Via the Daily Observer: Saudi Visa Suspension ‘Saddens’ Muslim Council. Excerpt:
The Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia, Sheik Karfumba Konneh, has described the suspension of visas by Saudi Arabia to three West African countries as ‘sad.’
The Saudi Arabian government Tuesday, March 25, decided to “suspend visa issuance” to Liberian Muslims, following reports of the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in the Mano River Union (MRU) sub-region; which includes Guinea, where the disease has had its worst toll.
According to the Chairperson of the National Muslim Council, Liberian Muslims are not the only ones being affected by the Saudi’s action. He revealed that Muslims from Guinea, Gambia and Sierra Leone have been restricted as well.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Observer Thursday, April 3, Sheik Kafumba Konneh said they had faith in Almighty Allah that before the time for the main pilgrimage reaches, Allah would have passed the Ebola plague over Liberia and Muslims would go to Mecca for their “once in a lifetime” experience.
He said the Founder—Prophet Mohammed—of the Islamic Religion, had mandated every Muslim to visit Mecca, which include adhering to one of the five pillars of Islam.
The Liberian Islamic scholar spoke with the Observer at his Clay Street residence on Thursday, April 3.
He stated that while the Saudi’s action saddens the National Muslim Council, their (the Saudi government’s) decision was “understandable.” According to him, 1,500 years ago, the Prophet Mohammed said, “When there is epidemic (contagious virus), Muslims should restrict their movement and even those in the safe areas should not come into the place that is affected with the virus.”
“We want the government of Liberia, Africa and the World Health Organization (WHO) to rise up and ensure this Ebola virus does not spread further. If that is done, Muslims will be able to travel to any of the holy places.”