President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on Liberian Muslims to continue to serve as peace ambassadors in their daily interactions. She believes that the peace that Liberians enjoy today would not have come without God’s intervention and it’s therefore worthy to always seek his intervention while striving for peace and unity.
“By maintaining the peace it will bring us back to the days of old when all of us worshipped together for the prosperity our country,” the Liberian leader said.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader was speaking during a Thanksgiving Service at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex following the return of over 200 Muslims from the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
The President assured Liberian Muslims that her administration will continue to ensure religious tolerance and freedom as Government is determined to deal with any vises that will impede upholding these rights.
The President then extended thanks and appreciations to the Kingdoms of Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for facilitating trip of this year’s pilgrims to and from Mecca.
She also commended the 2013 Hajj Committee headed by Associate Justice Kabineh Ja’neh, a devout Muslim, for ensuring that Liberia was part of the annual Islamic ceremony.
On calls by Liberian Muslims for the reestablishment of a diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia which they said will ease the difficulties encountered during Hajj, President Sirleaf told the pilgrims that government is in discussion with several Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia for the reestablishment of diplomatic ties.
“We did not just close the Embassy in Saudi Arabia; rather it was because Liberians that were once assigned to our Embassy in that country were engaged in counterproductive activities at the detriment of Liberia,” she pointed out, adding, “They even led this country into huge debt at their own benefit. These are the problems we are trying to address before reopening the mission,” the Liberian President told the audience.
In remarks, the Secretary-General of the National Muslim Council of Liberia, Habbib Sheriff prayed to Allah that Liberians will unite and remain peaceful in lifting Liberia. He also prayed to Allah to protect President Sirleaf, describing her as one that has stood by the Muslims of Liberia, and wants Allah to keep blessing her during and after her administration as she will still be useful to Liberia after 2017.
Speaking on behalf of the 2013 Hajj Committee, its chairman, Associate Justice Ja’neh recounted the role of President Sirleaf in making Liberian Muslims realize one of the pillars of Islam.
He used the occasion to call on all Muslims in Liberia to continue to pray for the President and Liberia in its quest for peace and reconciliation as is being championed by the Liberian leader.
Lofa County District #4 Representative Mariamu Fofana, in remarks, said the President Sirleaf’s leadership has brought Muslim women to prominence as compared to the past. She indicated that the Liberian leader’s stance for gender equality in all aspects of life has given them the courage to go beyond just being Muslim women, but also making them form part of decision-making as well.