The Director of the Gabriel L. Dennis Foreign Service Institute, Dr. Mohammed B.O.S. Kenneth, has vehemently condemned an online publication by some Islamic women indicating that Saudi Arabia is using Liberia as fertile ground to Islamize nine other countries in Africa.
Dr. Kenneth, a one-time Minister Counselor at the Liberian Embassy in Beijing, China, and former Chief of Protocol of Liberia, told the Daily Observer that the article is a manipulation on the part of some people to turn Liberians against one another after experiencing years of civil war.
“I read the article myself and realized that it is very erroneous and meant to fuel conflict among Liberians, who have experienced years of civil war. We should not give it prominence because it means no good for us,” he said.
Dr. Kenneth noted that emphasis made about ULIMO-J being Muslim-dominated is completely contrary to the historical facts about Liberia.
“The article being negatively reflective on Muslims puts Mandingoes and Vais — that constitute the Muslim population — on eye-sighting stage for monitoring, although it also reflected President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the one Saudi Arabia is allegedly using to bring up an Islamic president to succeed her,” he stated.
The Liberian Muslim diplomat did acknowledge that more and more West Africans are pouring into Liberia from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria, which raises eye-brows as to whether some of members of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria or extremists in northern Mali are not among them.
Dr. Kenneth, a practicing Muslim, asserted that Liberian Muslims are people who truly go by ethics of the Koran that prohibits intolerance, disrespect for leaders and compatriots.
“Liberian Muslims follow the Holy Koran and its ethics. In the Koran, Muslims are taught to be tolerant, have respect for others and leaders. Those who carry attacks in the name of al-Shabab, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, and others are not true Muslims because there is nowhere in the Koran they are taught to wear suicide vest to blow off hotels and vehicles,” he stressed.
He stated that given the understanding of Liberian Muslims, it is impossible for activities of these extremists to come to Liberia. No Muslim here is in support of such inhumane acts, he asserted.
Commenting on concerns raised by Ambassador Wesley Johnson in Daily Observer’s May 7th edition, the Foreign Service Institute head said while Ambassador Johnson has his opinion, he believes that there are countries around Liberia with Muslim populations who are not on record for any extremist act.
He consented that as government’s response to the article indicates, securities and other peace loving citizens are working in their confines to build a consolidated peace and democracy, not allowing any vice to divide Liberians.
He noted that Liberia has inter-ethnic connections with all groups related to one another one way or the other, and that Liberian society is secular and pluralistic.
With this societal makeup, Dr. Kenneth said it is not a joy for one group to see others affected by its (group) action, and there is no way that any activity of extremism can infiltrate the Liberian society.
Editor's Note: It is possible that the authors mistook ULIMO-J for ULIMO-K, which was in fact led by Alhaji Kromah.