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The Abuja Declaration: The Islamic initiative to take over Africa

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The Abuja Declaration

Kenya in East Africa, also falls in to this category, under a Christian leadership its nearly 40% Muslim population, mainly living in the coast, had been completely marginalized for the three decades of Kenya independence. In the last two years however the movements in Kenya have brought this gross injustice to the center stage of Kenya politics. In the wake of multiparty politics they have insisted on the registration of the Islamic Party of Kenya IPK.



What is commonly known as the “Abuja Declaration” is officially known as “Islam in Africa Conference: Communiqué”. This was a communiqué issued at the end of the Islam in Africa conference held in Abuja, Nigeria, on 24-28 November 1989. This conference, organized by the 46-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), resolved to create an organization to be known as Islam in Africa Organization to spearhead a Muslim initiative to solve the problems facing Africa. This initiative essentially calls for the Islamization of the entire continent of Africa.


The following objectives are lifted directly from the Islam in Africa Organization website – www.islaminafrica.org – literally from the horse’s mouth.

To promote the unity and solidarity of the Muslim Ummah throughout Africa and the rest of the world and to support, encourage and enhance Islamic propagation and resurgence generally.

To promote peace, harmony and human development and strive to remove all forms of discrimination, human exploitation and oppression especially in Africa and the world in general.

To support, enhance and coordinate Da’wah work in all parts of Africa and propagate the knowledge of Islam throughout the continent.

To promote the dissemination of the knowledge of sharia and support its application to Muslim communities in Africa.

To strive for the evolution of the economies of the ummah in conformity with the sharia and the attainment of economic self-sufficiency and self-reliance in Africa by promoting industrialization, trade and overall economic development.

To encourage and support human resource development programme in Africa, particularly the education and development of the Muslim youth and to ensure that women are accorded their rightful place in society as enshrined in the sharia.

To serve as a mouthpiece for the articulation of issues of common concern to Muslim communities in Africa and the rest of the world.

To undertake research and publications on all aspects of Islamic history and Islamic intellectual heritage in Africa.

To undertake the translation of Islamic works into various African languages and their dissemination.

To promote the learning of Arabic language throughout Africa.

To promote respect and undertake measures for relief and comfort of those in distress in Africa and other parts of the world.

To promote respect for human rights and dignity and to support, with appropriate means, all causes of general justice and freedom throughout the world.

To cooperate with other national and international bodies to uplift human dignity and enhance human welfare in Africa and in the world in.

According to the Abuja Declaration, there are two other pertinent objectives that are excluded from the website but whose authenticity can be established from the activities of this organization and the pronouncements of leading Islamic scholars as well as the writings of the Quran. These are:

To eradicate in all its forms and ramifications all non-Muslim religions in member nations (such religions shall include Christianity, Ahmadiyya and other tribal modes of worship unacceptable to Muslims).

To ensure the decoration of Nigeria (24th African and 46th World member of the OIC) a Federal Sultanate at a convenient date and time from 28th March 1990, with the Sultan of Sokoto enthroned as the Sultan Supreme sovereign of Nigeria.


Reza F. Safa, a Shiite Muslim who converted to Christianity after fleeing Iran and author of “Inside Islam: Exposing and Reaching the World of Islam.” explained that:

The goal of Islam is to produce a theocracy with Allah as the ruler of society, a society with no separation between religion and the state. This society would have no democracy, no free will and no freedom of expression…

Islam to a Muslim is more than a religion, more than daily rituals. Islam is a way of living, thinking and reasoning.

 The following is a statement by the late Ayatollah Khomeini about the goals of Islam.

Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled and incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of other [countries] so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world. But those who study Islamic Holy War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world…Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless. Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured [by the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender to the enemy? Islam says: Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword and in the shadow of the sword! People cannot be made obedient except with the sword! The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for Holy Warriors! There are hundreds of other [Koranic] psalms and Hadiths [sayings of the Prophet] urging Muslims to value war and to fight. Does all that mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.

