Prayers for peace as Muslims celebrate Idd - VIDEO

Tuesday July 29 2014

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (2nd left) with Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar (center) on arrival at the Eid-Ul-Fitr annual Governor's Baraza celebrations on July 29, 2014. PHOTO | GEORGE KIKAMI
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho (2nd left) with Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar (center) on arrival at the Eid-Ul-Fitr annual Governor's Baraza celebrations on July 29, 2014. PHOTO | GEORGE KIKAMI
By MAZERA NDURYA
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By GALGALO BOCHA
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Muslims in Mombasa converged at the Treasury Square for the traditional Idd Baraza as other faithful countrywide marked the celebrations in different styles.

The celebrations were characterised by political overtones with some leaders castigated the government for security lapses.

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho was among those at the baraza and so were several elected leaders and Muslim clerics.

In Eldoret, Muslims converged at Asis Hotel where Uasin Gishu county commissioner Abdi Hassan put on notice manufacturers of illicit brews.

The warning follows the deaths of tens of people in the area after consuming toxic alcohol.

Mr Hassan called for peace and tolerance among religious groups.

In Mandera, Muslims marked the end of Ramadhan with calls for peace and declared war on the consumption of miraa, which they blamed for several social ills.

The Idd prayers were held at Mandera Jamia Mosque and presided over by Sheikh Abdirazak Abdilahi, who condemned terrorism as Islam did not condone killing.

In Garissa, residents marked the end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan with calls for enhanced security. Hundreds of the faithful turned up at General Mohamud grounds to mark the end of the Ramadhan.

In Lamu County, Muslims also held Idd prayers and celebrations.

Scholars from two prominent Islamic centres clarified that they did not defy Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmed Sheriff Muhdhar’s announcement that the event be held on Monday.

DIDN'T DIFFER WITH CHIEF KADHI

Sheikh Muhsin Ali Ahmed, the principal of Riyadh College, indicated that there was an element of doubt over Sheikh Muhdhar’s communication but quickly exonerated him from blame.

“We did not defy Chief Kadhi but we refused to believe the message that was brought to his attention. If indeed it (moon) was sighted in Likoni at around 6.15pm. Why was the message delivered to Muslims at 10pm?” he asked.

Dr Abubakar Badawy, Doctors World Wide Lamu representative led the special prayers at the Riyadha Mosque that hosts the annual Maulid celebrations.

At Swafaa Islamic Centre, principal Sheikh Aidrus Mwinyi said: “We never differed with Chief Kadhi. Let us not make it a big deal. It is an issue that can easily be dealt with without raising unnecessary debate.”

ARREST TERRORISTS

Sheikh Ahmed urged Lamu residents to cooperate with security agencies in ensuring peace and security is restored in the county.

“We urged our youth to cooperate with security officers patrolling our streets. They can bank on a very small thing to start harassing us and getting into our houses to cause unnecessary trouble to us,” he told a parked Riyadha Mosque.

He said insecurity in the county had even complicated the work of security agencies and challenged State intelligence organs to get those behind recent killings of nearly 100 people in Mpeketoni, Poromoko, Witu, Kakate and Hindi.

Sheikh Aidrus, however, raised the alarm over rising cases of forceful disappearance of young people reportedly arrested by security agencies, with their families kept in the dark.

“Those suspected of engaging in crime should be accorded their constitutional rights by allowing their lawyers to access and represent them in courts.”

The cleric also condemned the ongoing Israeli bombing of Gaza, adding that the world especially powerful Western counties had decided to go quiet over the atrocities.

“Those who have declared themselves champions of human rights and justice in the world seem helpless over the suffering of the people of Gaza,” said Sheikh Aidrus.

He added: “As we stand here today to celebrate Idd, let us ask ourselves what kind of Idd is going on in Gaza. Palestine has endured eight years of blockage of Gaza without proper supply of medicine, power and food,” he added.

The celebrations on Lamu Island were for the second day briefly disrupted by rains.