President Yahya Jammeh has declared Gambia is now an Islamic state, but stressed that the rights of the Christian minority in the small west African country would be respected and that women would not be held to a dress code, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (December 13, 2015).
The announcement came as the president addressed supporters in the coastal town of Brufut on December 10. The comments were later broadcast on state television and repeated on his website.
"Gambia's destiny is in the hands of the Almighty Allah. As from today, Gambia is an Islamic state. We will also be an Islamic state that will respect the rights of the citizens," he said.
A poor former British colony nestled within Senegal, and noted for its white-sand beaches, Gambia has a population of nearly two million, 90 percent of whom are Muslim.