– The Ayatollah Khomeini responding to apologists for Islam. (Taheri, Amir, Holy Terror, London 1987, pp. 226-7)

 Ayatollah Khomeini also said:

We shall export our revolution, to the whole world. Until the cry ‘Allahu Akbar’ resounds over the whole world.

On the second objective omitted, the following writings of Dr Usman Muhammad Bugaje, Secretary General of Islam in Africa Organization, leaves no doubt about his motive; to present the Caliphate of Sokoto as a model to be applied to Africa.

In the last few years, there have been incessant and virulent attacks on the Caliphate in the Nigerian press and even published academic works. There is also this growing feeling that the Nigerian State, like many of the artificial creations of European imperialism, is not working and we have spent over three decades after independence groping for a way with very little (some would say no) success. Many feel this has been largely due to our failure to imbibe the ethos and political culture of our pre-colonial societies from whence came our values, culture and aspirations. In this respect the experiences of the Caliphate are essential to the evolution of a workable political arrangement. While it is easy to see the value of showing the relevance of the Caliphal experience to our efforts in fashioning out a workable political arrangement, the benefits seem to be contingent on our dwindling political will.

Thus I would rather opt for looking at the phenomenal aspect of the Caliphate. This has several advantages. First and for once we return to the past not to glorify it but to understand the present and anticipate the future. Second, in these days of visions we should have no difficulty in appreciating the future. Vision 2010, however, appears to be contingent on the continuity of the Nigerian state. There is nothing wrong in hoping for the best, but what harm is done in preparing for the worst? If the optimists fail to win, what do we fall back on? Third, some of us believe that we are first Muslims before being anything else and to this extent we owe our lord and creator, to whom is our ultimate return, an obligation to live the lives of Muslims not only in our private lives but also in the public arena.

In choosing this option, I am not unaware of its problems, particularly the controversy it is likely to generate in Modern Nigeria. I am only too aware that this is neither a typical nor a comfortable way of facing the sad and tormenting facts of modern Nigeria. But I am encouraged by the fact that in my private discussions with people of my generation and older generations many seem extremely worried about the future of modern Nigeria and are prepared to contemplate the impossible. In these days of swift and extraordinary political changes, it is no longer sensible to close options. But many are terrified to contemplate much less mention them, for fear of ridicule, abuse or even something worse. This fear of even as much as thinking aloud seems to me to be a classic indication of our loss of courage, that we cannot simply be ourselves, that we almost feel the need to apologise to modern Nigeria on behalf of the two Caliphates, that we must seek to present ourselves only as modern Nigeria will have us.

– Dr Usman Muhammad Bugaje, Secretary General – Islam in Africa Organization writing on “The Sokoto Caliphate in Modern Nigeria: Ending it, Mending it or Re-inventing it”, 21st April, 1997.

We have chosen the example of Umar because he was thought to be the most absolute of the Caliphs. It appears that the government Islam established was too advanced for its own time and perhaps this is precisely why it did not last very long. It was a government of the future. Democracy as developed in the West, still has a lot of catching up to do with the standards established by lslam.

– Dr Usman Muhammad Bugaje, Secretary General – Islam in Africa Organization writing on “Attempting a Political Vision for the Nigerian Muslim Community”, January, 1999.


As Christians continue with the dichotomy of the secular and the spiritual aspects of man’s existence, the Muslims have taken a holistic approach to life.

Five arguments inform the Muslim initiative to takeover Africa. Under each argument, I quote excerpts from various papers written and presented at various Islamic fora by Dr Usman Muhammad Bugaje, Secretary General, Islam in Africa Organization. The presuppositions are:

1. That Africa is faced with a myriad problems

The mere mention of Africa today conjures up an image of poverty, debt and deprivation. This is the image which western media has consistently and successfully conveyed over the years, an extension of its aggression on Africa, dating some five centuries back. It is true that Africa is poor, unable to enjoy equitable terms of trade, labouring under a debilitating debt burden and suffering all manners of deprivations, but it is certainly not the whole truth. It needs to be recalled that, Africa was drawn into the Western led global system first as a supplier of slaves who worked the plantations, later as the main source of raw materials that kept the industries of Europe busy and today robbed of what little they make in the name of servicing a perpetual debt that was never meant to be paid, as well as a dumping ground for all manners of manufactured goods and even toxic wastes.

