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Radical Mombasa youth celebrate Sheikh's murder

11 June 2014, 17:51 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - Far from mourning the death of Sheikh Mohammed Idris, radical Muslims were today celebrating his demise.

The moderate cleric and chairman of Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya was killed Tuesday morning by unknown assailants at a mosque south of Mombasa as he went to morning prayers.

He had however divided opinion along the Coast, as he was revered by others and branded by others as a traitor for urging the police to deal decisively with radicalized Muslim youths causing violence in the name of Islam in Mombasa.

The radical Islamic community in Mombasa who subscribe to jihad are among the happiest to see the end of the man who was opposed to jihad teachings and they did not hide their delight at his death, saying they have no sympathy for a man who betrayed them and argue that he never represented Muslims or Islam.

Along the busy Masjid Musa road, a place that has become synonymous with radical islam thanks to the now infamous Masjid Musa Mosque which was castigated by the government for spreading radicalization, majority of youths were seen eating 'nyama choma' (Roast meat) and drinking soda in celebration as the deceased was buried at Kikowani cemetery in a burial rite attended by among others CORD leader Raila Odinga.

Not everyone could believe what they saw and heard.

"We won't cry today. Congratulations Sheikh Idris for dying . Allah Akbar!‘', said one of the youths, echoing warnings to other moderate clerics similar to Idris to watch out for their lives.

Another said" Praise be to God and I hope the rest are listening and watching.

Down the road at a popular playground, there were others too, not fussed by his death.

" He is just one of many that have not listened to the call for Jihad. They will all die, was the message passed by many.

The killing has been condemned, however, by the several civil society organizations including the Muslim For Human Rights (MUHURI).

President Uhuru Kenyatta, national leaders and even the US and UK governments have lamented Idris' death.

Sheikh Idris had previously chaired the committee of the Masjid Mussa mosque, a position he left when the mosque became the epi-centre for radical preachers such as Aboud Rogo, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2012.

Two other radical preachers have also been gunned down since Rogo's death. Two of the three were accused by the United States and the U.N. Security Council of supporting the Al- Shabaab terror group. The police have yet to find their killers.

Supporters of those clerics have accused the police of extra-judicial killings, a charge the authorities deny.

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