By our special envoy in Dakar Amadou Thiam.
Senegal can boast of being a rather special country because of the tolerance, affection and singular love that exists between religions. Christians and Muslims have lived in perfect harmony for generations. In this month of Ramadan 2021, the Christians of the Facebook group “Let’s Go Out Senegal Officiel” were distinguished by distributing nearly 2,600 bags of food at the Liberté 6 district on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at the time of the breaking of the fast, better known in the local language as “ndogou”. A gesture magnified throughout the country and which consolidates the perfect cohabitation between the two communities.
The members of the group “Let’s go out Senegal Officiel” with more than 130,000 members could be definitively named the group of the year. And for good reason, a “royal Ndogou” federated the members in this month of Ramadan. “Ndogous” were distributed to the Muslims. An action that taught a lesson of solidarity and tolerance to the whole world. A gesture that the organizers justified by the good relations that have always been maintained by both communities. Étienne Mamadou Ndour, the main initiator, said on his Facebook page that this initiative is the corollary of several months of joy, of joke, of great harmony with Muslims who are true friends. “What happened yesterday at the Freedom Roundabout 6 is a symbol of this union, it is a way of saying that this legacy we have received must be perpetuated. Shopkeepers and passers-by were all very happy to see us all taking communion during this month of Ramadan. These are rare manifestations of solidarity that we do not see in other countries but in Senegal the acceptance of the other is anchored in us.” , he explained.
It all started during the month of Lent, and the Muslim members of the group started posting their culinary outings in Séras, where they would eat grilled meat. They also published improved dishes that made Christian members savor. Lent passes and Ramadan arrives. The response is not long overdue. It is the remontada. The members of the Christian faith take over, it is their turn to go to Séras for the grilled meat that they broadcast in the group through a live. After days of face to face, to finish in beauty, the Christian members organize a “royal ndogou” for their brothers. A beautiful manifestation of their brotherhood. An individual sum of 1,000 FCFA was requested to organize this event. ” We wanted to make a real gesture for our Muslim friends and offer them ndogous. We launched a pool on the group, and we thank them for their collaboration. The idea delighted everyone. We received a lot of contributions,” Etienne Mamadou Ndour said.
Senegal is truly a specific model of understanding and harmony between Muslims and Christians. This symbolic and educational action takes place in a tense internal socio-political context. Recent demonstrations have caused fear of the worst. On the side of politicians, some are surfing on the notion of ethnicity to create divisions within Senegalese society. The people on their side, aware of the danger that this can produce, refuse to go in this direction. In this group made up of all layers of the Wolof population, squeeze, diola, manjak, peul, Muslim Christians, ceddo… The members wanted to cultivate this life together in the Senegalese so peaceful, so warm, so tolerant impregnated in a perfect Senegalese Teranga. This “Ndogou” is also a way to strengthen the social cohesion that already exists between the two main religious communities.
However, all over the world, problems of ethnicity are often characterized by intercultural conflicts that can lead to racism, xenophobia, ethnocentrism and sometimes deadly civil wars, In Senegal, it must be noted that neither communities, nor religious leaders, nor even the political class should promote this. This “Royal Ndogou” is a strong message to the whole country that embodies a singular model of cohabitation between Christians and Muslims which are the foundation of Islamic-Christian dialogue. A wealth that the Senegalese have in common, a treasure to erect at the monument of national preservation. In Senegal, Muslims represent more than 90% of the population.