2. That these problems have been caused by imperialism and Christianity

When independence came, western presence was terminated but its control – cultural and economic – was only intensified. In this process imperialism made common cause with Christianity and many other ideas; and no doubt it found this relationship useful. But it was mutual; Christianity also found a voice and a defender.

3. That the various solutions prescribed have failed

Not surprisingly, sub-Saharan Africa rather than developing has been registering negative development and de-industrialisation. In the last five years frantic efforts have been made to salvage Africa, the most dramatic being the Global Coalition for Africa, a coalition speared headed by the Dutch in the sprit of the Marshal plan for Europe after the World War II. The GCA was first sponsored in a conference in Maastricht in July 1990 by the Dutch government and formerly established the following year. The GCA wishes to address the no doubt important question, “Can Africa’s decline be reversed?” “The simple answer”, the GCA argued, “is yes ….. but Africa will need sustained and increased external support if it is to meet the challenge without unreasonable hardship”.

4. That there is a need for an alternative prescription

It is very obvious that the sub-Saharan Africa or any part of the developing world, cannot rely on the so called developed world to develop. That will be the height of folly. Sub-Saharan Africa will have to explore an alternative vision of trade and development, one that does not rely on Western financial institutions.

5. And that that prescription is Islam.

For while Muslims may well be a majority in sub-Saharan Africa, colonial rule and contemporary social engineering had elbowed them out of power and influence. Countries in the region are essentially secular states, often with a legacy of aversion to Islam, which has been sustained and reinforced by current Western propaganda. So Islam may not as yet provide a basis for co-operation between states in the region. But Muslims within these states could create a variety of networks which can in time transform not only the economic but also the social and political milieu for good. This is a task that can and indeed ought to be done.

In their quest to convert the entire continent to Islam, they have devolved a blueprint to push this initiative forward. This initiative has two main agendas; awakening and proselytization or what Ali Mazrui calls revivalism and expansion. The former concentrates on revitalizing the Muslim community while the latter tries to increase the number of the Muslim community by extending the message of Islam beyond the community itself.

In the category of dual agenda, Islamic movements pursue revivalism and proselytization simultaneously. Where revivalism is the focus, the movements tend to address socio-economic and political issues. The higher the percentage of the non-Muslim population the more proselytizing that takes place.


Mr Khurram Murad, the late head of the Islamic Foundation, in his The Islamic Movement in the West, outlined his Islamic revolution and the blueprint of how to bring it about in the West.

On page three of his document he posed the question: ‘What is an Islamic movement?’ He goes on to answer: ‘An Islamic movement is an organized struggle to change the existing society into an Islamic society based on the Qur’an and the Sunna, and make Islam, which is a code for entire life, supreme and dominant, especially in the socio-political spheres.’

Further he says: ‘The idea of the Islamic movement is inherent in the very nature of Islam.’ The chilling fact is made clearer by saying: ‘It is not necessary to give any arguments about this here but innumerable Qur’anic verses amply bear it out, like those laying down the concepts and objectives of Jihad.’

As distinct from other forms of Islamic activities, in an Islamic movement, the emphasis is clearly on the four elements:

of total change,

the supremacy of Islam,

the socio-political aspects,

and the organized struggle.


Islamic movements are using various strategies in accomplishing the goal of Islamizing the world. These include :

1. Increase in Muslim Population

The main purpose for proselytizing is to increase the Muslim population in target countries with the ultimate goal of making the Muslims a majority and thus push for the introduction of Sharia.

While Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world, the population increase for Muslims is not fast enough. They have thus come up with another strategy: immigration.

