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Ellen urges religious tolerance

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has urged religious tolerance among Liberians, saying unity and togetherness among the different religions enable government to carry out its own responsibility in bringing development to the people.

She said such tolerance ensures that peace continues to be preserved in Liberia. Mrs. Sirleaf spoke during the Weekend at the Monrovia City Hall on Friday when she received returning Liberian Muslims from their pilgrimage to Mecca where a deadly stampede killed several hundreds of Muslims from other nations.

“We always say that all Liberians are one, no matter what your name, what your family background, what your tribe and what your religion,” President Sirleaf said. She noted that as a nation, “we all are one” and the nation stands together when the citizens see each other as one and a part of the other.

She said the coming together of the Muslims and other non-Muslims at the Monrovia City Hall including Bishop Jonathan Hatt was a demonstration of unity and together. She recalled that the last time she received returning Hajas and Hajjis from Mecca was two years ago.

President Sirleaf said Liberia’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ambassador Dr. Abrahima Kabba has demonstrated his performance because as much as it was difficult – the year after Ebola, he made those arrangement to have the pilgrims there in Saudi Arabia with the greatest of honor possible.

She appreciated the Ambassador and other officials of the Hajj Committee in bringing the group together and taking care of them as they made sure they had all their needs met and fulfiled their responsibility to their God, Allah.

All of the 101 Liberian Muslims that traveeled to Mecca returned safely, according to officials of the Liberia Hajj Committee. The chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia Sheikh Oumarou A. Kamara said this year’s hajj was so special to Muslims and Liberians because Liberia was selected among Guinea and Sierra Leone to be the first to go to Mecca this year.

He appreciated President Sirleaf’s effort and her love for Liberian Muslims and her religious tolerance by approving and sending one of the best diplomat Dr. Abrahima Kabba to Saudi Arabia as Liberia’s Ambassador.

Sheikh Kamara says Dr. Kabba worked harder and within two months, Liberian Muslims were given green-light to go to Mecca this year.

He said he was glad that the pilgrims that went to Mecca to pray for Liberia had come back, saying “Allah will indeed bless this country and your leadership.”

By Winston W. Parley-Edited Othello B. Garblah

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