SHOULD MASJID MUSA BE CLOSED OVER TERRORISM?ADD VOICE

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The National Intelligence Service (NIS) has recommended the closure of Masjid Musa mosque believed to a hotbed for militants in Majengo Mombasa.

The decision was reached at a national security advisory meeting on Tuesday attended by Inspector General David Kimaiyo.

Police will enforce the decision if certain conditions are not addressed by the mosque committee. The NIS report recommended the ban of extremist preaching perceived as threat to national security.

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Administration police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi yesterday confirmed the NSC is concerned about threats posed by the Masjid Musa. Mwinyi said the the mosque may be closed if Muslim leaders fail to intervene to stop radicalization of members.

“Shutting down the mosque was intensively deliberated during the week-long meetings attended by both county and national police commanders but we are also considering other avenues,” said Mwinyi.

He said police are exploring other measures to avoid creating animosity among the Muslim community that might trample on freedom of worship.

“We don’t want to scandalise the Islamic religion. We will make a rational decision to ensure harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country,” he said.

The NIS report stated that the mosque is offering radical classes and being used to recruit al Shabab militants. The report further states the Musa Mosque has ties with the al Shabab and is used to coordinate terror cells through funding and recruitment of teenagers and converts. Muslim leaders have cautioned the government against closing mosques.

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir led some Muslim leaders in condemning police for storming it terming it act as unwarranted and unjustified.

Tension remained high in Mombasa following fresh clashes that left at least one person dead, several injured and motorists vandalized on Wednesday.

Police confirmed that Muslim youths stabbed a man to death after they took to the streets along the Jomo Kenyatta avenue on Wednesday evening.

Mombasa deputy police boss Tom Okoth said the youths who were on their way to bury one of their own who succumbed to injuries after being shot on Sunday stabbed a passerby and vandalised motorists. His body was transferred to coast provincial hospital mortuary by police officers.

Addressing the media at media at Musa Mosque Muslim cleric Abubakar Makaburi, an ally of the late Muslim cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo, accused police of provoking mourners that led to riots. He termed the Sunday raid at Masjid Musa as inhumane and an aggression on Islam.

“The Kenya constitution has not legalized Jihad sermons that are stipulated in the holy book of Koran. They are misinterpreting teachings to kill innocent Muslims,” he said.

Top security chiefs were yesterday held in a crisis meeting amid reports of more protest after Friday prayers. More police officers drawn from the GSU, police and the administration police’s Rapid deployment unit camped at the provincial police headquarters.

– the-star.co.ke

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