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We didn’t endorse Pres. Weah 

-Chief Imam clarifies

By Lincoln G. Peters 

The Chief Imam of Liberia, Sheik Ali Krayee terms the placing of campaign posters of President George Manneh Weah on the Benson Street Central Mosque by partisans of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) over the weekend as a desecration of the Mosque.

Contrary to public perception, Imam Krayee clarifies that this does not in any way indicate that the Benson Street Mosque endorses the second term bid of President Weah. 


On Friday, August 4, 2023, after the National Elections Commission declared campaigns for the October 10, 2023, Presidential and General Elections open, President George M. Weah and a delegation of his ruling CDC visited the Benson Street Central Mosque in Monrovia where they offered prayers to God for free, fair and peaceful elections. 

During the President’s visit, banners and images of Mr. Weah were seen on the walls of the Mosque and same was posted on social media with people indicating that the Muslim community in Liberia has endorsed President Weah.

On the same day, partisans of the CDC also paraded the streets of Monrovia, carrying a casket with the picture of opposition Candidate Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the Unity Party, an act that received widespread condemnation.

However, Imam Krayee, appearing live on OK Fm Tuesday, 8 August in Monrovia, explained that in Islam, posting photographs and images of any kind on a sacred worship center is forbidden.  

“I can’t use my office or the Mosque to present my personal political support for a particular candidate. What happened at the Benson Street Mosque was outrageous”, He says.

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He accuses the Islamic Advisor to President Weah Usman T. Jalloh for pretending when he said he was not aware of the incident thus, apologizing.

“Usman Jallow and the likes should know that the Imam Council has been in existence since Islam has been in Liberia. They desecrated the Mosque and they should apologize”, he insists.

Meanwhile, Imam Krayee says the Iman Council of Liberia will reconsider its relationship with the governing CDC, saying “they have been misbehaving. If we were reacting to all of the things these people did to us, the public could get angry.”

He says after the incident on Friday, 4th August, the Council waited until Monday, August 7 without hearing from the CDC before issuing a statement. 

  Making clarification earlier at the Benson Street Mosque on Monday, after prayers Chief Imam Mohammed A. Sheriff, said rumors on social media that the Mosque endorsed President Weah is inaccurate. 

According to him, President Weah officially requested to join Muslims to offer prayers to Allah, for peace, unity and stability as Liberians go to elections on October 10. 

Imam Sheriff furthered that campaign banners and pictures that were placed on the walls of the Mosque to officially welcome the President was never done by him or authorities of the Benson Street Mosque, rather, by supporters of President Weah unknown to them.

“The Chief Imam of the Central Mosque of Liberia and the entire congregation categorically condemn the placement of banners on the Mosque in the name of welcoming President Weah to the mosque on Friday, August 4, 2023. We take serious exception because our religion, Islam, doesn’t permit the use of images in sacred areas” he stated. 

The Imam assured the general population and the Muslim community that such act will never happen again as the Mosque remains a place for prayers and worship.

Imam Sheriff pointed out that they will never endorse the Presidential bid of any political candidate or party because as religious leaders, they are there to work with all politicians and provide guidance and direction both spiritually and advisory. 

He stressed that the duty of the religious community, especially Imams and Pastors is to offer prayers for the country and ensure that it remains on good path to provide direction and opportunity for all Liberians. 

“We can’t endorse any standard bearer or candidate. Not even President Weah or anyone because we don’t have that authority to make him President. More to that, it’s against our religion. The Mosque is a worship site, not a place to endorse and so we can never do that”, Imam Sheriff concluded. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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