Uganda: Criminals Using Religion to Cause Insecurity - Menk

Kampala — Zimbabwean Mufti Ismail Menk has said some wrong people have been used to distabilise peace in most countries around the world, calling upon different players to help stop this narrative.

"Wrong people are using religion to distabilise peace in most countries around the world. We disassociate ourselves (Muslims) from those who want to distabilise us," Mufti Menk told hundreds of people, mainly Muslims, who occupied a bigger part of the Mandela National Stadium terraces for the public lecture which closed his visit in Wakiso District yesterday.

"If there is a leader who says that Islam is built on hate, killing and squabbles, I would respectfully say they are foolish. Many people are asking Muslims what they are doing about the extremists in the world hiding in the religion. What we are doing here is part of the answer to your question," he added.

Striking a balance

At the heart of his articulate and inspirational message, which struck a balance across all religions, was core values such as respect, peace, tolerance, togetherness and fear for Allah (God).

Yesterday marked the last day of Mufti Menk's mission dubbed, "Building bridges" in Uganda where he has spent four days having arrived on Wednesday.

Without sparing the political space which he says has failed to resolve issues with counterparts in other countries, Mufti Menk said: "We are helplessly witnessing people killing each other because those in power at time are fuelling these killings. Politicians should respect themselves and respect the lives of the people."

This message sent the listening congregation into a sudden uproar clapping and chanting different Islamic phrases such as, "Takbir, Allahu Akbar."

Internal Affairs minister, Gen Jeje Odong, who represented President Museveni at the event, said the growth of Islam in the country was remarkably steady and promised total support through freedom of worship.

"We are thankful to you (Mufti Menk) that you are preaching against extremists in the world and we are going to give you all the support we can as Ugandan government. Continue to preach peace and togetherness such that those bad habits can be eroded away," Gen Odong said.

By 9:30am, the national stadium gates had been flung open for the long awaited cleric whose message Muslims folks termed to be soothing to the heart and inspirational to many of them in terms of growth in the faith.

Expectations

Mr Mohamed Kamoga, who attended the event said: "I have been waiting to listen to him (Mufti Menk) because many people have told me that when he speaks, you cannot help but keep yearning for more as your faith grows."

Uganda Mufti, Sheikh Shaban Mubajje said: "The relationship Uganda has started with Zimbabwe ought to continue. This will help to propagate peace and unity among the two nations. We know the work you are doing across the world and pray that others can take it as an example."

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