Muslims angered by media bias
By KARIUKI WAIHENYA
and MAGUTA KIMEMIA
accused the Western media of failing to understand their religion.
Islam had "deliberately
been misconceived to be synonymous" with terrorism and unjustified
war, they said.
Speakers at the
Hussein Day at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre,
explained that contrary to "falsehoods" propagated by the
Western media, Islam was not a threat to global security.
The theme of the
forum was "Terrorism, war and peace: An Islamic perspective".
Arif Abdul Husyan talked of a "global Islam phobia", saying
it was wrong to tarnish Islam because of the actions of individual
"The September 11
attacks in the US were wrong because innocent people were
killed. Muslims believe in law and justice," he said.
"Islam, like other
religions, permits violence and war to combat violence and
to preserve the rights of the poor and the weak," he added.
Dr Mustapha Hasuna
said there was an information gap between Muslims and the
rest of the world, hence the misunderstanding about what Islam
continuously seek dialogue with other people to ensure they
are understood," he said.
He added: "We have
a duty to show that ours is truly a religion of peace. We
have to do this to correct the erroneous impression about
Farah Maalim said the misconception was deliberate "because
even the Western media know our ideals, our values and what
we stand for".
Meanwhile, the government
has been urged to seek aid from Muslim nations instead of
relying solely on Western donors.
The Supreme Council
of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) said Muslim countries and institutions
were willing to assist Kenya in development. Some African
nations such as Uganda and Mozambique had benefited a lot
from aid from the Muslim world, the council said.
It accused IMF and
the World Bank of engaging in a hide-and-seek game with Kenya.
It asked why the two institutions were hardening aid conditions
despite the progress made by Kenya in improving governance
in the past 10 years.
"This is not the
way to encourage the political and democratic transition that
has been taking place since 1992," Supkem chairman Abdulghafur
El-Busaidy said in Nairobi on Saturday.