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Muslim leaders want to be armed also

01 April 2014, 23:19 John Kioko

Mombasa - Muslim communities in the Coast region has proposed arming with guns for both Christians and Muslim clerics for protection instead of arming one side.

The Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) South Coast branch chair Sheikh Amir Banda said if the government is to arm Christian’s preachers, Muslims should not be left out.

Sheikh Banda said that Christian preachers are not only the people targeted by executors but also Muslim leaders.

His sentiments came after Christians preachers asked the government to arm them for the sake of protection due to continued targeting of churches after the Likoni incident that left 66 dead and 15 others injured.

But some of the Christians preachers have however opposed the debate to arm clerics saying it is not important since it will bring more arm to the society.

Bishop Paul Selel of the Neema International church of Tiwi in Kwale said there is no reason to arm pastors or bishops.

“Being armed is not the right thing because as a church why do we want to be armed?” asked the bishop warning that anyone is at liberty to apply for a gun but in a guise of protecting the church.

Bishop Selel said that the government should fight against various ideologies that are being perpetuated to a section of youths at the Coast.

Sheikh Banda argued that just like the Christians Muslim clerics are living in fear without knowing what might happen to them after one of them was attacked by youths in Mombasa recently.

“We want security to be beefed up more by installing CCTV camera in churches and mosques as well as bringing to books all culprits that have been attacking the faithful places,”said Sheikh Banda.

He said that the installation of CCTV cameras will help police to avoid arresting innocent people whenever an incident occurs since everything will be shown clearly.

Bishop Selel said that it has become a trend for churches to be targeted by criminals referring to last weeeks’ Likoni incident where six people were killed after a church was attacked by people believed to be terrorists.

He said it is the sole responsibility of the government to protect its citizens noting that the attack in Likoni was well planed and prearranged.

“We want the main bodies of Muslims (CIPK and SUPKEM) to come together and fight elements within them that want to bring chaos because sincerely how do you explain someone burning a church because a cleric has been killed?” supposed Selel.

Bishop Selel said that the government should crack down certain religious that despise others religions in gathering singling out importation of hard line preachers from other countries to preach hatred.

He said that his church has resorted to train their own people to beef up security to complement what the police are doing.

Msambweni OCPD Joseph Omijah said that they are manning churches in the region although not all but assured all Christians that they are safe.

“Sincerely it is impossible to man all Churches but for sure we are guarding almost all at least our presence is being felt everywhere so there is no need of panic, we only want locals to cooperate in case of anything,” said Omijah.

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