16 January, 2010

Muslims Protest the Detention of Sheikh Abdullah-Al-Faisal in Kenya

The streets of Nairobi namely; Moi Avenue and Kenyatta avenue were today afternoon a series of running battles between Muslims protesting for the release of controversial  Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheik  Abdullah-Al-Faisal and the Kenya Police.The Muslim protesters were stopped in their tracks from their intended protest march immediately after their noon prayers at the Jamia mosque by armed anti-riot and General Service Unit  personnel. According to the Nation Newspaper online, the skirmishes/riots led to the needless death of one youth.At one time members of the public joined the Police in fighting of the demonstrators indicating that the issue of the radical cleric is now taking a new direction. Without doubt the riots and the loss of life and property are a disgrace to the youths involved .

The Government of Kenya is keenly intent of deport Sheikh Abdul Faisal who has been declared personna non grata in most commonwealth Countries. The Jamaican Muslim cleric famed for hate speech and lectures is being held in communicado  pending his deportation. The Muslim activists are protesting due to the allegation that his Human Rights are being abused and that Due Process of law should be upheld in his deportation.

The protests are bringing to the fore highly serious and emotive issues especially with regards to religious  leaders role and culpability  in fomenting hatred.The comments at the Newspaper's article indicates that many Kenyans have a reservation towards the presence of the preacher and are not in support of the protests. In fact many Kenyans believe that the preacher may just be giving Islam bad press and a bad image in this era of international terrorism and religious segregation.  However that opinion is debatable.I for example have many Muslim colleagues whom i believe do not support any radical viewpoints .In fact in my experience they are quite peaceful and have many positive qualities.One person can really do so much harm.The intended peaceful protests with the background of Kenya's terrorism experience with Al- Qaeda operatives and Somalia's Al Shabaab's threats will just heighten polarization of the citizenry.

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