Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County has submitted a bill to the plenary of the Liberian Senate, seeking two separate holidays for Muslims in the country. Senator Johnson, political leader of the newly organized Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR) submitted the bill here Tuesday, 23 August during the statutory sitting of the Senate.
The bill seeks that Ramadan, which climaxes the month-long fast and prayers by Muslims should be observed as national holiday, while Abraham Feast Day be also legislated a national holiday in Liberia. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which Muslims abstain from all worldly activities and fast between sunrise and sunset.
Muslims observe Abraham Day in commemoration of Abraham’s obedience to sacrifice his son Isaac by killing him upon the instruction of Almighty Allah. Speaking to reporters following the submission of the bill, Senator Johnson, a Christian and Preacher, said it is unfair that Liberia, a secular state, should give exclusive preference to Christianity over Islam.
He added that the Islamic community has contributed hugely to the freedom and development of the country as any other faith, but the population, especially state actors have overlooked Muslims for decades, stressing it’s time their rights and religion be respected and protected by law.
According to him, before and after the independence of Liberia up to present, the long-standing mutual co-existence amongst every tribal and religious grouping including Muslims is noteworthy.
“Of course there is not any society in the world which is void of remote accidental occurrences that spark tensions with the potential and proclivity of triggering tribal or religious skirmishes. Muslims having played major roles in our body politics and continue to contribute tremendously to the growth of the Liberian economy through business, trade and public services, it is but prudent in the best interest and fulfillment of our onerous desire of achieving unity in diversity amongst us all and building such solid foundation of a society of peace, tranquility, stability and security for posterity, that our Muslims compatriots be recognized for their valuable contribution by considering the end of Ramadan and the feast of Abraham as national holidays,” the MDR leader said.
But during the reading of the bill, senators were seen creating scene of not wanting to listen, apparently the Chambers of the Senate is entirely Christians.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne