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Schools on the spot for forcing Muslim students into church

26 June 2015, 09:18 John Kioko

Taita Taveta - Bura Girl’s High school in Taita Taveta and St. Joseph Primary school in Kwale are on the spot for allegedly forcing Muslim students to go to church against their will.

In Kwale, the incident is said to have occurred on Friday last week during an annual prize giving ceremony where over 150 Muslim pupils were forced into a church.

Some of the parents who spoke to the media said it is unfair and against the law to force Muslim children to worship in the church.

It is alleged that on arrival, the parents found their children in the church and protested before whisking them away.

In a quick rejoinder, Kinango Catholic priest Anthony Muiruri denied the allegations and said that they were forced to congregate in the church for service because it was raining.

Read Also: Experts root for inter-religious dialogue to combat terrorism

“Muslim and Christians pupils always pray together in the school and for sure no one was forced,” he told the media.

The priest said that the school has rules which must be followed.

In Taita Taveta, 40 Muslim students were suspended on June 22 for allegedly refusing to attend church service and are expected to report on July 9.

On Thursday, their parents led by Rukia Said met at Nyali Cinemax in Mombasa to chart the way forward while condemning the incident.

“Our children were forced to go to church and when they resisted the management suspended them. We are disturbed by the incident and call for transfer of the Headteacher behind it,” she said.

She said that the school has been forcing their children to attend church services on Sunday.

“We have to respect each other’s religion because there are many schools led by missionaries but students are not forced to abandon their religious values. We call on human rights groups and ministry of education to intervene,” she said.

Nominated MP, Zuleikha Juma condemned the incident and said it is violation of right to worship and religion.

“We are following such cases in Isiolo, Mombasa, Nairobi, Kwale and now Taita Taveta. We will pursue the issue to the courts available and if possible the international courts if we fail to get justice,” she said.

She said that all Kenyans should be tolerant of other religious and cultural beliefs if national cohesion and integration is to be achieved.

Efforts to get comment from Bura Girls Principal, Assumpta Munyao were futile as she claimed to have been attending a meeting and had not responded to messages by reporters at the time of going to the press.

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