Muslim leaders condemn Kasese attack, hail interest-free loans

Muslim faithful attend Idd-ul-Adhuha  prayers at Wandegeya Mosque in Kampala on June 28, 2023. PHOTO/FRANK BAGUMA

What you need to know:

  • The clergy appealed to Muslims to share any valuables with the needy people and tasked the government to hunt the Kasese attackers.

Muslim leaders across the country yesterday used Idd-ul-Adhuha celebrations to condemn the recent attack on Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Secondary School in Kasese District. 
The leaders in separate messages appealed to the government to pursue and prosecute the perpetrators. 

Others hailed Parliament for endorsing the Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill, which if assented to by President Museveni, will open doors for borrowers to take interest-free loans under Islamic banking. 
Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje, the Mufti of Uganda, while delivering his Idd day message at Gaddafi National Mosque in Old Kampala, said cowardly attack, targeting innocent lives were uncalled for.

 “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the massacres which took place in Kasese. Those criminals massacred innocent children who have no crime at all,”  said Mufti Mubajje. 
“We condemn the activities of those rebels who aim at soft targets instead of facing off with the armed personnel. Such attacks cannot be tolerated by Islam,’’  he said.

Reports indicate that 37 out of 43 of the dead were students, the school guard and four residents. They were allegedly killed by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). 
President Museveni is yet to assent to the Financial Institutions Bill that was endorsed by Parliament on Tuesday, but Sheikh Mubajje asked the government to offer financial and material support that conforms to the Shariah system to alleviate poverty among Muslims.

 “I request you to support Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Programmes because UMSC is for you. We request the government to provide us support for poverty alleviation programmes, which are Shariah compliant as we thank Parliament for passing the laws that will guide Islamic Banking. We thank the government for that,” he said. 
The Mufti also called on countries that are embroiled in conflicts to seek dialogue to resolve their differences.
Sheikh Mubajje hailed the President for his firm stance on homosexuality, which he said will protect Ugandans.

“We thank the President for standing very firm and signing the Bill. We pray for the good health of the President and let’s be good practising Muslims,” he said. 
At Kibuli Mosque, Sheikh Ishaq Mutengu, one of the leaders at the Mosque, called upon Muslims to love one another and be compassionate to fellow Ugandans. 
He wondered why some Ugandans in high positions of leadership care less about the less privileged.

Imam Hamid Byamugenzi, who led the Idd-ul-Adhuha prayers at Hotel Africana, also applauded President Museveni for signing the anti-gay law and urged the government to implement it. 
Byamugenzi explained that foreign states are trying to exploit Africa by imposing foreign practices that do not conform to African culture.
Prince Kassim Nakibinge, the titular head of the Kibuli sect, appealed to Muslims to share what they have with the needy people.

He condoled with families that lost relatives in Somalia, Kasese, Mityana and Masaka and urged security agencies to step up their vigilance because Uganda has all the resources it requires to secure its citizens.
At Wandegeya Mosque, Imam Fauza Kalule emphasised the importance of sacrifice. He also asked believers to avoid temptations.  
“Muslims can sacrifice cattle, goats or sheep only. Not chicken or any other animal,”  the Imam said.

In Kabale, the district Kadhi, Sheikh Kabu Lule condemned the acts of terrorism and appealed to Muslims never to associate themselves with such groups, saying they are anti-Islamic.
“Be law-abiding citizens. Be good to others regardless of religious affiliation. Co-exist with other non-Muslims and trade together with them because you are all Allah’s creation. Never blackmail your Islamic religion by involving yourself in acts of terrorism,” Sheikh Kabu Lue said.

Sheikh Kabu Lule urged Muslims to educate their children so that they can compete for the available government jobs with other people from other religions. He also asked the government to regulate the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
In Tooro, Sheikh Abdul Hakim Juma Kirarira, the Tooro regional Kadhi, described the Kasese incident as unfortunate.
“Today, as we slaughtered animals to commemorate Ibrahim, who was instructed to sacrifice his son, God provided him with a sheep to sacrifice instead, indicating His rejection of human bloodshed,” Sheikh Kirarira stated.

Sheikh Nasib Swaibu Mushenene of the Uganda-Muslim Supreme Council expressed diappointment that this year’s Idd-ul-Adhuha is being observed just days after the senseless killings of the students. He highlighted the special status accorded to teachers and students seeking knowledge in the Quran, making the targeted attack on students all the more distressing.  
Rev Ezra Yongeza Mukonzo, the chairperson of the Interfaith Committee in the Rwenzori Sub-region, also attended the prayers at the mosque. He emphasised the importance of Muslims being peace advocates within their homes, communities, and the entire country. 
“Let us all be peacemakers, for the Holy Book says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.’ A man should never harm his beloved wife. Let us all promote peace in our homes,” Rev Yongeza added.

