Liberia: Senator Edwin Snowe Explains Motivation Behind Quest for Religious Holidays

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MONROVIA – Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe of Bomi County has responded to media reports that he ran away from Senate’s discussion on the religious holiday bill he proposed.

In his response, he said he didn’t run away as was reported by the media.

“For the record, the introduction of these bills is not intended to bring conflict, or seek favor from any particular segment of our Liberian society. It is based on my patriotic conviction and responsibility as a Senator for all our people, based on my keen reading of Liberian history, including the proximate causes of our recent baseless prolonged civil conflict,” Sen. Snowe stated.

In his Facebook post, the Bomi lawmaker stated that he represents the majority as well as the minority and that the introduction of these bills represent his belief in equality and religious freedom as guaranteed by his Constitution and laws of the Liberia.

“I have read and listened to all the sensational print, social media and radio spins regarding my patriotic endeavor to make our nation more inclusive and accommodating of its diversity by  introducing three, very important legislations that I am sponsoring on the floor of the Liberian Senate.

“It is based on my belief and considered learning that God is a God of justice and fair play. Consistent with the principles of freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by our Constitution, those of you opposing these bills have the right to call on your lawmakers to vote against them. However, as it stands, I will not, in good faith, withdraw these legislations.”

He promised to be on the floor of the Liberian Senate come Thursday, June 3rd, to ensure that these Bills are placed on the agenda and read on the floor of the Liberian Senate. He promised not to back down nor not withdraw and stand for what he believe is right, based on our history, and the need for a wholesome functioning Liberia society, and one nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.

“Might don’t make right”. All is in time. May the Almighty God, may the Almighty Allah continue to bless us all and save the state.”

Muslims   anticipated that beginning Tuesday, May 25, 2021 the legislature would begin to discuss what they have long craved for but were made to a little longer as the Senate failed to discuss the proposed legislation from Senator Edwin Snowe (IND-Bomi County).

The intent of the Edwin Snowe much-talked about proposed legislation is to allot public holiday for Liberian Muslims and Christians was unable to receive its first reading as per legislative practice as a result of the crafter’s absence from session.

Interestingly, submission of the legislation formed part of the Senate agenda for its last Tuesday session but could not be read because Senator Snowe was absent. The Senate Pro-Tempore didn’t give reason for Senator Snowe’s absence.

When contacted via text message, Senator Snowe responded: “I traveled. My flight was scheduled to depart at 3:50 and I left the chamber at 1:00 and up to that time session had not started.”

The proposed acts include; An Act Making Easter Monday a Public Holiday”, “An Act Making Eid al-Adha (Abraham’s Day) a public Holiday”, “An Act Making Eid al-Fitr (End of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Festival of Breaking Fast) a Public Holiday.

In recent years, Muslims have advocated for the legislation of a day to be set aside as holiday for Muslims in Liberia for the celebration of their holy month which includes; Eid al-Adha (Abraham’s Day) and Eid al-Fitr (End of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Festival of Breaking Fast).

In 2020, a group under the banner, the Movement for Islamic Holidays in Liberia called on the 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.

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