Kenya leaders laud Obama for speaking on Muslim rights

While supporting government anti-terrorism measures, Kenyan Muslim leaders concerned Muslim community being deliberately targeted

Kenya leaders laud Obama for speaking on Muslim rights

World Bulletin / News Desk

Muslim leaders in Kenya praised U.S. President Barack Obama for speaking on Muslim rights in the East African country during his three-day visit last month. 

Obama was in Kenya to officially open the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. He also met with government officials to strengthen bilateral ties between Kenya and the United States.

“We commend President Barack Obama’s call on the government to end the profiling of Muslims and engage with the community as part of effective mechanisms to address the challenges of terrorism,” said Abdullatif Shaaban, director general of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims. “This is the same strategy that Muslims leaders have consistently advocated to the government to adopt instead of a policy of victimization.”

Shaaban said that during his visit, Obama pledged more assistance to the government to fight the growing threat of terrorism in East Africa without abusing human rights, especially those of the Kenyan Muslim community.

"While assistance is important, we wish to state that it should be tied to the government’s willingness to embrace human rights principles in the fight against terrorism," he said.

Muslim leaders have asked the government to investigate the disappearance and extrajudicial killings of Muslim youth and women suspected to be involved in militant activities.

“Some of these extrajudicial incidents happened a few days prior to the visit of President Obama,” said Al-Amin Kimathi, executive director of the Muslim Human Rights Forum. “While we support the government’s measures to weed out terrorism, we are concerned that the measures being taken are selective and often deliberately target members of the Muslim community.” 

He said the actions are a constant source of pain and agony for the affected families and breed anxiety and resentment in the Kenyan Muslim community.

Muslim leaders asked the government to ensure that Muslim youth in Kenya are able to acquire identity cards, saying that many young men and women have been denied the crucial documents.

The Muslim activists also commended Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta for “defending the nations’ cultural and religious values” by rejecting calls from Obama “for the promotion of homosexuality in the country.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ağustos 2015, 17:37