Following the trend of events pertaining to the remonstration or protest marches by some segment of the Muslim community, I authored two distinct but related articles opposing the attempts to Christianize Liberia.
In one of the articles captioned From Early Warning perspective, make no mistake to Christianize Liberia, all of the remonstrations calling on the National Legislature and other influential stakeholders not to esteem the quest to Christianize Liberia were categorized or termed as the latent stage of perceive ideological conflict especially in a post conflict society likely to slip into violent conflict.
In that same article now referenced in this article, the danger or repercussion for blatantly ignoring early warnings judging from ongoing violent conflicts triggered by religious intolerance was elucidated.
Regardless of all of the remonstrance that vividly speaks volume of early warning, sizable number of people from diverse Christian community are still determine to push for what they consider as fundamental right even though it arguably tends to contravene the same fundamental rights of those opposing the push for constitutional amendment.
Given my background in Peace and Conflict Studies that fully comprehend the obvious implications for ignoring early warnings, my fears for esteeming the push to Christianize Liberia is the motivation for penning this article.
To begin with, I fear that because of the ideological nature that reinforces group solidarity and identity, politicians especially vying for the 2017 General Election will see the push as an advantage to attract more votes even though they are fully aware about the implications thereof.
Using the push to Christianize Liberia as a political dividend or advantage has the inclination or tendency to sow discord which of course is unhealthy for the hard won peace Liberians have over the years worked for. This is how it may happen.
You as a presidential aspirant have declared your support to Christianize Liberia. Doubtlessly, such declaration has fragmented the Liberian society.
If you are fortunate to win the election, how will you govern the same society you have fragmented already struggling with reconciliation?
Think about it.
Being a president of the Liberia suggests identification with all of the major social institutions that significantly include religion. So tell me about the perception or impression of those you opposed during the political campaign?
Moreover, if care is not taking the same Christian community that supported you will demand that only Christians occupy key or strategic positions.
This has the implication for discrimination.
My greatest fear for Christianizing Liberia which is thinkable to be a genuine early warning that most people including those pushing for such constitutional amendment may have forgotten has to do with the 2004 deadly or violent conflict that transpired around October 29 in the Paynesville community especially in Jacob Town, Black Jinnee and extended around the Du-port Road between Christians and Muslims. Many of us that were around saw the level or kind of destruction and mayhem.
Evidently, the Jehovah Witness Chapel, Assembly of God Calvary Church and the Art of God Church around the Black Jinnee community were burned by some group of people believing to be Muslims as reprisal for their Mosques also burned by another group of people believing to be Christians.
This is where my greatest fear rest or lies. Imagine the wave of the 2004 religious violent at the time nobody was thinking about amending our constitution to Christianize Liberia.
Let’s ponder about the kind of violence likely to happenupon the amendment of the constitution making Liberia a Christian state or nation.
Another fear which I think is genuine stems from a religion that indoctrinates their followers to fight or even give their lives for what is perceived as denial of its right to be recognized or a religion that does not say when you are slap on the left jaw, turn to the right and walk away.
I stand ready to be corrected as whether the Christian religion indoctrinates their followers to give their lives in the fight for religious intolerance? How many mosques were burned compared to the number of churches during the October 2004 violent conflict? We have seen enough deadly violentfor which we cannot afford for another conflict difficult to manage especially ideological that emotionally charge people to do what are arguably unthinkable.
All of the remonstrations that continue to unfold by some segment of the Muslim community likely to be affected are genuine clues for early warning that we as a people or nation must not overlook only because we have not been told by rocket scientist or expert in Polemology or Peace and Conflict studies/Conflict Prevention.
It is about time that we relegalize how much tax payers money that International Community has invested into the hard won peace often described by President Sirleaf. In my opinion, they may not be talking openly or directly about the implication the sad mistake to Christianize Liberia will have on a post conflict society whose peace and security is arguably fragile but watching and hoping that such will not happen.
Though different, but let’s look at Burundi that experienced one of the deadliestethnic violent conflicts just like Liberia in the history of Africa likely to slip back into another conflict that has political dimension despite early warnings.
In order to allay the fears of people concerned about the obvious impact, I have listened to few of the supporters of Christianizing Liberia that it will not in any trigger violent conflict on grounds that the Muslims will still enjoy their rights to worship Allah. Of course it will not in any way close their mosques.
However, given the unfolding remonstrations, it is absurd or irrational to esteem such assertion that cannot allay the fears of those concerned about the obvious repercussion.
Finally, the international dimension as it relates to solidarity that arguably sustains conflict in the name of fighting against religious intoleranceis capable of attracting the attention of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; an Islamic extremist terrorist group controlling territory in Iraq and Syria, with limited territorial control in Libya and Nigeria and also has affiliates in many other parts of the world, including Southeast Asia. Zavadski, Katie (2014).
It may not be surprising that in long or short run, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant will have another affiliate group in Liberia in the name of religious solidarity if we made any mistake to Christianize Liberia.
By Ambrues M. Nebo
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