In Summary
  • A number of reasons underline the true causes of this never-ending insurgency by Muslim youths.
  • The capture of Muslim organisations by the State and its security organs had two consequences.
  • The absence of religious leaders leaves room for younger members and the youth to assume a leadership role as was the case in Masjid Musa in Mombasa.

The events surrounding the riots and police action on Masjid Musa in Mombasa a fortnight ago have puzzled and bewildered many Kenyans. Both the real causes and the true culprits of that event remain contested by the State and a number of Muslim groups.

However, it is the prognosis and the spin put on events by the players that should most concern Kenyans. We have heard of the radicalisation of Muslim youth theory from the State and the police to explain the saga.

Then we have the employment, neglect and the uneducated and disillusioned theory as an explanation of the problem.

Both theories fail to pinpoint the true cause of the riot or provide a rational explanation why Muslim youths are in a state of constant confrontation with the government.

A number of reasons underline the true causes of this never-ending insurgency by Muslim youths.

First, the Muslim community in Kenya has been a victim of the most successful State infiltration and penetration of any organisations by the Kenyan intelligence service.

Every Muslim organisation in the country has been taken over by a State security agency. Unlike other religions, the State, through the Office of the President and security organs, has taken over both grassroots and national Muslim organisations and calls the shots through puppet imams and chairmen of these bodies.

One will not have failed to notice that during the electioneering cycles, Muslim organisations are the only religious bodies that explicitly endorse pro-government candidates.

The Council of Imams and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims are a pale shadow of their glorious past. Many Muslims in Kenya have lost faith in Muslim organisations as they believe the State security organs and the Office of the President make the policy decisions for Muslim organisations in the country on a day-to-day basis.

The capture of Muslim organisations by the State and its security organs had two consequences.

First it created a schism between the nominal leaders of these organisations whose loyalty lies with the State and the general Muslim populace who want the State to keep off their religious organisations.

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