Gambians in the diaspora have expressed shock and outrage over renowned Islamic orator Dr.Zakir Naik’s partaking in the 22nd July military coup celebration. An event organized by Gambia’s tyrant Yahya Jammeh. The event marks the illegal overthrow of the constitutional elected government of Sir Dawda Jawara 20 years ago. Jammeh who uses his ill-gotten wealth and military machinery to oppress ordinary Gambians is said to have invited Dr.Zakir Naik to bolster his image in a largely Muslim country where his popularity is crumbling. Gambians have been expressing their dissatisfaction on social media on Dr.Naik’s decision to wine and dine with a tyrant.
“Dr Zakir Naik seems to bask in his celebrity like status than deal with real ordinary issues faced by Gambian Muslims. I cannot imagine anyone with such a status as claimed by the admirers of this man to be oblivious of what has been happening in The Gambia under the evil dictator and thief “President” Jammeh. Dr.Zakir Naik should have declined the invitation and refused to participate in ‘enabling’ a tyrant” posited a Gambian human rights activist in Oslo. Another comment from a Gambian based in Atlanta reads “Am not impress by Dr.Naik…he is a hustler…paid to promote a dictators agenda….Charity starts at home glorified preacher”. Some have expressed disappointment over the fact that not any of Dr. Naik’s lectures in Gambian would address oppression and tyranny.
Even as the orator tours the country there is an Imam who is being prosecuted by the rogue regime for celebrating “Eidul fitr” on a day different from the one slated by Dictator Jammeh. Others also express the view that Dr.Zakir Naik who has earlier on shunned all forms of feasts and celebrations other than the two “Eids” has shot himself on the foot by joining the celebration of a military take over.
One thing is very clear Jammeh is an instrumentalist, he uses Islam as a tool to perpetuate oppression and tyranny on ordinary innocent Gambians and therefore any preacher he calls to grace an event should be very wary of him. As Ibn Qayyim Aljawziyya puts it “Islam is wisdom. If you see it going to foolishness and stupidity, then know that is not Islam.”