Liberia: ‘Keep Your Bags of Rice, We Want a Muslim Holiday’, Imam Demands on Eid ul Fitr

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The Chief Imam of Liberia Imam Ali Krayee Speaking at the Benson Street Mosque during a program marking the end of Ramadan Sunday.

Monrovia- Imam Ali Krayee, the chief Imam of Muslims in Liberia says the country is treading on the wrong path if the basic social rights, like an Islamic holiday and other political rights are not given to Muslims in Liberia.

Chief Imam Krayee made to the remark early Sunday morning at a program marking the end of the month of Ramadan at the Benson Street Mosque in central Monrovia.

We are not threatening anything but our people, the masses of the Muslims people are growing impatient. After this Coronavirus, next year, we will not receive any offer from government until we have our holiday. We will tell our people, and we want to be very clear, keep your bags of rice if you cannot give us our holiday.”

The end of Ramadam or Eid ul Fitr is a period during which Muslims observe a month-long fast. This year, the period began on April 24 and came to an end today, May 24, 2020.

The conversations about giving Muslims in Liberia an Islamic holiday has been a topical issue over the past few years and the Imam’s latest call is likely to ignite more debates.

After appreciating President George Weah for easing the restraints of the lockdown a day before the close of Ramadan, Imam Krayee said Muslims in Liberia are impatient when it comes to seeing Christian holiday adding that they (Muslims) don’t have a holiday since 1847, the foundation of Liberia.

According to him, Liberia has miscalculated when it comes to providing the basics rights to Muslims in Liberia, almost two centuries since its foundation.

Imam Krayee didn’t say which holiday Muslins in the country need but wants the Weah-led government to give Muslims a holiday.

He said: “This country has done a miscalculation when it comes to Muslims’ rights in Liberia.” 

The Chief Imam acknowledged strides by President Weah and past leaders to better the social and economic protection for Muslims. But such strides he says have not quenched the aspiration of Muslims that have long been longing for equality.

Imam Krayee added: “Our people continue to wonder why is it that Christians are not giving bags of rice during Easter and Christmas, but Muslims are giving bags of rice during Ramadan. No, we (Muslims) don’t want bags of rice, we want holiday.” 

According to the Chief Imam, Liberia is the only country in West Africa that Muslims do not have a holiday.

“Our people are growing impatient. It is now time to standup to the true meaning of Jesus Christ who say do onto other as you want them to do onto you. Do onto the Muslims in Liberia as they have done to the Christians in Guinea, Senegal and other countries. Give us our full rights in term of subsidies to schools and holiday. We will not continue to beg on our knees for what is legitimately ours in this country. Our people are getting impatient.”

The Chief Imam added: “We are calling on the religious leaders, we are calling on the political leaders that this country is treading on a very dangerous path. We are not threatening anything but our people, the masses of the Muslims people are growing impatient. After this Coronavirus, next year, we will not receive any offer from government until we have our holiday. We will tell our people, and we want to be very clear, keep your bags of rice if you cannot give us our holiday.”

The Imam concluded: “We appreciate the bags of rice; we appreciate the kind gestures but keep your bags of rice, keep all your tokens. The Muslims of Liberia are no longer interested in tokenism.  We know this government didn’t start the segregation in this country.”

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