Kenyan Muslims allowed day off for Eid al-Adha

Interior minister says plans are underway to make Islamic celebration a public holiday

Kenyan Muslims allowed day off for Eid al-Adha

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Kenyan government minister on Wednesday said employers could allow Muslim workers a day off to mark the coming Eid al-Adha Islamic holiday.

Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i said Sept. 1 could be a holiday for Muslims but people of other faiths would not be allowed to skip work.

“Adherents of Islam will celebrate the day and therefore employers should allow them to be away from work; for non-Muslims this will be a normal working day,” Matiang’i announced, adding that plans were underway to make the Islamic celebration a national public holiday.

According to government records Kenya, with a population of 48 million, has a Muslim community of about 12 percent. The Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims estimates that there are about 13 million Muslims in the country.

Sheikh Hamisi Mungai, chairman of Kenya's Council of Imams and Muslim Preachers, said he thanked the government but called on all Kenyans to come together:

“We hoped that this year the holiday would have been for all Kenyans so that we could have celebrated alongside our brothers and sisters. This should change.”

Some Kenyans took to social media to claim the government was discriminating against non-Muslims.

However, one Twitter user, annoyed that countries neighboring Kenya had recognized the holiday as a national event asked: “Why's Kenya the only country in East Africa where Eid al-Adha isn't a public holiday?”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 31 Ağustos 2017, 10:03