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Why Sheikh Aboud Rogo was ‘poster boy’ of Muslim radicalism

By Bernard Sanga and Joackim Bwana | November 2nd 2013
                  Sheikh Aboud Rogo

By Bernard Sanga and Joackim Bwana

On October 25, the Coast regional police commander Aggrey Adoli disclosed that police had summoned four Muslim preachers for questioning over hate speech emanating from incendiary sermons they were accused of issuing at various mosques in Mombasa.

“We want to interrogate them over hate speech based on what they have been preaching recently,” said Adoli who did not disclose the names of the preachers or the mosques they frequented.

The Standard on Saturday has, however, learnt that one of the preachers is Tanzanian Ramadhan Juma who escaped a police dragnet narrowly at the Musa Mosque in Mombasa on Friday last week.

Some accounts indicate Ramadhan was actually arrested on October 24 inside the mosque but Adoli denies this.

Ramadhan and his unnamed accomplices are wanted over the radicalisation and indoctrination of Muslim youth in Kisauni and Majengo areas of Mombasa and parts of Kwale where they have a network of mosques and Islamic schools teaching jihad and extremism.

It has emerged that the crackdown on radicalisation now targets this mosques and purveyors of CDs and audio cassettes with hate sermons. Most of these sermons are speeches of the late Sheikh Aboud Rogo and his disciples like Ramadhan, the late Samir Khan as well as Tanzanian Hassan Ilunga Kapungu.

Kapungu’s speeches are of particular concern for security agents and moderate Muslims. In the words of one agent Kapungu “has picked up from where Rogo left” in terms of choice of the pet topic of jihad and incitement against “infidels”.

Christian leaders are piling pressure on police to stop distribution of these CDs terming their content provocative and inciting and are also urging moderate Muslims to denounce the ideology they contain publicly and without equivocation or expecting something in return.

Last week the management committee of Musa Mosque banned sermons here sparking scuffles between supporters of radical preachers.

The Standard on Saturday has received copies of cassettes containing Kapungu’s speeches in which he rails at all kinds of enemies of Islam. One speech delivered on October 27, last year, stands out for its inflammatory content regarding Rogo’s killing and the call to avenge his death.

One of the cassettes is based on a speech made by Sheikh Rogo on July 6, last year, where he praised the attack on churches in Garissa, where 17 people, including a Muslim, were killed by suspected Islamists.

He enlarged his diatribe to justify the killing of Christian priests by claiming that Islamic law justifies revenge, directly or through treachery.

“If a Muslim preacher is killed look for the nearest pastor or cardinal and kill him in the open or after some time,” he rants.

In life, the late Rogo made and inspired such speeches. He delivered one of the most memorable anti-Christian speeches on July 6, last year, at a mosque in Changamwe.

Rogo declared the Garissa massacre was justified under Islamic law and argued that in the context of religious warfare, churches and Christians within Muslim areas are legitimate target.


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