Saudi Arabia to Islamize Liberia, W. Africa?

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A very detailed article written by three Muslim “women’s rights activists” from the middle east describes an alleged plan by Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich Arab monarchy, to Islamize the entire world, the United States, Europe and Africa, using Liberia as fertile ground for its plans for West Africa.

A 14-page, comprehensive and powerfully–written essay by three Arab women from Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia, respectively, one with a PhD and the others each with a Master’s degree, says the Saudis have developed a “game plan” to install a “Wahhabi-type Islamic regime in Syria that disproportionately disavows women, deprives girls of education and basic rights and darkens the prospects for equality between men and women in society. The article is entitled: “The Syrian War, Saudi Arabia’s Struggle for Global Influence and Control of Africa”.

In addition, said the three female Islamic authors—Anahita Ghorbani, Iranian women’s rights activist, Yafiah Assouin, PhD, Syrian women’s rights activist and Shada Al Zahrani, Saudi journalist—the Saudis’ game plan “is not just limited to Syria.  It is also a broader and calculated drive to install Islamic political leaders and regimes in fragile regions of the world, particularly West Africa. It also aims to distort the way of life of the West through a full scale Islamization process—a process that enjoins men and the right to multiple wives and deprives women of humanity.

The Daily Observer is endeavoring to contact Saudi Arabian embassies in the sub-region to get their reaction to these allegations.

In his initial reaction to the article, Liberia’s chief Imam, Sheikh Kafumba Konneh, questions the authors’ understanding of the issues discussed in their article. 

“The document, although purported to be the joint work of so-called highly qualified female academicians and women’s right activists of the Middle East, notably Saudi Arabia MA, Syria PhD and Iran MA, [shows] their lack of knowledge of the thin and subtle line between Saudi’s domestic and foreign politics when it comes to religion and political leadership is unbelievable for their level,” explains Sheikh Konneh.

“The document’s claim that Saudi’s agenda of supporting Syrian rebels ‘is about installing a regime that will torment Israel in the region’ further puts a serious hole in their credential and credibility of the three authors and their report alike because this theory is very contradictory to the Saudi’s open support to the military overthrow of President Mursi of Egypt, a Sunni (Wahabbi) Muslim.  Besides, there is no leader in the region that is more of a pain in the neck of Israel more than Assad. The evidence is clear to all ordinary eyes; it is therefore so unbelievable that so-called researchers know very little about their region and so much details about Liberia. The Saudi’s foreign politics is more of protecting the Monarchy and preventing the spread of the Shiite sect of Islam through creating allies mainly in the region and reducing friends of the enemy.

Sheikh Kafumba Konneh publishes a weekly article in the Islamic column of the Daily Observer on the series, “Creating an Ideal Islamic Society”.

The three Islamic women scholars say that because almost all the nations of North Africa are politically Islamic, the Saudis' focus is on West Africa, where just eight of the region’s 16 countries, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Gambia, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, “are guaranteed to have political leaders who will always be Muslim.” The three writers continued, “Although Ivory Coast currently has a Muslim president, the secular nature of the country and the dominant influence of France and the Christian population makes it somehow difficult for the country to [become controlled by] Islamic laws.  Besides, the Ivorian President’s Western connection and marriage adds to the equation that he would not dare attempt to impose such dogmatic reality.”

“The Saudis,” said the three writers, “are eager to influence Sierra Leone and Liberia with their experiment to install Islamic political regimes.  In Sierra Leone, they did not have that leverage when Tejan Kabba was president; even though he was a Muslim, his political party was predominantly Christian led.

“In Ghana,” said the three authors, “the vehemence of the Catholic faithful, an evangelical landscape coupled with the country’s economic viability pose a challenge for the Saudis in any attempt to impose an Islamic political leadership.  Given some of these challenges, the Saudis’  plan is to identify the most volatile environment in the region, and so far, they have identified Liberia as the suitable test ground to begin installing Islamic political leadership in the rest of West African states that have no Muslim political majority and control.