We need to look at the effect of immigration of Muslims to Europe and North America. One immediate result of their immigration to Europe and North America is an increase in anti-semitism and anti-semitic violence.

Dr. Robert Wistrich, a professor of European history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote that:

The rising tide of anti-Semitic vitriol across Europe- with synagogues burning in Paris, London and Marseilles, and the old pogromist cry of “Death to the Jews!” once more echoing from Brussels to Kiev – has shocked many in Israel and the Diaspora. Much less attention has been paid, however, to the massive Muslim contribution to this wave of anti-Semitism which in Europe and the West has found its most enthusiastic supporters among recent Arab and Muslim immigrants. These new immigrants carry with them anti-Semitic baggage from their mother countries and Islamic culture.

Michel Gurfinkiel (Frances Jewish Problem, Commentary July-Aug 02 p38) wrote about the situation in France as follows:

France itself is undergoing a partial Islamization. The Muslim population, already ten times the size of the Jewish community, is growing rapidly, and the thorough transformation it is wreaking in France’s ethnic and religious fabric obviously has much to do both with the increase in anti-Semitism and with the official denial of it.

He writes how in the late 50s and 60s there were half a million Muslims in France but that in little more than ten years the Muslim population more than tripled through immigration. Valery Giscard d’Estaing was concerned about this and suspended further immigration. This did not stop the influx of Muslims because foreigners who had already entered France were allowed to bring in their relatives. In addition their birth rate is very high.

 Oriana Fallaci, in her book, The Rage and The Pride wrote about the situation in Italy.

At least half of the Muslim women you see in our streets are pregnant or surrounded by streams of children. Yesterday, in Rome, three of them delivered in public. One in a bus, one in a taxi, one along the street. 

In North America, some American observers assert that overly generous asylum policies have made Canada a staging area for terrorists, and that Montreal is the hub of terrorist activities. There are many Muslims among the French speakers that Quebec seeks to attract.

 2. Clarification of Islam

Because violence can justified in Islam using selective verses of the Koran and women are treated in a very discriminatory manner, attempts are being made to clarify such issues in order to make the religion appealing to those targeted for proselytization. Below are excerpts from a paper by Dr Usman Muhammad Bugaje on “Women’s Empowerment in Islam”.

Clarification of certain Issues

It may still be necessary to go a little further to clarify certain issue that appear to many, especially to non-Muslims, to contradict the exalted position Islam had accorded women as has been discussed above. Some of these issues include the share of inheritance, the issue of evidence, polygamy, restriction in a marriage to non-Muslim men, and invalidity of Women political leadership.

Inheritance – That a Muslim woman receives half of what a man receives in the share of inheritance has led many an ignorant observer to rush to the conclusion that Islam values woman as half the value of man. Those who mean mischief have found a ready example of Islam’s oppression of women and a ready ear in those ignorant non-Muslim observers, or so they thought. The fact is however different. First the Islamic laws of inheritance are easily the most equitable that mankind has known, but it is beyond the scope of this short paragraph to go further, the interested reader can inquire further in so many published works.

Here we can only point the fact that women in Islam, unlike their Hindu or post-modern counterpart, receive dowry in marriage from a man. Besides, as a wife all her basic needs of food, cloth and shelter are provided for by her husband. When not married she remains the responsibility of her father or brother whose duty it is to take care of her. By simple arithmetic the woman who gets half of what her male brother gets could end up twice richer than the same brother. So Islam is simply being practical, and the logic is clearly unassailable. If any has a better system let him share his wisdom with all and sundry, we should all be ready to learn.

