Caliph issues fatwa banning politics in Touba
The caliph general of the Mourides, Serigne Mountakha Bassirou Mbacké, has issued a fatwa or ndigueul prohibiting political activities in the holy city of Touba.
The ndigueul was given days after deadly riots in many areas of Senegal including Touba following the conviction of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko, himself a Mouride.
The decision to ban politics and all related activities in the holy city has been commended by the other grandsons of the founder of Mouridism, who are brothers of the caliph. Serigne Fallou Mbacké Aby, Serigne Sidy Mbacké and Serigne Djily Fatah Fadilou Mbacké took the opportunity to ask the government to recognise the special status of Touba through “regulatory texts and not simply limited to instructions or ndigueul”.
However, the fatwa has been criticised by some Senegalese forcing Khadim Diop, secretary to the caliph to issue clarifications.
He stated: “Clarifications are needed in relation to the caliph’s recent statement and the comments it has raised. We all know the caliph well and his equidistant posture and neutrality vis-à-vis political actors. The caliph’s only concern remains the perpetuation of the gigantic work of his illustrious grandfather Cheikhoul Khadim. It is in this context that he has always worked for the preservation of peace in our country.
“At each election, some political actors in Touba commit acts of violence, including the ransacking of polling stations. This is the reason why the caliph wanted to protect and preserve the city from all the troubles that could arise from electoral contests and decided to move the perimeter of the vote more towards the peripheries,” he concluded.