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Banjul Letter With Njund Drammeh: Much Ado About A Didactic Lecture By Imam Fatty

Njundu Drammeh

“Few love to hear the sins they love to act” says Pericle in one the plays of Shakespeare.

If we cannot teach or talk about taboo subjects, such as sex education to our children, what should we teach or talk to them about?

If Imam Fatty cannot teach wives how to keep their husbands happy, understanding men’s urges in spousal relationship, then what can he teach them about?

If a religious scholar cannot dilate on issues which are wrecking relationships, promoting infidelity and compelling some men to become polygamous, what can he or she dilate on regarding spousal relationship?

Imam Fatty wasn’t teaching the women how to be submissive or be sex objects; the religious lecture was within the context of spousal relationship, what make a husband “happy” with his wife.

Fact: some men abandon or neglect spousal relationships in which they feel sexually starved. Am sure when Imam Fatty is talking to men or husbands, he would also address them appropriately.

If every issue worth discussing, especially socio-religious-political issues, must be interpreted and understood only within the cultural prism, with complete deference to our “culture”, then how can we have a critique or critical criticism or public discourse on things that matter to our livesFatty

Culture, according to Houphet Boignay, is a moving river, not a stagnant pool of water. Thus, culture, a cumulative of people’s ways of life, beliefs, activities, art, attitude, purifies and is purified in its interactions, and attrition, with time, societal advancement and other cultures.

No people advances who are still steeped in antediluvian past or who insist on cultural absolutism only. “This is foreign to our culture”; “this is unGambian”; etc…. What is Gambian culture? Is it monolithic?

Imam Fatty wasn’t teaching the women how to be submissive or be sex objects; the religious lecture was within the context of spousal relationship, what make a husband “happy” with his wife.

How will I recognise it when I see it being practiced? Often what am told is Gambian culture are set of values and norms which are also universal.

Often we bring up the “this is foreign to our cultire” argument when we want to suppress or deny rights: we have used the “excuse” to suppress women, dissenting views, desire to hold leaders accountable and transparent, fight injustice in the society, etc….. May be Imam Fatty was also following the similar cultural dictate: you should never speak ill of your leader or undermine him or fail to follow his authority and directives.

Guess our relationship with Imam Fatty has been coloured by what he did and said during the Jammeh regime. It is the classic case of: What you are speaks so loudly in my head that I cannot hear what you say. Wish we can judge people through the same prism or barometer, their past with Yaya.

From: Jollof News

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