Evidence – In the course of the evolution of the Sharia, some of the sources were interpreted to mean that in certain circumstances the Sharia either doesn’t admit the evidence of women or it takes the evidence of two women in place of that of one man. But the Sharia is not static it evolves over time to meet the dynamics of society. Surprisingly, even the Muslims, who ought to know better, are resisting this dynamism of the Sharia. But luckily scholars in the Sudan, who more than any other Muslim community today on the globe, are having to live the Sharia in the present time, not in the past, have re-examined these interpretations in our contemporary context and have now given women equality in evidence. In respect of the verse in al-Baqra, (Q.2:282) for example, they have argued that at that point in time, seventh century Arabia, women were not involved in commercial transactions and hence were not deemed to be familiar enough with the intricacies of trade to make their evidence in such matters reliable. Today, however, many women are involved and quite familiar with trade and commerce thus obviating the need to undervalue their evidence. The details, it would be appreciated, cannot be provided here.

Polygamy – This is one touchy issue which can hardly be resolved in a paragraph but on which luckily a lot has been written. While we refer readers to more detailed works on the subject, we need mention one very important point: that Marriage in Islam is not absolutely compulsory and if one wishes to marry he is free to enshrine such conditions as the contracting parties may wish to consent to and this ought to take care of the fears of those who do not, for whatever reason, wish to be part of a polygamous family. One may also be tempted to ask why wouldn’t women be granted the same opportunity, so that they can also have multiple husbands. We only need to point to one fact, that in a polygamy, for every child both the mother as well as the father can be known with certainty, while in a polyandry there could be no doubt about the mother but it will be difficult to establish the father with absolute certainty. Islam deems certainty in the parentage of children too seriously to risk any confusion.

Restriction in the marriage – While Islam allows Muslim men to marry women from among the people of the book. Jews and Christians, It does not allow Muslim women same, is this not a form of discrimination? How many times has one heard Muslims, especially the men, trying to explain by pointing to the fact that because women are weak there is the fear that a non-Muslim husband may either convert her to his religion or carry the children from this marriage over to his religion? This, however, is not Islam’s reason; it only shows how uninformed Muslims themselves are about the Sharia. First Islam does not view a woman as weak on matters of faith and conviction, for Islam knew the generation of Makkah women who made the first and the second Hijra against all manners of threats and hardship. 

It should also be recalled that the first person to die of the torture in Makkah was a Muslim women. We actually need not go very far, in Nigeria we also know of army generals who will come out to command troops but go home to stoop and be commanded by a woman. Islam’s reason has nothing to do with this idea (or is it figments of imagination?) of the weakness of women. The main reason is simple and easy to comprehend. In the Sharia the married woman has a right to be fed, clothed and sheltered by her husband, and these rights are justiciable. In other words if the husband should fail in his duty she could go to a Sharia court which will force him to pay up. If, however, the husband is not a Muslim the Sharia cannot enforce itself on a non-Muslim. On the other hand if the wife is non-Muslim and she goes to court the Muslim husband will be forced to pay up. The restriction is not therefore discrimination; on the contrary, it is meant to secure and uphold the rights Islam had given married women.

Political Leadership – We have already seen the need, some would say necessity, for women to participate in politics, but can a woman hold the highest political post of the head of state? Most Muslims would say no a woman cannot hold the post of the head of state. The evidence hinges on the hadith which says that: “a nation would never succeed that make woman in charge of her affairs.” This evidence has however been faulted by some scholars. First, one of the scholars argued, the hadith does not seem to be in agreement of the spirit of the story of Bilqis the queen of Sheba in the Qur’an, for Bilqis, who was the head of her state, and was praised by Qur’an for her wits and sagacity and actually succeeded since she came into Islam along with her people. Secondly the hadith itself could not pass the credibility test on three counts. Third there is no explicit text of the Qur’an which says no to women leadership. Some scholars therefore believe that there is no barrier to women leadership any more than the standards that Islam has placed for such leadership, which applies to any Muslim, male or female.

 3. Addressing the “Secular” Needs of Mankind

The following is an abstract of a paper written by Dr Usman Muhammad Bugaje titled “Trade, Debt and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Muslim Initiative to the Rescue?”

