Says tiny fraction of Muslim nominees in CDC’s Pro-poor gov’t
Over 300 Imams through Chief Imam Ali Krayee has called on President George Weah to name a Muslim religious advisor to form part of the President’s council of religious advisors, who are mainly from the Christian community.
Imam Krayee recalled how President Weah recently named Reverend Emmanuel Nimely and Mother Kebeh Kangar, both Christians, as his religious advisors. He said “there is yet to be a Muslim advisor, whereas Muslims make up the second largest religious group in the country.”
“We are still waiting, hoping to hear the name of a Muslim Religious advisor,” Chief Imam Krayee said.
Krayee made the remarks on Saturday, March 10 at the auditorium of the William V. S. Tubman High School on 12th Street Sinkor, during the 23rd Anniversary and the 4th Annual Assembly of the National Imam Council of Liberia.
Former Information Minister, Reverend Emmanuel Bowier, also admonished the President to consider naming a Muslim Religious Advisor.
“If I meet the President, I will advise him to appoint a Muslim Religious Advisor to the already two Christian Advisors,” Bowier said.
Chief Imam said Muslims had been in Liberia long before Christians arrived, yet they (Muslims) are still begging for acceptance and inclusion in the country’s body politic.
Krayee spoke under the theme of “Identifying the Mission of our Generation.”
“As we speak, only a tiny fraction of Muslim nominees have so far been announced in Government. We look forward to better recognition, because we know that a few steps have been taken to, in some way, appease the Muslims. It is important to note that Muslims are under a religious obligation to be loyal to and sincerely support the government,” he said.
He added: “For some time now, we have complained about many issues such as the lack of Islamic holidays and the absence of Muslims chaplains at the various ministries and agencies.”
A member of the Imam Council, who begged for anonymity, said the role of a Muslim religious advisor is “to share the truth and values of Islam by thoroughly advising the President on a number of national issues.”
The vast majority of Liberian Muslims are Malikite Sunni, with a sizeable Shia and Ahmadiyya minorities. The primary Muslim ethnic groups are the Vai and Mandingo. However Gbandi, Kpelle and other ethnic groups practice the religion.
In a related development, Chief Imam Krayee said he supports the ‘Dual Citizenship’ proposition, which he said is fair to the country. But he expressed the fear that non-negro citizens from other continents, who are far more advanced intellectually and economically, will eventually take over the main cities and towns, while the poorly prepared indigenous people of the 16 ethnic groups retreat to the slums.
Krayee argued that a new class system, with city dwellers comprised mainly of non-negro people and country folks of indigenous background, would automatically be established.
This, he said, would only be a time bomb because in the future, the great grandchildren of Liberia may have to resort to the formation of the Liberian versions of groups such as the Mau Mau in a repeat of the continent’s ugly past.
Meanwhile, Farid Zarif, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Liberia (SRSG), has warned the Imams not to use the Muslim religion to gain attention or front for position. Zarif said they should make themselves relevant and excel to gain recognition.
He advised them to be united and strive for tolerance, praising the work of the Inter-Faith Committee.