Gambia President Declares Country An Islamic Republic

Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has
declared the formerly secular country an Islamic republic in a move he said was
designed to distance the West African state further from its colonial past.
The tiny sliver of a country,
named after the river from which British ships once allegedly fired cannonballs
to fix its borders, joins the ranks of other Islamic Republics such as Iran and
“In line with the country’s
religious identity and values, I proclaim Gambia as an Islamic state,”
said Jammeh on state television. “As Muslims are the majority in the
country, the Gambia cannot afford to continue the colonial legacy,” he

Gambia’s population of 1.8 million
people is 95 percent Muslim. He said that other citizens of other faiths would
still be able to practise.

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