Gambia Declares Itself an ‘Islamic State’

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Current Affairs: Gambia’s President has declared his country an Islamic republic. Mr. Jammeh made the declaration at a political rally in the coastal village Brufut, about 15 km west of the capital, Banjul.

He decided this because Islam is the religion of the majority of its citizens and to break from the nation’s colonial past.

current affairsIt does not appear that President Yahya Jammeh’s announcement changes Gambia’s laws or the country’s constitutional status as a secular state.

Gambia gained independence from Britain in 1965. About 90 per cent of Gambia’s 1.8 million people are Muslim.

He said the rights of Gambia’s Christian community will be respected. He also said there will be no mandates on dress. “We will be an Islamic state that would respect the rights of all citizens and non-citizens.”

Jammeh’s announcement came after Gambia said that it would take in Rohingya refugees as part of its “sacred duty” to alleviate the suffering of fellow Muslims fleeing Southeast Asia to escape oppression.

The government of the West African nation appealed to countries of the region to send Rohingya refugees to its shores, where it said it would set them up in refugee camps.

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