Muslim imams demand govt protection

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

Muslim leaders  called on the Kenyan government to provide protection to Muslim clerics following the killing of a prominent imam in the coastal city of Mombasa.

“The Imam Council has officially communicated to us proposing that each imam be given a bodyguard by the government,” Abdulghaffur Al Busaidy, chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, told Anadolu Agency by phone.

“This is the message I am sending to the inspector General of Police that our imams need protection,” he said.

Imam Salim Mwarangi was shot dead in Likoni, a suburb outside off the Mombasa Island, late Tuesday, in the latest attacks targeting Muslim clerics in the coastal city.

“It is shocking that in the last three years we have lost so many Muslim preachers to these killings,” Al Busaidy said.

“What is even more worrying is that no single suspect has been arrested,” he added.

In Mombasa, Muslim political leaders decried insecurity on the Island and mainland.

“Unless our security personnel are more vigilant, we will witness more and more imams killed in broad day light,” Likoni MP Masoud Mwahima told AA.

“The government is responsible to provide security to all its citizens. What Likoni needs is more security patrols,” he said.

In June, imam Mohammed Idris, chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), was killed shortly after leaving mosque in Mombasa.

Sheikh Abubakar Shariff, an outspoken Muslim cleric popularly known as “Makaburi,” was killed in Mombasa on April 1.

He was killed in the same place – and in the same manner – as two other Muslim scholars. Sheikh Ibrahim Omar and Sheikh Aboud Rogo were both killed in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

“I intend to take the issue to Parliament to debate protection of imams and mosques,” Mvita  MP Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir told AA.

“I am talking about mosques or imams who feel may be a targeted by unknown gunmen. The people of Mombasa want to be assured about their security,” he said.

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