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Sen. Snowe To Lobby For Muslim Holidays

By Alex Yomah
In the wake of increased demands from the Liberian Islamic faith requesting the government of Liberia for Islamic holidays, Bomi County Senator, Edwin Melvin Snowe, from a predominant Muslim county has vowed to submit to the Liberian Senate for passage three separate bills calling for three separate holidays for the Liberian Muslims.
In a facebook post on Sunday, May 23, 2021, Senator Edwin Snowe averred , “ This week, I will be introducing three landmarks legislations on the floor of the Liberian Senate. I hereby call on my colleagues in the legislature as well as the general public to give these legislations their fullest support for passage.”
Senator Snowe’s proposed bills include; “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,” he narrated.
Senator Snowe’s decision to said bills have sparked debate in the public space with some describing the Bomi County Senator’s attempt as dead on arrival while others said his attempt is to ferment religious disintegration to gain political attention while the Liberian Muslims are already demanding holidays unconditionally from the Liberian government.
Sen. Snowe’s quest is being made public after the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abubakar M.D. Sumaworo called on the government to ensure that there be an enactment by the Legislature, holidays for Ramadan and Abraham’s Day to be enacted into law through a bill as it is long overdue.
He emphasized that when Ramadan and or Abraham’s Day are enacted as National Holidays in the country, it will afford Muslim students as well to observe these sacred events without being marked absent at non-Islamic learning institutions as has been the case, thus resulting to demotion of Muslim students at some schools.
“This”, Grand Mufti Sumaworo said, “Needs to be discouraged by authorities at non-Islamic schools so as to enable Muslim students turn out in full to observe the Month of Ramadan/Abraham’s Day without being barred from adhering to the practices of their religious faith in Liberia.”
Also recently, the head of the National Chief Imam Council of Liberia, Ali Krayee, in the Muslim’s quest for holiday assured that there will be a national holiday for Muslims in the Republic of Liberia at the next Ramadan celebration.
Imam Krayee assured Muslims in the country that they have used every means to demand that the government declares national Islamic holidays but to no avail noting, “Our children cannot continue to worry whether or not to attend the Ramadan prayer or to take their exams.”
He added that some of their children who are students are constrained to take exams on Ramadan day instead of praying along with them, which makes them feel like they are foreigners in their own country.
Ali Krayee said providing the Muslims holiday will not only demonstrate that they too are Liberians, but it will give them equal rights as citizens.
Speaking recently on the climax of this year’s Ramadan Day on Benson Street, he pointed out that this government and successive governments often ignore Muslims call for holidays.
He continued that such request was made again in 2018 and all the government could do was to distribute thousands bags of rice to them without granting their request pointing out, “Again, the same request was made in 2019 and all they could do was to distribute thousands bags of rice and forgot about our request.”
He stated that in 2020, they reiterated their plights for Islamic holidays but the government pretended as if they never heard them but added that if the government cannot give them their desire, they will not receive rice during Ramadan.
Imam Krayee mentioned further that their rights as citizens of this country have been taken away evidenced by the refusal of government to share national holidays between the Muslims and Christians due to self-interest.
However, he promised that they will continue to be peaceful and contribute positively to the development of this nation noting that their year of peacefulness in the country will not be jeopardized because freedom is expensive, so they will maintain the peace.

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