The Kenyan-based Somali Muslim scholars have condemned Al-Shabab’s terrorist attack on Garissa University in which at least 147 people were killed on two weeks ago, joining mainstream Muslim communities who stood by Kenyans in the fight against extremists.
In an assembly held in the Somali-dominant Eastleigh on Saturday, the scholars showed a heartfelt support to the Kenyan government and its population against ‘barbaric’ terrorist attacks in the East African nation.
In the gathering, the scholars exemplified militants’ random attacks including mosques, urging Kenyans to avoid sucking into an ideological trap set by Al-Shabab to stir hatred among the diverse communities in Kenya.
“They (Al-Shabab) execute Muslims in the mosques in Somalia and in Kenya they execute Christians in order to create hatred and animosity between communities.” said Mohamed Sheikh Kul, who spoke on behalf of the Muslim scholars in Kenya.
“We are asking Muslims to unite in the fight against terrorism which is an international problem and should fight them united.” He said.
He called for Muslims to work closely with security forces to intercept terrorists who melted among the people and report their missing children to the security agencies.
In the meantime, the scholars expressed concern over the government’s proposal to shut down Dadaab, the largest refugee camp in the world and the repatriation of refugees against their will to Somalia where militants are waging a deadly war against the government and the African Union forces in Somalia.
They warned such move would radicalize many returnees to fill militants’ ranks, questioning the government’s directive of shutting down bank accounts and remittance companies as ‘counter-productive’.
“We don’t think that was a well-measured decision.” They said in statement, vowing an ideological war with terrorism by launching rehabilitation centers for the brainwashed youth.
The development comes as pressure mounted on Somali community in Kenya after the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group carried out the deadly university siege. The killing of 148 students by Somalia’s Al-Shabab at Garissa, some 120 miles from the border, has piled pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta to deal with the fighters who have killed more than 400 people in Kenya in the last two years.