, JOINT STATEMENT BY MUSLIM LEADERS
1. WHAT ISLAM STANDS FOR:-
Islam, as we all know, is a complete and perfect way of life which addresses all aspect of Human life. Islam means submission to the will of Allah (SWT) as Muslims we submit to non except Allah (the Supreme)
Whatever we do, we should seek guidance from the teachings of our religion.
As much as Islam lays emphasis on strengthening the relationship between a human being and his Creator, it also seeks to guide us on how to deal with each other as human beings whether Muslims or non-Muslims.
2. ISLAM AND JUSTICE
One of the guiding principles of Islam is that we should always strife to do justice to all. Allah (S.W.T) tells us that “doing justice is closest to piety”. Hence you cannot claim to be pious if you do not do just to all, even to people who may hold a different view.
Further, Islam does not condone oppression, (i.e. dhulm). This includes oppression to others or even to your own self. The guiding principle is that “Do not oppress others” nor accept to be oppressed.”
In this regard, the Prophet (S.A.W) says “Rescue your brother regardless of whether he is the oppressor (by holding him back) or the oppressed.” Thus Islam does not condone oppression whatsoever not withstanding that the oppressor is a fellow Muslim or a blood relative.
3. ISLAM AND LEADERSHIP
In Islam, leadership is not considered an honour but a responsibility that we shall be answerable for. Each one of us is answerable to Allah (SWT) for whatever positions of responsibility we hold.
The Prophet (S.A.W) says “All of you are guardians and each of you is answerable for his guardianship”. Hence we should take responsibility for our actions in whatever capacity we are in as we shall be answerable both in this world and the hereafter.
4. THE RECENT EVENTS AND THE AFTERMATH
Following the events of last Friday the 15th January 2010, we wish to state the following:-
It is a God given right as well as a Constitutional right to stand up and demand for your right using the various appropriate means. These may include peaceful demonstrations, protests, writing of Memoranda, dialogue etc.
However, we are greatly concerned about those who use such forums, (whether Muslims or non-Muslims) to cause mayhem and destruction of life and property as Islam does not stand for this. Islam stands for preservation of life and property.
We wish at this juncture to send our sympathies to those who lost their loved ones, those who were injured and those who lost property.
At the same time we wish to in the strongest term possible condemn those who use the occasion to cause mayhem and destruction.
We particularly are concerned with the way the Police handled the matter and particularly disrupting the demonstration at the doorstep of the Mosque, confining worshippers for 7 hours in the Mosque, using live bullets and worst of all which is evident from recordings deliberately and as if through pre-arrangement mobilizing gangs of non-stakeholders and crooks to invade the Mosque and destroy property.
This cannot and shall not be tolerated and we are addressing this with the relevant authorities. In the meantime, we demand an official public enquiry into the whole incident.
We also take great exception to the manner in which the Security agents have continued to harass Muslims and particularly the Somali community all in the name of security. We condemn the Police operation against Muslims in particular the Somali community as it amounts to ethnic discrimination which is unconstitutional and oppressive. We believe some people in Government have an agenda to economically disenfranchise the Muslims under the guise of fighting insecurity. This must stop immediately.
“It is important to note that all those arrested after Friday incident are Muslims.” You cannot kill and maim us and then arrest us for defending
As we deal with the aftermath of the incident, we strongly call for restraint and we believe that it is not in the interest of anyone that further demonstrations are called.
Future peace demonstrations, if need arises must be properly organized particularly to avoid infiltrations by those with bad intentions.
In future if need be, leaders and particularly Scholars should be involved and if the Mosque is the venue those in charge of the Mosque must be involved fully. Where all options must be explored.
For now, as the custodians of this Mosque, we do not support any demonstration that will affect the tranquillity in the Mosque. This however does not mean that we shall not strongly continue to stand up for our rights and engage those concerned appropriately.
We ask the Muslim Religious Scholars (Ulamaas) must rise to the occasion, take up their rightful position and give guidance to this Ummah.
We ask the Political and other Muslim Leadership to be more responsible and stand up for issues affecting the Ummah. Stand up and be counted for Islam.
We ask the Muslim Youth, be more responsible and do not play into the hands of those who do not wish us well. Do not allow your emotions to cloud your intellect and reasoning. Seek guidance from the teachings of Islam and from Scholars before taking any action. Have a disciplined approach to issues and respect the views of your Elders.
To the non-Muslims in this Country, we stand for peaceful co-existence and respect for one another. This should not be taken for cowardice Muslims are entitled to all rights and freedoms as bonafide citizens of this country.
Can we respect each other and work together for a more cohesive and united Kenya?
Can we work towards maintaining unity in diversity and for those in authorities; to the government: can you restrain yourself from misuse of your powers and acting in a partisan manner? Muslims are citizens of this country and deserve better treatment.
All issues now and in the future must and should be addressed through the structure that we have.
(The Statement issued by Muslim leaders during Friday prayers at Jamia Mosque. The address was made by Abdullatif Essajee, a University of Nairobi lecturer and Treasurer of the mosque on behalf of Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, National Muslim Leaders Forum, Jamia Mosque Committee and Muslim MPs).