Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario has refuted claims that Muslims in Kenya have been unduly targeted in the war against crime and terror by the government.
Dr Wario has instead said that contrary to perceptions, Kenyan Muslims were fully integrated in the Jubilee administration.
“Our Constitution is clear that there is no State religion. It is therefore counter to logic to imagine that the government which impartially serves all should harangue an individual because of religion,” said Dr Wario.
He was speaking on Saturday night at Hotel InterContinental in Nairobi during a Ramadan IFTAR (breaking of fast) dinner hosted by the Islamic Relief Kenya (IRK), an NGO involved in humanitarian operations in North Eastern and the Coastal region.
The CS cited the growth of Islamic banking in Kenya as well as the inter-faith dialogue and tolerance being practiced by Muslims as signs that the government had the interest of Muslims at heart.
“I wish to assure you that the voice of Islam is strongly represented in the government. We have several Cabinet Secretaries of Muslim persuasion, Principal Secretaries, and indeed we are fairly present at all levels of government,” he said.
He called on religious leaders to pray for peaceful General Election in August and dissuaded them from being used to cause discord among their followers while also commending IRK’s partnership and readiness to reach out to needy populations through programmes in emergency, stabilisation and long-term development.
PILLARS OF ISLAM
NGO’s Coordination Board boss Fazul Mahammad, while also speaking at the same event, announced that the government would consider granting IRK semi-diplomatic status to boost its operations in the country.
“This will accord IRK limited diplomatic privileges such as unimpeded access by the organization’s personnel to operation areas and tax concessions on import items meant for charity work,” said Mr Mahammad.
The dinner attended by among others the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Amina Mohammed, Presidential Candidate Abduba Dida, IRK’s Regional Director for East Africa Yusuf Ahmed, Chair of IRK Board Mohammed Shaikh and Country Director of IRK Obaidur Rahman.
The Ramadan fast is one of the five pillars of Islam.