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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid