The Gambian police has declared the duration of the Ramadan music-free in the country.
The holy month of Ramadan kicked off 6 June around the world. As observed by adherents of Islam the world over, the period is marked by fasting and an avoidance of sin. In Gambia, an Islamic state, the Office of the Inspector General of Police has gone one further by prohibiting music throughout the holy period.
Specifically, the statement released by Public Relations Officer of the Gambian police Lamin Njie warns against “drumming, music and dance”. The penalty for any one of these activities is apprehension by the police and prosecution.
“As the Muslim Ummah is observing the Holy Month of Ramadan,” the statement reads, “the Office of the Inspector General of Police in honour of the Holy Month is hereby informing the General Public that all ceremonies, festivities and programmes that involves drumming, music and dance during the day or at night are prohibited.”
“All those engaged in the practice are therefore warned to desist from such acts otherwise they will be eventually apprehended and face the full force of the law without compromise. The Inspector General of Police is hereby advising the General Public to report any such persons or groups to the police as stern action will be taken against those found wanting of violations.”
News of the Ramadan ban in Gambia comes just as the Musicians Union of Ghana issued a statement against the use of ‘profane' lyrics by Ghanaian artists. Around the continent various restrictions on the expression of music artists have been put in place. Nigeria has banned songs deemed indecent from public broadcast on some stations. Kenya has banned a "gay" music video.
In conclusion, the Inspector General of Police demanded the cooperation of the Gambian public.