By Abdallahtiff Ssembusi
Since last week, the media in Uganda is awash with stories by opportunistic political leaders and some Muslim clerics that government of Uganda is fighting and persecuting Muslims by labelling them as terrorists.
This comes after security forces carried out anti-terror operations where by a number of terror suspects linked to the ADF terror group responsible for the Kampala twin bombings were arrested and some were put of action.
In all these security operations, the suspects are discovered or claim to be Muslims. Yes, it could be that some of these suspects are fighting innocently while some are fighting or are in involved in terrorism deliberately.
We have seen situations in videos where terrorists appear slaughtering people mostly none Muslims like they are slaughtering goats and these terrorists give the justification of fighting jihad war.
They went on and claim that these non-Muslims are told to join Islam but they refuse and therefore they are killed in order to send them to their creator.
The terrorists also vow to fight until Islam rules the world in the videos they circulate through their social media and other propaganda media channels to show case their cause.
In such incidents, you would ask yourself, does this act call people to join Islam or it turns away people from the religion?
On November 16th, Kampala came under bomb attack and as a result security forces responded with a crackdown against the perpetrators after 4 Ugandans had been killed and over 33 were injured in the blast.
The dead included 2 police men and an engineer which would have even included Muslims.
Subsequent investigations led to a number of arrests which included the need to arrest Sheikh Muhammad Kirevu.
Kirevu had been so strategic to ADF rebels because he has been responsible for recruiting young people into the terror group having been arrested before in 2005 and given amnesty but was not about to reform.
In the process of his arrest, he was shot by security forces in whatever the circumstances was.
However, it is so surprising that a number of Muslim clerics and opposition leaders like Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago jumped on it and popularized his death and went on to insinuate that government is against Muslims by calling them terrorists.
There have been concerted efforts to create an impression that government is against Muslims by even Muslim clerics and political leaders.
We have seen some of them like Dr Kizza Besigye and Bobi Wine putting on Islamic tunics or kanzus trying to identify and sympathize with Islam as allegedly being persecuted.
It is very obvious that such political leaders may be looking forward for the next vote as the case always is. This shouldn’t be the case with Muslim clerics.
Whereas it is true some Muslims have died, they have not died because they are Muslims. It is because they are involved in terrorism and circumstances of arrests could have led to their death, after all there are more arrests than the dead.
It would be naïve to assume that unearthing and arresting of people or terror group would be as smooth as catching grasshoppers.
Some are resistant definitely to arrest, some are more strategic than others while others are misled and choose to easily surrender to arresting officers.
The gravity of crime of each may differ and hence the resistance.
In that respect, I wish to call upon fellow Ugandans and Muslims as such to be careful, take their time and try to clearly identify who the enemy of Islam is.
It is very likely that the enemy of Islam is within the Islamic leaders. It should be very clear that those apparently struggling to blame government for killing Muslim terrorists are also politically against the NRM government. There are possible scenarios;
There could be fake Muslims posing as Muslims and are fighting within busy trying to ensure that they attach Islam as religion to terrorists and this group is likely to be committed to ensure that government appears to be witch-hunting Islam with desired consequence of undermining the religion before the general population using government.
There are also Muslims who have been convinced that government is against Muslims and they are innocently following.
There are other lot that are simply using the conflict to enlist political support from Muslim community. Such are the Christians in the kind of Dr Kizza Besigye and Bobi Wine who are currently competing to dominate Buganda region where Muslims compose a sizeable portion of the population.
In conclusion, Muslims take your time and understand the dynamics properly, identify who, where your enemy and how he is operating.
A lot maybe said against security forces and their operations, most of those talking are uninformed, unexperienced and politically motivated to undermine the forces. So leave experts to do their work and wait for the results.
For example, do people know that by the British government sharing terror information to their citizens in Uganda, it must have also got the briefing from their Ugandan counterparts?
Before the unfortunate blast in Kampala last week, several others had been foiled by the security.
The Author is a social and political analyst.