Muslim leaders rally against clampdown

Sheikh Mohammed Dor, who was appointed to represent Kenya in Muscat (Oman), is among those yet to report to their stations. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |

What you need to know:

  • Sheikh Mohammed Dor, accused the government of allegedly mistreating the Somali community during the clampdown that police say is meant to kick out illegal foreigners and terrorists.
  • Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow and former National Assembly deputy Speaker Farah Maalim Mohamed described the swoops in Eastleigh, Nairobi, and detention of Somali citizens as an economic war.
  • Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) director Khelef Khalifa questioned the police rationale of arresting people first then investigating later.

Muslim leaders have demanded an immediate end to arrests in the war against terrorism, as relatives stormed police stations to seek release of those seized in the operation.

The leaders accused the government of targeting only Muslims and members of the Somali community.

On Sunday, the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya secretary-general Sheikh Mohammed Dor, accused the government of allegedly mistreating the Somali community during the clampdown that police say is meant to kick out illegal foreigners and terrorists.

He said it was wrong for the community to be victimised during the war against terrorism.

“Islam has never and will never support any act of terror because of the wanton destruction of lives and property. But we will not accept our community to be profiled as terrorists as it is happening now,” he said.

On Friday, Muslim leaders said the security crackdown in Nairobi and other parts of the country is a scheme to punish the Somali business community.

Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow and former National Assembly deputy Speaker Farah Maalim Mohamed described the swoops in Eastleigh, Nairobi, and detention of Somali citizens as an economic war.

In Mombasa, relatives of those arrested in the swoop thronged Changamwe Police Station demanding the release of their kinsfolk.

Ms Amina Hassan, a resident of Msikitini Nuru, narrated how her relative was arrested at 8pm after Friday prayers.

“He showed the police his identity card but they ignored it and brought him here (station).

This is harassment and it is not fair to discriminate against people on the bases of their ethnic group,” she claimed.

Addressing residents outside the station, Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi asked police to be humane and reasonable.

“In my constituency, there are Somalis and Boranas, who are businesspeople, but were arrested,” he said.

Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) director Khelef Khalifa questioned the police rationale of arresting people first then investigating later.

“This is a miscarriage of justice. The law does not allow police to arrest people first then find out what crime they have committed,” he said outside the station where he had gone to “monitor the situation.”

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