“The Saudis’ plan for Liberia,” said the three women Islamic scholars and activists, “is first to ensure that a candidate of Muslim faith and background contests and wins the Liberian presidency.  To do this, the Saudis brought the Kuwaitis on board to influence Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in identifying and supporting such candidate. The bottom-line is to make Liberia an indirect Muslim nation through the application of aspects of the Sharia law when at such time a Muslim becomes president. 

In their article, the three Islamic women scholars made a highly speculative allegation when they declared, “The Liberian president, who briefly became a Muslim by marriage and direct family ties, seems to be in agreement, but skeptical of a drawback from the Liberian people.”  The authors continued, “In exchange for the President’s implicit willingness, the Saudis have [provided] and continue to provide financial incentives to her and her administration through the Kuwaiti government and members of its royal family.”

Daily Observer background: Shortly following her high school graduation from the College of West Africa in 1955, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf married Mr. James A. (Doc) Sirleaf. His father was Mr. Sirleaf who hailed from an Islamic background, but not much is known of him or his religion.  The mother, Mr. Sirleaf’s wife, had two sons for him, James, the elder and his brother Varsay, who became a medical doctor (Snapper Hill Clinic).  Their mother was a Methodist and so were her two sons.  That is why Ellen, though born a Presbyterian, became a Methodist when she married Doc Sirleaf.

Sheikh Konneh concurs.  “I find the arguments on the secret triangular maneuvering between Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to be laughable, elementary and cunningly distortive. The so-called facts are nothing but misleading fabrications, and lack the basic criteria of research paper which is factuality or to be attributed to a group of academicians to say the least. The author(s) made an unmarketable and fatal faux pas in their desperate attempt to turn Liberians against one another by giving more credence to their story when they claimed that the President was once a Muslim when the facts and evidence maintain that the President, her children including her late husband, were and have been Christians throughout.

“The Muslims of Liberia believe in the power of Allah the Creator,” the Sheikh continued, “the King of the Universe, who gives and takes away power. He gives it to whom He likes and takes it from whom He likes. When God is ready for Muslim leader to take over in Liberia, no amount of negative – either internal or external propaganda – can stop it or make it work.”

Observer background cont'd: It is true that the Kuwaitis have been pumping money into Liberia.  Recently, Robert Sirleaf, the President’s son, whom she appointed ambassador to Kuwait, showed up one day recently with US$14 million which the government said was a loan from the Kuwaiti government.  The Daily Observer has editorially wondered what involvement either the Liberian Foreign Ministry or the Ministry of Finance, whose head is a Muslim, had in the negotiations for this loan.  The Liberian government has not yet responded to this question.

Returning to the three Islamic women’s article, the allege in their article that “The feasibility of this plan [to install an Islamic successor to Ellen and other interventions in West Africa] is unlikely because the majority of people that adhere to the Islamic faith in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast are migrants from Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso.  As such, the practicing Muslim population in Liberia is insufficient to make for a Muslim candidate victory unless a foul play was in the mix.  In addition, the Americo-Liberians and many tribal groups in the country have fundamental disagreement with the Liberian Muslim population who they see as immigrants and a violent sect with no real geographic base in the country other than a province Lofa County, Liberia, that is home to a group known as Liberian Mandingoes.  The Lofa Mandingoes are generally Muslims and also legitimate Liberians.  Besides this group, Mandingoes and other Muslim settlers in the other Liberian provinces are migrants or descendants of migrants from Guinea, Mali or Burkina Faso. The only way to impact the election in a significant way is to continue mass migration of Muslims from neighboring Guinea and Mali, who upon return and a brief stay in the country, seek Liberian citizenship through corruption and assistance from an organized political Muslim community in the country that is bent on increasing their population.”

