Muslim leaders fault state over silence on Israel-Hamas conflict

Muslim leaders from different groups launch  Humanitarian appeal for Palestinians in Gaza calling for the cessation of hostilities by the Israel regime on March 03, 2024. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Muslim leaders have criticized the Kenyan government over silence on the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Former Mandera Senator Billow Kerow who is the committee member of the Jamia Mosque, told the government not to bury its head in the sand nor be indifferent to the suffering of the people of Gaza and Palestine.

"The government of Kenya has a moral  obligation to stand out and condemn the atrocities being committed against the Palestinian people," said Kerow.

He was reading a statement signed by Voices for Palestine which is an initiative of the Jamia Mosque Committee, National Muslim Leaders Forum, Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, Al-Amen Mosque and Adams Mosque.

Kerow said the government has an obligation to rally other countries to support the Palestinian cause and needs to come out openly and back the case presented against Israeli in the International Court of Justice.

While acknowledging that Kenya is one of the influential nations in Africa and has fostered peace and harmony among states on the continent, he wondered why the government is not at the forefront in calling for a ceasefire and a permanent peace process.

"Regretfully, the government continues to pay lip services to this matter and is even unable to express a coherent and morally stable position on this clear issue of Gaza," he said.

The leaders condemned the security agencies move to curtail voices speaking out against the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the carnage meted out against the people of Gaza terming it an affront to the freedom of expression.

The statement comes at a time when Israel has agreed to a framework that will see a six-week ceasefire to pave way for release of hostages who are considered vulnerable.

The deal would also allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza with Qatar and Egypt mediating the talks.

According to reports, the mediators are expecting to receive a response from Hamas on the latest proposed framework.