News / Africa

Kenyan Muslims Offer Christians Protection from Attacks

Kenyan security forces secure the African Inland Church after an attack in Kenya's northern town of Garissa, July 1, 2012. Kenyan security forces secure the African Inland Church after an attack in Kenya's northern town of Garissa, July 1, 2012.
x
Kenyan security forces secure the African Inland Church after an attack in Kenya's northern town of Garissa, July 1, 2012.
Kenyan security forces secure the African Inland Church after an attack in Kenya's northern town of Garissa, July 1, 2012.
Peter Clottey
A leading member of Kenya’s Inter-Religious Council has welcomed as an unprecedented gesture an offer by Muslim leaders to protect Christians following last Sunday attacks.

Mustafa Ali said the recent church attacks were aimed at creating deep rifts between Muslims and Christians in Kenya.

“The Muslim leaderships in the country, particularly in northeastern Kenya, are saying that they are offering Muslims themselves to guard the churches, particularly on Sundays, as Christians go to the churches and pray,” said Ali.

“This is unprecedented in the Christian-Muslim relationship in the country… the relationships are generally very good, other than a few instances where Christians and Muslims have disagreed on  [few things], but have not really fought each other, as we are witnessing in places like Nigeria,” he added.

Kenyan police say gunmen attacked two churches in the eastern town of Garissa Sunday killing 17 people and wounding 40. They said the attackers threw grenades and opened fire on worshippers.  

The deadliest attack took place at the African Inland Church, where at least 10 people were killed, including two police officers.  The second attack took place at a Catholic church.  Although there has been no claim of responsibility, police have blamed previous attacks on sympathizers of the Somalia-based Islamic militant group al-Shabab.

Ali said the attacks create tension between Christian and Muslim communities.

“For al-Shabab to kill so many Christians, it creates a very difficult situation for the inter-faith relations between Muslims and Christians.  And, Muslims increasingly fear that these kinds of attacks are going to lead to reprisals, the kind that we have seen in Nigeria.”

Prime Minister Raila Odinga condemned the attacks saying they were designed to spark conflict between Muslims and Christians.

Muslim clergymen in Garissa also condemned the attacks and have called for a stronger relationship with their Christian counterparts.

Ali said the Inter-Religious Council supports the gesture by the Muslim leadership to bolster unity and cooperation with Christians following Sunday’s church attacks.

“We support this step taken by the Muslim leadership in Kenya… What al-Shabab wants to do is to create disaffection between Muslims and Christians,” said Ali. “Kenyan Muslims are saying that we should not get into such a stage where Christians are targeting Muslims or Muslims are targeting Christians.”

Clottey interview with Mustafa Ali, member of Kenya’s Inter-Religious Council
Clottey interview with Mustafa Ali, member of Kenya’s Inter-Religious Council i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Multimedia Ferguson, Missouri Streets Calm After Days of Violence

Police official says authorities responded to fewer incidents, noting there were no shootings, Molotov cocktails or fires More

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

For Chanthy Sok, rap infused with Cambodian melodies is a way to pay respect to the survivors of the victims of Khmer Rouge genocide More

Study: Our Life with Neanderthals Was No Brief Affair

Scientists discover thousands of years of overlap between modern humans and their shorter, stockier cousins More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Basil Vasiliu from: New York
July 05, 2012 7:43 AM
There is nothing more atrocious than unwarranted cowardly attacks by members of groups that don't have the courage to stand up for what they believe in a civilized way. People have to be more observant and organized. Because unfortunately things are not as spiritually advanced enough to allow people to just be, and pray with each other in the way that most satisfies them. We will one day look back and realize that we are still in the infantile stage of civility. In order to advance we must protect ourselves from the desire to punish. Punishment has to be humane.


by: Tanko from: Abuja
July 05, 2012 7:08 AM
Yes this is a welcome development and good gesture in mending relationship between the two faith, but just a point of remainder we also in Nigeria at so many instances have done that,its just that we have to keep on educating our people on this sensitive issues and to be tolerance to one another.


by: Barbara from: France
July 05, 2012 5:22 AM
Oh, how cute... Islam - we must defeat this contamination


by: Rev:Martin Yoasa from: Juba south sudan
July 05, 2012 2:18 AM
Brother's AL-shabab, why are creating blood shed in the world? do you know Allah whom you said you are praying to? He will bring us all to the throne of justice. Muslims are Muslim.Christian are Christian.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid