-Plans to introduce bills for Islamic holidays
Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe has been planning. He says he plans to introduce three bills, two of which are intended to grant people of the Islamic faith two public holidays amidst a calendar already overcrowded with public holidays.
The bills he intends to introduce are; An Act Making Easter Monday a Public Holiday; An Act Making Eid al-Adha (Abraham’s Day) a public Holiday, and An Act Making Eid al-Fitr (End of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Festival of Breaking Fast) a Public Holiday”.
His planned proposed legislations come on the heels of sustained campaign by members of the Christian faith to declare Liberia a Christian nation based on a recommendation from a 2015 constitutional review committee.
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.
Snowe, who is believe to be a Christian represents a county which is predominantly Muslim, leaving many to question the motive behind his planned legislation.
It could be recalled that Snowe who abandoned District #6 in Montserrado County to contest first as Representative in Bomi and later as Senator assured the people of Bomi County that as their Senate, he would be there advocate. The electorates of Bomi overwhelmingly voted for him.
But his planned could trigger a backlash from the predominantly Christian population who feel denied following the National Constitutional Review Conference in 2015, which recommended to make Liberia a “Christian nation.”
The Counselor Gloria Musu-Scott Constitution Review Committee, said Muslim groups led by the Liberia Muslim Organization lobbied unsuccessfully for Liberia to remain a secular nation on the grounds that the proposed amendment is discriminatory.
The committee was charged with reviewing the country’s 1986 constitution, and solicited suggestions from the public for possible amendments, including the terms of office for the President, Vice President, legislators and justices, as well as superintendents of the country’s 15 political subdivisions. But none of these recommended proposers have found their way on the country’s statute books. The presidential and legislative tenures failed miserably in the recent referendum.