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We will create our own holidays

-Chief Imam tells government 

Muslims threatened to declare Islamic holidays here, accusing government of failure to grant them public holidays.

By Lincoln G. Peters

Monrovia, Liberia, April 11, 2024—The Chairman of the Board of Imam’s Council of Liberia and Chief Imam of the Benson Street Central Mosque, Mohammed A. Sheriff, says Muslims in Liberia will create their own holidays by shutting down businesses since they cannot get holidays from the State.

Delivering his sermon at the Benson Street Central Mosque in Monrovia on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, to mark the end of Ramadan, a month-long fast and prayer by Muslims across the country, Imam Sheriff lamented that past and present governments have failed to grant Liberian Muslims two national holidays, as they have been yearning for.

He says since the government and policymakers have allegedly refused to do the needful by legislating Ramanda and Abraham Day, Muslims will create holidays by themselves by shutting down businesses here.

“Even though all of our past governments failed to give us two national holidays only to celebrate our Abraham and Ramadan Day, we remain citizens and peaceful citizens of this country. Without them giving us Ramadan and Abraham Day, we can create our own Ramadan Day by stopping all of our businesses and cars running across the country.”

On Wednesday, April 10, 2024, Muslims in Liberia joined their counterparts worldwide to observe Eid al-Fitr, the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fast and prayer.

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Since Monday, March 11, 2024, they have been abstaining from food from dawn to sunset, in observation of the third pillar of Islam, which obligates adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, traveling, elderly, breastfeeding, diabetic, pregnant or menstruating, to fast for 29 or 30 days.

According to Chapter 2, verse 185 of the Quran, “Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard to distinguish between right and wrong. So whoever is present this month, let them fast. But whoever is ill or on a journey, then let them fast˺ an equal number of days after Ramadan˺. Allah intends ease for you, not hardship, so that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful.”

During the Eid celebration, Muslims greet one another by saying ‘Eid Mubarak,’ which is Arabic for “Blessed Eid.” As it comes after a month of fasting, sweet dishes and foods are often prepared and consumed during the celebration. Muslims typically decorate their homes and are encouraged to forgive each other and seek forgiveness. In countries with large Muslim populations, it is normally a public holiday, with most schools and businesses closed for the day. Practices differ by country and region.

The Chairman of the Board of Imam’s Council of Liberia says the pronouncement is to inform the government that Muslims are equal citizens and deserve those two days.

Imam Sheriff notes that politicians continued to use Muslims across the country by telling them stories to gain their votes during elections, but after the polls, they turned their back on the Muslim community and ignored their plight.

According to him, Muslims are being treated as second-class citizens, lamenting they pay the highest taxes but do not benefit from their taxes.

He continues that they, however, remain peaceful and law-abiding citizens and are proud of that while urging Muslims to continue to engage with the national government and co-exist.

Meanwhile, Chief Imam Sheriff stresses the importance of maintaining peace and security across the country, adding that Liberia is our home of destiny and achievement. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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  1. Nonsense statement…..

    Is this holiday thing a competition? I thought the true essence of religion creation was to focus on the promotion of self-trained doctrine? What role does holiday play for or against your doctrine promotion?

    If you like, make every Friday a holiday, the beginning of you fast a holiday, the Friday in the middle of your fast a holiday, and the breaking another holiday.

    Selfish group of people….

  2. Muslims first class Liberian Citizens? No . But Liberians who are Muslim are . Just an observation.

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