Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe, also chief proponent of three controversial religious bills before the Liberian Senate says those bills are his campaign promises to the people of Bomi County during his senatorial bid.
The proposed acts include; An Act to making Easter Monday a Public Holiday”, “An Act to making Eid al-Adha (Abraham’s Day) a Public Holiday”, and “An Act to making Eid al-Fitr (End of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Festival of Breaking Fast) a Public Holiday, respectively.
Muslims in Liberia are advocating for holidays, claiming they are being marginalized, and accusing the counterparts from the Christian faith of enjoying special privileges, including 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.
Speaking to reporters in his office at the Capitol on Thursday, June 3, Senator Snowe said majority of the people of Bomi County are Muslims and during his senatorial campaign, he was engaged and subsequently made a commitment to sponsor bills seeking holidays for both Muslims and Christians.The Senator says he’s performing his role as a lawmaker but some quarters of the society consider him an ‘attention seeker’, with no serious intention in submitting those bills.
Debunking them, Snowe maintains he’s performing his role and fulfilling his campaign promises and that his styles of politicking is not to deceive people for votes instead, he will push for the possible enactment of the bills.
The Plenary of the Liberian Senate read the bills in session but strangely, they were poised for next Tuesday for further discussions before sending them to committee room.
Snowe reveals that he’s already received various text messages from high profile individuals especially, Christians who have expressed dissatisfaction over the bills.He stresses that the essence of the bills is for religious freedom, tolerant and acceptable co-existence among Liberians.
He says considering Liberia’s significant position as Africa’s oldest independent and free Republic, its rich history of religious tolerance and unequivocal respect for religious freedom as guaranteed by the Constitution, and in order to put Liberia on par with nations of the world, it would be a remarkable step were the august body to honor the many sacrifices being rendered to the state by Muslim by endorsing the legislation.
Commenting on the many holidays here already, he discloses plan to also proffer a bill to reduce the many holidays, including presidents’ holidays to one celebration, to be called Presidents’ Day and to combine both Independence Day and Flay Day’s commemoration.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor–Editing by Jonathan Browne