5 March 2016

Liberia: Muslim Council Suspends Inter-Religious Council Membership

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Liberian Muslims protest Christian state proposal.

The National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL) has suspended its membership with the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia (IRCL).

The IRCL was founded in 1990 during the Liberian civil war to help negotiate peace between the Liberian Government of the late President Samuel K. Doe and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

According to the National Secretary General Sheikh Akibu Sheriff, the NMCL "finds it unfortunate" at that the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) will take an institutional position to support the declaration of Liberia as a Christian state.

Sheriff indicated that Rev. Arnold Hill, a member of the committee representing the LCC, declared the Council's support to declare Liberia a Christian state when he led a seven-man delegation at the hearing conducted recently by the Joint Committee of the National Legislature headed by the House Committee on Good Governance.

Addressing a press conference Friday at the Council's headquarters in Monrovia, the NMCL official maintained that it has become unequivocally clear to the Muslim community over the last few months that the LCC has embarked on a carefully crafted plan to declare Liberia a "Christian Nation".

He stressed that the NMCL is a founding member of IRCL which was established by Liberia's legendary religious leaders, including Archbishop Michael Kpakala Francis, Sheikh Kafumba F. Konneh and Archbishop William Nah Dixion, among others, to assist post-war Liberia engender religious tolerance and human fraternity.

Sheriff emphasized that the NMCL, after extensive consultations within the Muslim community and with the larger Liberian society, has with immediate effect suspended its membership with the IRCL.

Meanwhile, LCC president Bishop Jonathan B. B. Hart has clarified that the Council has not taken any position on the proposition to declare Liberia a "Christian state."

He said this decision will be made on Tuesday, M arch 8, when the counc convenes.

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