By Bill W. Cooper
Muslims under the banner, ‘Movement for Islamic Holidays in Liberia’ are extolling Bomi County Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe for buttressing their calls in ensuring that Islamic holidays are legislated in Liberia.
The students’ movement termed Snowe’s move as brilliant, patriotic and nationalistic. On May 23, 2021, the Bomi County lawmaker announced his introduction of three legislations which if considered by the plenary of the Liberian Senate could be landmark.
The legislations which was finally placed on the floor of the Senate’s plenary yesterday included an Act making Easter Monday a public holiday; an Act making Eid al-Adha (Abraham’s Day) a public holiday and an Act making Eid al-Fitr (End of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Festival of breaking fast) a public holiday and Snowe called on his colleagues to give their fullest support for passage.
However, since the submission of the legislations, there have been many public mixed reactions from all sectors across the country including several clergymen, lawmakers, politicians as well as common citizens.
Addressing a news conference yesterday on the University of Liberia (UL) main campus in Monrovia, the UL Muslim Students Association president, Ayoubah G. Dauda Swaray stated that the move by Sen. Snowe buttressing their calls for Islamic holidays in the country is something that is worth commendations.
The Muslim group said the bills are in accordance with the Liberian Constitution which supports religious equality among others and pointed out that Muslims of Liberia as part of the moral majority and acknowledge that Liberia belongs to all therefore their liberty there in should be enjoyed consistent with Article 14 of the Liberian Constitution.
Swaray added, “Liberia is one of the only two countries in the entire West African that has not legislated the festivals of the Muslims as public holidays when in fact in Muslim dominated countries, Christmas, Easter Monday, Assumption of Mary Day and other major Christian festivals are holidays in spite of the low percentage of Christian population.”
But on the Truth Breakfast Show yesterday, Senator Conmany Wesseh said the Constitution of Liberia states that nobody should encourage the dominance of one religion pointing out, “I don’t like to fix something when it did not spoil.”
He said apparently the proposal by Sen. Snowe is a campaign promise for which he got sufficient votes and wants to create unnecessary problems because Christmas is celebrated all over as a national day while Sunday is just a restful day globally and added that those days were not legislated.
He said the danger Snowe’s bills has when enacted is that all other religions can now come requesting for holidays as a right but noted, “The matter will be brought forward for discussion and if it is intended for election promise, it has served its purpose.”
Muslims Extols Snowe On Islamic Holiday Bills …As Conmany Wesseh Terms It Problematic
By Bill W. Cooper