Liberia: Imam Council Wants Dialogue, Not Protest

Imam Krayee addresses the news conference in Monrovia.

The National Imam Council of Liberia (NICL), on Thursday, May 9, 2019, said it is important that the government organize a dialogue with the Council of Patriots to settle their differences rather than the group taking onto the street to protest.

At a news conference in Monrovia, the chief Imam of Liberia, Ali Krayee, called on the government to embark on a journey of national reconciliation and healing by stretching its hands to the opposition in good faith to dialogue on issues of nation building.

"We believe that through dialogue, nothing is irreconcilable to disallow Liberians moving together in one spirit to achieve some of the basic development objectives," Krayee said.

According to him, the Muslim community is informed that the growing tension in the country is due to economic hardship that is bringing about the June 7 "peaceful protest," which according to the organizers, intends to "save the state." He pleaded with the organizers to reconsider their Friday, June 7, "because it comes a few days after the end of this year's Ramadan, and also coincides with the day of our general prayer."

Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection, which lasts 29-30 days, based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths. This annual observance is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam.

Having observed the fast month, Krayee said as Muslims celebrating the end of the spiritual cleanings and reconciling with Allah, the God of Mercy, we also reconcile with people, because the right spirit of Ramadan is to remain peaceful with fellow humans.

The Imam said since the protest is being scheduled on Friday, the timing does not only violate just the spirit of the Ramadan, but violates Muslim usual Friday's prayers.

"In other words, Muslim will not be able to perform their spiritual duties while non-Muslims Liberians are protesting, therefore, we are appealing to the organizers, if at all they must protest, though we prefer dialogue, and that the protest action is rescheduled to a later date," Krayee suggested.

Imam Krayee: "All we pray for is that law and order prevail; that peace and reconciliation be the way forward."

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