Students from the Muslim community Tuesday, August 4, petitioned the Legislature to enact into law two major Islamic festivals to be considered as national holidays in the country.
The two festivals include Al-Fitr, known as Ramadan Day, and Eid Al-Edha known as Abraham Day.
The student community under the banner “Movement for the Call of Islamic Holidays in Liberia” said with many holidays observed in the country, none of them belong to the Muslim community, which they termed as marginalization.
It can be recalled that the students’ movement unveiled to reporters on their move to have Liberia as “a country of religious tolerance” void of discrimination.Presenting the petition to the Legislature, the head of the advocacy group, Abdullah Dauda Swary said Liberia, unlike other African countries, is denying Muslims in recognizing the importance of their major festivals.
“While there are several National Holidays, it will interest you to know that the Muslim community does not have a single holiday dedicated to Muslims, which is contrary to the constitution,” he said.
Receiving the petition from the students’ group, Montserrado County District#4 Representative Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis, who serves as chair of the House’s Committee on Claims and Petition said the committee is going to take seize of the matter.
“As a matter of fact, we are going to do a serious comparative analysis to a country like Syria, Iraq, and Tunisia, and we come into the West African path to know as to whether these bigger Muslim’s Nations do have such a holiday. And again, in Liberia, it’s not about what we feel. I do know about Christian holidays; Sunday is, if I can be corrected, I know Sunday is a holiday for municipal activities and it just doesn’t matter, the Supreme Court doesn’t care how we feel. It is the Justice system that interprets the Laws. It’s incumbent upon us to go by the laws and regulations. We’ll engage the Committee in a meeting for clarity,” Rep. Suakoko-Dennis said.