By Winston W. Parley
In his demand for Muslims’ quest for Islamic holidays to be resolved by next year, Liberia’s Imam Council Chief Ali Krayee says people are provoking revolution in Liberia, and that “even among the common people, when Muslims talk about their holiday, they make fun of us.”
Delivering the 2021 Abraham Day message to the Muslim Community in Liberia Tuesday, 20 July 2021 at the Benson Street Mosque in Monrovia, Imam Krayee said when Muslims talk about their holidays, it is like they are foreigners asking for too much in the country.
“People are provoking revolution in this country,” he said, adding “and when you start the work we do, sometimes … they want to understand what we mean as if they want to see some kind of action.”
The Islamic Cleric insisted that “if this nation continues to sow discord” and discrimination, it will reap discrimination, demanding that the Muslim holiday must be resolved next year and that by next Ramadan, “there will be freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody.”
Krayee’s remarks at a key Muslim event come at a time when there are rising Islamic jihadist activities across West Africa and the Sahel Region which have resulted in the continuous destruction of lives and properties and have widened the threat to national security in affected countries.
Liberia has a fragile peace after decades of civil conflict that destroyed lives and properties and broke down the nation’s institutions.
Years of immense international community assistance after the civil war has brought some level of transformation which now makes it possible for the country’s army which was once dissolved, to be partaking in peacekeeping operations in some West African countries including Mali, that are still battling Islamic jihadist activities.
In spite of that, the state institutions here are still challenged as a result of the decades of civil conflict it suffered.
In his verbal attacks against religious leaders from the Christian Community, Imam Krayee warned that “Holy Ghost fire” preachers will be the first to jump through the windows and flee Liberia the day real fire comes.
“No, continue with your hustle, you are not our problem. Continue to preach your Holy Ghost Fire, but we will know that the day real fire comes here you will jump over the window and be the first to flee this country because your Holy Ghost will not be able to stop the fire that you are provoking …,” Krayee said.
He, however, claimed that this fire that he is predicting “will not come from the Muslims,” saying the Muslims will continue to be very peaceful in this country.
The religious leader noted that the Muslim community’s problem is not with the Holy Ghost Fire preachers, but with the Government of Liberia. He added that Muslims do not have time for the Holy Ghost fire preachers’ hustle because some of them are losing ground to their Nigerian counterparts and want to gain relevance at the expense of the Muslim community.
“And you want to use the Muslim holiday question to make yourselves to raise funds from your people abroad and at home,” he said, urging Liberian pastors to continue with their hustle.
Krayee said there are pastors who want to be called followers of Jesus Christ who got nothing to do with that humble servant of God “who make us believe in the Bible that says do unto others as you want them to do unto you and yet they want to think they are pastors.”
He indicated that in spite “of all that we are going through, we don’t even feel for ourselves,” saying there is no love for other Liberians as tribalism and religious bigotry are the order of the day.
Though Krayee did not name specific Holy Ghost fire preachers, however on Tuesday, 15 June 2021, Bishops from Churches in Liberia met with the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate Albert Chie, urging the Liberian Senate not to endorse religious bills submitted by Bomi County Senator Edwin M. Snowe to legislate religious holidays here.
Mr. Snowe in his bills wants the last day of Ramadan and Abraham Day which are observed by the Muslim faith and Easter Monday which is also observed by the Christian faith here, to be legislated as national holidays in Liberia.
Following their meeting with the Liberian Senate, Bishops said Liberia has been a peaceful country, and as religious people, their job is to continue to pray that peace and stability be maintained.
Christianity is by far the most common faith in Liberia, with recent surveys showing Christians making up 83-86% of the population, up significantly from surveys in the 1980s. By contrast, Islam has declined slightly from 14-15% in the 1980s to 11-12% in recent surveys.
In recent years, Muslims in Liberia have also been advocating for the legislation of Eid al-Adha (Abraham’s Day) and Eid al-Fitr (End of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Festival of Breaking Fast) as national holidays.
In 2020, a group under the banner, the Movement for Islamic Holidays in Liberia called on the Liberian Legislature to pass into law two major Islamic festivals – Eid al-Fitr, known as Ramadan Day and Eid al-Adha also called Abraham day as national holidays.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/islamic-cleric-urges-liberian-muslims-to-pray-for-health-and-peace/ -Edited by Othello B. Garblah