While attending a burial of Sheikh Noorman Katunda in Lusozi Village Kalungu District on 1st December 2021, I watched and listened to Erias Lukwago in utter disappointment of what had become of our political leaders.
Addressing the mourners, the Lord Mayor said that President Museveni and the government is killing Sheiks and Muslims for reasons not known.
He vehemently went on a ramble of words and claimed that there is an intended plan of killing all the Muslims under the guise that they are associated with ADF.
The mourners at the burial went silent, and you could see from the atmosphere that suddenly surfaced that the words came from the Lord Mayor’s mouth were a big thorn in their hearts.
Some shook their heads in disbelief while others murmured and stammered amongst themselves with facial impressions of heart brokenness.
When the burial ended, I picked interest in knowing what my fellow mourners perceived of Lukwago’s words. I joined a clique of my fellow Muslims who were family members to the deceased. In their conversations, some said that Politicians are actually misleading them.
However, others said that there is no smoke without fire but there was one elderly man who asked us a question and we went blunt.
“Why have they not killed Erias Lukwago?” he asked. We all stared at him in disbelief. “If the government is arresting individuals who are Muslims, it must be because they are criminals. I don’t think it they are targeting us,” He added.
Our conversations went on and on till dusk and by the end of it, we were laughing and it was clear how politicians are the ones making the situation worse, creating hate and fury amongst us.
We agreed that from the past experiences like that of the Kanungu inferno which saw pious Christians burn to dust at the hand of Kibwetere, security knows no religion.
“When security comes, they don’t ask you about your faith. It just so happens that the suspects have Muslim names. It can be a coincidence that you arrest a group and all of them are Christians or Muslims,” Minister of ICT Chris Baryomunsi recently said while appearing on NBS Frontline and I think he was right. You just need to be sober to get it right.
The Minister said this following a number of activists who claimed that security was killing and arresting only Muslims while countering terrorism. Among them is the titular head of Muslims prince Kassim Nakibinge who has been on spot with claims that security is targeting Muslims.
Prince Kassim, who was attending the swearing in ceremony of the new supreme mufti on same date said that security persons should stop targeting Muslims while fighting terrorists.
After the bombings, the Muslim leaders led by the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council- UMSC also came out condemning profiling Muslims.
The security fraternity has not condemned Muslims and it has nothing against them. It is merely a coincidence that all terrorist and suspects turn out to have Muslim names.
The government came out and put it to record that together with the security they have no hidden agenda in targeting Muslims.
The government said that it is determined to fight and defeat the terrorists.
The Muslims should cooperate with government in fact to identify individuals who are hiding under them to tarnish their image.
It should however be noted that in the near past, terror suspects were arrested and were never Muslims.
On 20th November 2006, Ugandan police arrested Christopher John Howdy in Gulu, charging him with terrorism on 21 November the same year.
Howdy had three unlicensed guns and was on mission to terrorize Ugandans.
Security does not sort by name names when carrying out anti-terrorism operations.
Another incidence in 20 February 2006 saw a one Peter Waldron, an evangelist face charges of terrorism after being arrested with several guns and over 180 rounds of bullets.
I did not see pastors say claim that Christianity was being targeted.
Security is not biased, it is just focused on fighting criminals.
Fred Enanga recently said that joint security forces arrested 48 criminals highly linked in the acts of terrorism. Of the arrested people were both Muslims and Christians.
Security is not targeting Muslims. It is just determined to fight and defeat the terrorists regardless of religion.
As Muslims, Instead of attacking security personals, let us work hand in hand with them to ensure that the country is safe and terror free.
We have a duty to clear our Islam Image and to stay vigilant and report any suspicious people within our circles.
The Writer is a Diploma holder in Islamic studies with focus on the culture and theology of Islam.