In Tororo, the Muslim leaders used the day’s celebrations to condemn the Kasese attack. Presiding over the prayers at Tororo main Mosque, the district Kadhi, Sheikh Ibrahim Yusf Asante, asked the government to prosecute those involved.
Meanwhile, the Tororo Municipality MP, Mr Yeri Apollo Ofwono, encouraged Muslims to actively participate in the implementation of the Parish Development Model programme.  
In Ankole, the Kigezi regional Khadi, Sheikh Abdallah Katamba, expressed worry over the growing insecurity and human sacrifice. He said the security agencies should track the Kasese terror group and have them prosecuted.
Hajji Musa Senyonjo, who led Idd-ul-Adhuha prayers at Masjid Raudha in Mbale, asked Muslims to support one another.

“You should not lose heaven just because of the earthly materials,” he said.   
Tekwaro Lango Paramount Chief Moses Michael Odongo Okune, said Idd-ul-Adhuha should inspire believers to be sensitive to the needy people within the communities. 
He said it is unfortunate that most of the people blessed with good health and wealth do not mind about their relatives who are languishing in poverty.

“I want to remind you to emulate the good deeds of Ibrahim and others,” Dr Odongo Okune said.
 In Jinja at Hajj Tarmac Road, the Busoga regional Khadi, Dr Hussein Bbowa, said parents should open up to their children about the homosexual.
Mr Musa Ssozi, the in charge of Jinja City Abattoir, where more than 3,000 head of cattle were slaughtered for the vulnerable families.

Turkish donation
In Soroti, the Turkish people through the Kizilay Association donated 1,000 cows for slaughter to mark the celebrations in Teso Sub-region. The team leader for Kizilay, Murat Demir, said they are happy to share with the needy.
The Soroti Veterinary doctor, Mr Thomas Edyangu, said most of the animals were found to be safe for human consumption, apart from 10.
The deputy Khadi for Teso, Ramathan Ibrahim Ibwakit, thanked the Turkish people for the donation.

The deputy district Khadi for Lyantonde, Mr Sheikh Yahaya Nkonge Yubu, asked President Museveni to appoint more Muslims to higher positions in government.
Mr Sulaiman Sentale Mubarak, the Lyantonde District Khadi, said Ugandans should pray against bad vices, including homosexuality and terror attacks.
In Kalangala, Sheikh Muusa Kaddugala called on the government to investigate the killings happening in the Greater Masaka area. In Arua, the district Khadi, Sheikh Abu Jaffari Shaban, condemned the attack in Kasese. 
In Nebbi, the Member of Parliament for Nebbi Municipality, Mr Hashim Suleiman, while at Al-Quba Mosque, Thatha Division, advised Muslims to live in peace with others.
Kamuli Municipality MP Kayanga Watongola said domestic violence and parental neglect should be fought head-on.

In Ntungamo, an Islamic scholar with the Islamic Centre for Education and Research, Sheikh Siraje Kifampa Nsambu, asked the government to exonerate the Muslim community from activities of the Allied democratic forces (ADF).
While preaching during Idd prayers at Ntungamo District Mosque, Sheikh Nsambu said anyone who kills in the name of Islam should be hunted and judged as an individual.
In Rukungiri, the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Steven Nusbaga Bewayo, asked the Muslim community to value the education of children.

The Rukungiri District Kadhi, Sheikh A dual Malik Kayole Byaruhanga, said Idd-ul-Adhuha should be celebrated because it is an act of obedience to God. 
“It honours the concept of sacrifice and demonstrates devotion to Allah,” he said.
The Works and Transport minister, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, asked parents to take up the responsibility of nurturing and raising disciplined children.
Mukono District Khadhi Sheikh Abbas Ssenkuba said they still face the challenge of division among believers. 

In Luweero District, a section of the Muslim leaders used the Idd prayers to remind the government of the rampant evictions and land grabbing.
Sheikh Mustafa Lule Mutyaba, the East Buganda regional Khadi, in his message to the Muslim faithful that convened at the Luweero Muslim District Mosque in Luweero Town Council, said acts of land grabbing and evictions have affected wealth creation programmes.
As the norm of sharing on Idd-ul-Adhuha, the Muslim World League gave out meat packages to more than 200 Muslims in Kampala yesterday.

While delivering the packages, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Uganda, Mr Jamal Mohammed Hassan Al-Madani, urged Muslims to prioritise sacrificing because it is one way of helping needy persons.
“I congratulate the Muslim World League for the efforts to reach out to the most deserving, sacrifice on the Idd-ul-Adhuha helps the needy persons. May Allah bring it back to us and you with good, peace and blessing,” Ambassador Al-Madani said.

Compiled Fred Wambede, Bill Oketch, Joseph Omollo, Phoebe Masongole, Robert Muhereza ,Obed Kankiriho, Micheal Woniala ,  Denis Edema, Simon Peter Emwamu, Rajab Mukombozi,Catherine Natukunda, Rashul Adidi, Ibrahim Adubango & Opio Sam Caleb, Perez Rumanzi, Daniel Wandera, Ronald Kabanza,Brian Adams Kesiime, David Sekayinga, Diphus  Kiguli Jesca Nabukenya, Jerome Kule Bitswande, Franklin Draku, Sylvia Katushabe, Otage Stephen & Andrew Kagwa Odaka & Peter Sserugo