President Yahya Jammeh has vowed to cut off the heads of those who practice homosexuality in Gambia. He maintains that Gambia is a nation of believers, a Muslim country, and homosexuality will not be tolerated. As of today he has given homosexuals ”24 hours to get out of Gambia” and has ordered all landlords to evict all homosexuals. Those giving homosexuals lodging will be punished and commercial establishments will be closed down. Afrol News notes that many gays had already moved to Mauritania after a previous crackdown.
Some members of his government are reportedly, albeit quietly, wondering whether he is insane. Even quiet wondering is a bold move in a nation whose despotic star is just beginning to ascend, and where the press has uniformly (and safely) praised him for his medical marvels such as the time last year when he had declared that he had devised a cure for aids (Read ”The Quack in Gambia”).
What are we to make of this man’s approach? Some might feel that while extreme, Jammeh’s approach is typical of religion, inflexible, intolerant, and tyrannical. I would argue that not all ”people of the book,” share his view and that most would soundly condemn his viewpoint. A Christian approach for example, must always begin its address to a serious issue with the good news.