LIBERIA: Muslim Cleric Links Quarantining to Islamic Teachings

The Chairman of the National Muslim Council of  Liberia, Sheik Kafumba Konneh, has said the Muslim community sees quarantining as a mandate “deeply rooted” in the teachings of Islam intended to keep the  land safe from further infection.

“If you heard that there is a plague in a land, do not enter it, and if a plague visits a land while you are there, do not go out of it,” Sheik Kafumba Konneh recited a quotation from the Quran.

The Muslim Cleric made the statement at the Ministry of Information regular daily Ebola press conference on Thursday.

Sheikh Konneh, who also provided a research analysis about quarantine, told journalists that according to Wikipedia, the word originates from an Italian word called quaranta giorni, which means 'forty days’.

According to him, quarantining was practiced as a measure of disease prevention related to the ‘Black Death’ of 1348 AD, which wiped out an estimated 30 percent of Europe's population, and a significant percentage of Asia's population.

According to the Cleric since the declaration of Liberia’s independence, the country has never experienced a disease outbreak of this scale and, as such, every Liberian should apply more energy to fighting the virus as well as adhering to measures put in place by authorities.

He said religious principles should not only be practiced or upheld when people enter the Church or Mosque, but it should also be applied during every aspect of human existence, “especially when we need it most to survive.”

“Health workers have told us that the virus has no known cure, but we can all say that the only available cure that we know is ‘prevention.’ So, when people are isolated from others in an effort to fight the disease, I think people should accept the conditions,” Konneh emphasized.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Konneh said the Muslim Council of Liberia has agreed to a decision reached by the International Muslim Council prohibiting Muslims of Liberia from traveling to Saudi Arabia until the epidemic subsides as it is in accordance with the Quran.

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