Christianizing Liberia is Technically Tantamount to Discrimination


The Editor,

Proponents for the move to Christianize Liberia by law continued to argue that such ideology when passed into law will not deny the right of Muslims to worship or observe their religion. This is something considered to be viewed by the Muslims and other Christian sects as discrimination despite the clarification by the proponents.

In all of their attempts or efforts to clarify what the passage of the law will mean, there is something that embodies the crux of this article that at the same time deserves the attention of the general public including proponents of Christianizing Liberia.

To begin with, let’s conceptualize discrimination. Etymologically, discrimination according to research derived from a Latin word “Discrimire” meaning “to separate, to distinguish, to make a distinction”. It is from this etymology many scholars, philosophers, notable institutions including the United Nations and some Countries coined or developed contemporary definitions of discrimination.  

For examples, the Cambridge University dictionaries online retrieved 29 March 2013 coined discrimination as treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, “in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.

Arguably, the history of Liberia recognized the builders of the foundation of the Liberian society to be Christians thus excluding or failing to recognize the contribution of people such as King Sao Boso or Chief Boatswain a devoted Muslim that protected the rights of the very settlers most of whom were Christians and subsequently became the builders of the foundation of the Liberian society.  

It is from this background Islam and African spiritual religion practiced by some of the natives (Dei/Bassa people) are not recognize as having any part to play in the foundation of the Liberian society.

On the flip side of the coin, moral philosophers argued that individuals need not to be actually harmed in order to be discriminated against. They just need to be treated worse than others for some arbitrary or preferential reason.

For example, if a philanthropist decides to donate to help orphan children, but decides to donate less, say, to black children out of a racist attitude, then he/she would be acting in a discriminatory way even though the children they discriminate against are actually benefited by having some money donated to them or what you would considered as humanitarian gesture.  

If you carefully liken the argument of these moral philosophers to the clarification of proponents opting to Christianize Liberia, you will realize that their (proponents) intention is not to harm Muslims in terms of their right to worship or observe Islam. Of course they will as usual attend regular prayers on Friday in mosques, pray five times daily at convenient places and observe Ramadan as well.

However, opting to legalize Christianity as state religion regardless of whatever reasons that may benefit the state will be technically tantamount to discrimination. The reason (s) stems from the preference in term of recognition of Christianity.

Preferential treatment is the same as treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing is perceived to belong to rather than on individual merit.

Another issues that technically suggests discrimination should the law be passed in favor of the proponents stems from ignoring of the protracted request of the Muslims community to make Ramadan a national holiday just as Christmas being official holiday in Liberia in favor of the Christian community.

In other words, how can we make Liberia is Christian state by law in favor of majority (Christians) but ignore the plight or request of the minority (Muslims)? Doubtlessly, history is replete with discrimination of minorities as such; any attempt to respect the views of the proponents regardless of whatever justifiable reason(s) is still tantamount to discrimination in as much as the right of the minorities (Muslims) voice to be heard has being ignored. Seriously think about this.

Ambrues M. Nebo,
[email protected]/[email protected]