cemetery.

Youths from the town blocked the funeral procession of the unnamed Ahmadi claiming that he was non-Muslim.

The youths later relented following hours of negotiations with the police.

This is the second time youths in the town have clashed with Ahmadis over the burial of an Ahmadi at the village’s cemetery.

In August 2015,  youths in the village  threatened to exhume the body of an Ahmadi who was buried at the village’s cemetery.

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