Nairobi: Thousands protest demolition of mosque

Mosque set to be replaced by road construction, with no compensation offered to its owners or 2,500 Muslims

Nairobi: Thousands protest demolition of mosque

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of the Muslim faithful in Kenya Friday protested a plan by to demolish their mosque in the capital Nairobi to pave the way for road construction.

The mosque accommodates more than 2,500 Muslims, and after Friday prayers local believers marched to where officials from the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) had parked road steamrollers, excavators, and forklifts, among other equipment. 

“We strongly condemn this move to have the mosque demolished,” Sheikh Hamid Chandhry told reporters.

“The committee of Jamia Mosque, which is the custodian of the mosque, legally acquired the title deed in 2005, making it the sole and legal owner of the land where the mosque is built.”

Chandhry said that even though there is an ongoing court case, KURA wants to go ahead and demolish the mosque, claiming that the house of worship lies along a right-of-way for the state, meaning the state can destroy the mosque and offer no compensation. 

“We are disturbed, as the mosque is an important religious center for the community living in Parklands and its demolition will amount to an affront to freedom of worship as enshrined in the constitution,” he added. 

Mosque officials told Anadolu Agency that KURA has declined to offer any form of compensation if they were to agree to a relocation. 

“They should either compensate us or give us an alternate land. The mosque legally owns the land and it should be compensated,” said Sheikh Salim Mohammed. 

The mosque serves over 2,500 worshippers and also offers a madrasah where children are taught moral values.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Nisan 2017, 17:31
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