The Chief Imam of Liberia, Ali Krayee has told Muslims here that come what may they will celebrate end of the holy month of Ramadan as a national holiday throughout Liberia. “From 2019-2021 Muslims are giving rice and other food items, though we appreciate that gesture, but Muslims are [not just] rice eaters in this country, but rather we are rice sellers”, ImanKrayee said.
Speaking late Sunday, May 16, 2021, at the Monrovia City Hall during a dinner organized under the auspices of the Monrovia City government he said, “Muslims continue to be peaceful in this country, but one thing I know is that come the next year Ramada will be celebrated as a public holiday and don’t ask me how will that happen.”
Imam Krayee asked Mayor Jefferson Koijee to convey their message to President George Weah.
The dinner, according to the MCC, was held under the Theme: Consolidating Peace and Democracy through Religious Tolerance. Though the chief Imam didn’t say how Muslims would achieve this holiday, but maintained that Liberia belongs to everyone and no one group should claim supremacy over the country.
According to him, Muslims in Liberia are not beggars, and must not be seen as beggars, where government officials will only present bags of rice to them, while failing or reneging to declare the Ramada as a national holiday.
“Why is it difficult for Muslims in Liberia to have a holiday, when her neighbor’s like Ghana, Sierra Leone and other countries have all enacted the Ramada as a public holiday in their respective countries”, he asked.
But making remarks, the Islamic Advisor to President Weah, Usmane T. Jalloh urged his fellow Muslims to remain calm, noting that Muslims should continue to offering prayers for leaders of the country to see reasons to declare Ramadan a national holiday, rather than making compelling statements.
“Our motto is to unite the Liberian people and not to pressure them for Muslims holiday”, Mr. Jalloh said.
He noted that in the history of Liberia, records have shown that the CDC-led government has interest in the Muslim community and remains a strong supporter of Muslims, so they should not rush in seeking Ramadan to be a national holiday.
He said there’s no need for his kinsmen to push the government into creating a Muslims holiday when in fact, they can offer prayers, something he said, will help in their quest to have a Muslims holiday.
Giving an overview of the program, the chairman of the MCC Ramadan dinner KewellenDolleh said the event was intended to appreciate the Muslim community for its tireless efforts in fasting and praying for Liberia.
He said at end of the fasting period, series of activities were held, including football match and other activities, which were climaxed with a dinner as a means of unifying Christians and Muslims to foster growth.
“This is meant to reach out to Muslims and other faith, as you may know the theme says consolidating peace and democracy through religious tolerance, and we expect our Imams to take the message of peace and tolerance to their people.”
Meanwhile, Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee cautioned the current generation not to be influenced by happenings in other places, but solve problem the Liberian way. “As long as Weah remains President, the things you are asking for will be achieved, but not at your given times”, the Mayor assured Muslims.
By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne