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Muslim leaders disown Al-Faisal, demand his immediate deportation

BUSINESS
By | January 18th 2010

By Cyrus Ombati

Muslim leaders have demanded immediate deportation of Jamaican cleric Abdullah al-Faisal and denied ever supporting his presence in the country.

The leaders also demanded the arrest and prosecution of alleged Al-Shabaab militants who took part in last Friday’s protests in the streets of Nairobi.

"We do not condone terrorism or criminality. We challenge the Minister of Internal Security George Saitoti to move with speed and arrest the foreign militants he says participated in the protests," said Jamia Mosque chairman Mohamed Warfa.

Controversial Jamaican cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal is still stuck in Nairobi.

Mr Warfa said, as Muslims, they want to portray Kenya as a peaceful and non-violent country and demanded that the protests be investigated independently.

Officials from Jamia Mosque, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem), the National Muslims Leaders Forum and two MPs condemned the manner in which police handled the protests.

MPs Mohamed Hussein Ali and Noor Sophia told a press briefing Muslims have never supported Al-Faisal’s presence in the country.

Fuelled protests

Mr Ali said Muslims were opposed to the protest and urged the State to immediately deport the cleric.

"This is an individual and I don’t know why the Government is taking too long to have him deported. Police could have also allowed these protestors to make noise and go to their homes in the evening," said the Mandera East MP.

Supkem Secretary General Adan Wachu said they were not aware Al-Shabaab militants took part in the protests. He urged police to investigate the claims and arrest youths who may be linked to the militant group.

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"We were surprised to hear the minister say militants participated in the riots. We are not are aware that some of the youths were armed. If there were any, arrest them," said Mr Wachu.

Prof Saitoti said they had intelligence reports Al-Shabaab militants participated in the riots. He also said some of the Muslim youths were armed during the riots that broke out as police tried to stop a protest over the detention of Al-Faisal.

The Muslim leaders demanded an independent inquiry into the clashes that lasted over five hours leading to destruction of property.

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