At long last, stakeholders of the Liberian Muslim community have resolved to work together for the success of this year’s Hajj Program, with an agreement of all Hajj and Umrah agencies to work under one accord.
The unanimous decision was finally made on May 27, during a well-attended meeting of the parties and other stakeholders presided over by Internal Affairs Minister Varney A. Sirleaf, at his Internal Affairs Ministry Office in Monrovia.
It can be recalled that more than 50 Liberian Muslims did not make it to the Annual pilgrimage last year due to misunderstanding within the Islamic community.
Since that unfortunate situation, the Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, has been finding ways to mitigate the impasse and bring the parties together.
An Internal Affairs Ministry statement says for the past few weeks, there have been intensive efforts by Minister Sirleaf, the National Muslim Council and other prominent individuals to resolve issues.
Among the key decisions, the parties resolved to utilize a single service provider, represented in Liberia by Wave Travels and Tours owned by Lamine Jabang, as the only service provider for this year’s Hajj.
Meanwhile, the authorities have set Monday, June 5, 2023, as the deadline for all payments for interested Muslims who intend to embark on this year’s pilgrimage.
Hajj and Umrah Agencies at Saturday’s meeting include: Songhay Travel Agency Inc, headed by Honorable Lusinee F. Kamara,Sr & Sekou Konneh, Buraq Travel Agency of Alhaji Abdulai Sannoh, United Muslim Hajj & Umrah Travel Agency of Amadu Mayoubah Sheriff, and Rahma Travel Agency represented by Vamuyan Sheriff and Ishmeal A. Sheriff.
Making remarks, Internal Affairs Minister Varney A. Sirleaf lauded the Muslim leaders for reuniting themselves, describing the resolution as a big achievement for the Muslim community in service to the country and Allah. He said Saturday's decision by the Hajj agencies to unite has been the greatest desire of President George Manneh Weah. Minister Sirleaf pledged to work with the stakeholders in ensuring a successful Hajj program.
Also speaking, a prominent leader and owner of the Songhay Travel Agency, former Finance Minister Lusinee F. Kamara, attributed the conflict to the works of “Satan”, which he said should never be allowed within the Muslim community. Mr. Kamara commended Internal Affairs Minister Sirleaf for pursuing the finalization of the conflict.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia Sheikh Abraham F. Sheriff expressed happiness for the resolution of the problem, which he described as the first major achievement of his administration. He lauded Minister Sirleaf for his leadership role in the resolution and former Associate Justice Cllr. Kabineh M. Ja’neh who played a crucial role.
Also in attendance were Cllr. Losene F. Bility who plays a key role in the Hajj process of Liberia and Mr. Lamine Janbang, who hurriedly traveled to Liberia for the meeting, among others.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of the Islamic religion that must be performed at least once in a lifetime by adult Muslims who are financially and physically capable of taking the journey.