On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Liberian Muslims – in a resolution to the Liberian Senate, through President Pro Temp Armah Z. Jallah, threatened and vowed to resort to unrestricted and perpetual civil disobedience against “Christian Theocratic laws and policies”. This includes attempt to legislate a ‘Christian State’.
The threat by the Muslims is against the backdrop of the decision sanctioned by the March Gbarnga Constitution Review Conference to “return Liberia to a Christian nation” despite efforts to thwart the process.
“For peace sake, remove Proposition 24; we will resist Christian State -Liberia does not need religious identity. We want good healthcare system, not Christian State’ and Provide equal rights for both Muslims and Christians and not one-sided,” read placards carried by the Muslims during their protests before the Capitol Building on Tuesday, in the absence of a permit from the Government of Liberia as required by law.
In their six-count resolution presented to President Pro Tempore Jallah, they demanded that the Legislative and Executive Branches of the Liberian Government trash proposition 24 and all 25 propositions validated by delegates at a Constitution Review Conference held in Gbarnga, Bong County under the auspices of the Constitution Review Committee established by the Government of Liberia.
The Muslims described proposition 24, calling for a Christian State, as an attempt to institutionalize discriminatory tenets that could potentially ignite disenchantment among Liberians.
The irony about the move by the Liberian Muslims is that why they recognize and subscribe to the 1986 Constitution of Liberia as the only organic law of Liberia, with full adherence to its provisions until such provisions are abridged by those responsible to uphold and enforce same, the same Constitution to which they fully subscribe provides the environment for amendment(s)- and so, what are they really up to?
Interestingly, they claimed to have staged the protest in the interest of tranquillity, while- at the same time, mobilizing all Imams and Muslim leaders throughout the length and birth of Liberia to begin mass sensitization of all Muslims in the country in response to what they termed “such a well-calculated religious attack” – a move that continues to raise eye-brows among the rest of the population and warrants more answers.
Disappointingly, since the issuance of such threat against the peace and stability of the State, neither the Liberian Senate- through the President Pro Tempore who received the Musli8ms’ Resolution, nor any top official of the Executive Branch has cautioned the Muslims against thriving on such violent path, as indicated by them on Tuesday at the Capitol Building.
While this matter is not being raised out of fear or favour, but concern about the peace and security of Liberia, especially in the wake of UNMIL draw-down, it is now incumbent upon the Government of Liberia to break its conspicuous silence, and institute the necessary measures in preparedness for the eventuality.
With the Nigerian experience with the Boko Haram Islamic militants who capitalized on so-called Western Education to unleash terror on innocent Nigerians or the Al-Shaba situation in Somalia, immediate government’s intervention is a necessity and of importance at the moment before it gets too late.
In as much as the assumption currently is that the government may be pursuing quiet diplomacy to address the threat of “unrestricted and perpetual civil disobedience under the guise of Christian Theocratic laws and policies, including attempt to legislate a ‘Christian State’”, it is also a necessary condition that it speaks to this worrisome matter now.