Said the three Islamic women scholars, “Key opposition alliance to the President’s elevation of the Muslim population in Liberia are cut across a cross section of the Americo-Liberian descendants and tribal groups from counties like Lofa, Nimba, Bong, Grand Cape Mount, Margibi and Grand Bassa, where friction between these groups and the Muslims, particularly the Mandingoes, have always run high. Generally, the Mandingoes enjoyed good relations with tribal groups in Liberia’s southeastern region (home of Sirleaf’s maternal grandmother) for several reasons, including due to the scarce settlement of the group in that area and the peaceful nature of the country’s southeasterners.”

The three women Islamic authors say, “Some of the strongest underground and vocal critics of the Liberian President’s increasing elevation of the country’s Muslim group into key functions of government include her in-law, Estrada Bernard, confidante Willis Knuckles, opposition figures Benoni Urey, Cyril Allen and Mills Jones of the Central Bank.  The most vocal critics are Allen and Urey, both of whom believe the President is mortgaging the country’s future to Islamic intolerance and radicalism because she knows that she may not be around due to her advanced age, and that only future generations of Liberians will pay for her misguided efforts of Islamic-centered policy.  Other silent critics include former warlord Prince Johnson and few members of the country’s so-called progressive elements from the 1980s.”

The three women Islamic scholars say the Saudis particularly dislike the notion that the Liberian Constitution and history maintain that the country was founded by African-Americans, based on Christian principles. In the past, they have funded processes and pseudo Islamic programs to dismantle that aspect of the country’s Constitution and history but met strong opposition from the country’s evangelical Christian coalition and right wing politicians.  With the country’s ongoing constitutional review, the Saudis are hoping to influence change and support from President Sirleaf, whose marriage to a Muslim connects her to the Arabs.”

But here again, the authors are wrong because the President was not married to a Muslim.

The three authors claim that “A senior Saudi official and member of the Royal family confided that Sirleaf is afraid of a backlash should she try to force a Muslim candidate on the Liberian people.  Therefore, she intends to create a political alliance with a Liberian candidate, notable Charles Brumskine, a lawyer and former Taylor supporter, to have him not only protect her interest after her tenure, but to carry her preferred Muslim candidate as his vice president so that in the interim that the president is incapacitated, then the Muslim vice president will eventually become president as per the Liberian Constitution.”

According to the three women  Islamic scholars—and the Daily Observer has to make it clear that we do not know where the three scholars got their information—Sirleaf’s adult children . . . are split on this protocol, and the President has not discussed her plans with her closely knit family circle advisers that include her sister, brother-in-law and cousins.  In fact, the Liberian President’s former ambassador to the UK resigned from his position in silent protest because of the President’s elevation of the Muslim community in Liberia’s governance.”

The Daily Observer has contacted the former Liberian Ambassador to the UK, Wesley Johnson, for his reaction.

The three authors also allege that “Another plot said to be on the agenda for the Saudis [and others] is either to facilitate the assassination of credible presidential candidates with broad appeal, Christian support and background, or encourage the Liberian President and government to influence the country’s National Elections Commission (NEC) to eliminate strong Liberian presidential candidates and political parties on frivolous grounds. Specific candidates targeted are those with substantive Catholic background and support, and who wield broad based international appeal for their credentials and links to Rome, the United States and Israel.  

The faces and physical addresses of the three female authors cannot be revealed for security reasons, says a clause at the end of the article, which was originally published on Elombah.com, a Nigerian news website based in London, on April 14, 2014.  Its publisher, Mr. Daniel Raymond, told the Daily Observer that he received the article directly from the authors. “Our only concern was the motive of the writers,” said Raymond, whose website has been publishing news of the extremist group Boko Haram’s activities in Nigeria over the past few weeks.  He said the section of the article concerning Nigeria, alleging that Saudi money was being used to fund charities that “indirectly funded Boko Haram” was of interest to Elombah.

The article in its etirety is published at http://www.elombah.com/index.php/special-reports/21954-the-syrian-war-saudi-arabia-s-struggle-for-global-influence-and-control-of-africa

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