The objective of this paper is threefold. First to provide general but relevant details on the economy of sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on trade, debt and development, thus providing a background for the discussions of the congress. Secondly the paper will discuss the major trade blocks within the region such as ECOWAS, PTA etc. and examine their impact so far. Thirdly the paper will then look at the various attempts at salvaging the African economy, from economic development aid, through debt reduction, to the recent Global Coalition for Africa. The paper will then raise some fundamental issues regarding development in sub-Saharan Africa. It will then explore alternative visions of economic development. The thrust of the argument of the paper is to show the futility of the efforts that are tied to or rely on the goodwill of the economic North for the recovery of African economy. Africa will simply have to look elsewhere for its recovery. Can a Muslim initiative come to the rescue?

The above quoted paper is a well-researched scholarly discourse on the problems facing sub-Saharan Africa, the various attempts made to solve these problems, their dismal failure and the prescription of a Muslim initiative as a viable solution. 

4. Violence and Intimidation

Sensing defeat at the National Constitutional Conference, prominent Muslims in the country including Members of Parliament have threatened to secede unless they have their way in entrenching the Kadhi’s Courts in our Constitution.

This has exposed what their motivation has been all along! What would secession benefit them with? One would like to ask! So as to declare Sharia in those regions where they are a majority, just like it is happening in Nigeria and The Sudan!

During the launch of the Mecca Cola soft drink, the Islamic leaders in attendance said that at the appropriate time, a fatwa will be issued against any Muslim taking Coca Cola.

Professor Makau Mutua was quoted in the local press saying that the Muslims should be given their Kadhi’s Courts or else they could become militant.


Michel Gurfinkiel (France’s Jewish Problem, Commentary July-Aug 02 p38) wrote that a large part of the Muslim community is turning into a “separatist” underclass that owes exclusive allegiance to Islam and to the Islamic nations – a circumstance that was highlighted last fall when a largely French-Muslim crowed booed the Marseillaise at a France-Algeria soccer match.

Back home, we have suffered three terrorist attacks in which very many Kenyans lost their lives. All three attacks were carried out by radical Islamists. Never did we see Muslims out on the streets demonstrating against the perpetrators of these heinous acts. However, we have seen them on the streets demonstrating against the US attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq as well as against Israel in the on-going Middle East conflict.

The terrorist suspects arrested in Malawi on 28 June, 2003 did not include a Malawian but Malawian Muslims were out on the streets demonstrating against the arrest of Muslims! It should be noted that Bakili Muluzi, at the time Malawi’s President is a Muslim and must thus have had compelling evidence to arrest those suspects, their religious persuasion notwithstanding.

Mr Suleiman Kumo, a prominent Muslim scholar in Nigeria and a strong backer of General Buhari in the last general elections in Nigeria was quoted in the international print media stating that he preferred civil war to an Obasanjo win!

Muslim terrorists from Pakistan strike at Indian civilians deliberately, even though they know that this could result in a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

We have suffered due to travel advisories that have been issued by western countries. The reason? Fear of terrorist attacks by Muslim terrorists in the country, some of whom are Kenyan. 


Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini reported that during a synod that the Vatican held on October 1999 to discuss the rapports between Christians and Muslims, an eminent Islam scholar addressed the stunned audience declaring with placid effrontery: “By means of your democracy we shall invade you, by means of our religion we shall dominate you”.

In Nigeria, the military government, run by Muslim northerners came to an end in 1999. Unhappy with the loss of power following the end of the military regime, traditional rulers of predominantly Muslim states in northern Nigeria decided to apply the “Abuja Declaration” at the level of their own communities, most visibly by introducing sharia. In late 1999 the state of Zamfara, whose two million people are predominantly Muslim, was the first to adopt a bill to introduce sharia. Its devoutly Muslim state governor, Alhaji Ahmed Sani, approved it in spite of the objections of the Christian minority in Zamfara and protests from the rest of the country. See www.nmnonline.net for detailed information on Sharia in Nigeria.

The consequences have been predictable. Muslim fanatics have been emboldened to demand sharia in all northern Nigerian states where they have a majority. Resulting clashes in mixed areas included two bouts of bloody riots, in February and May 2000, in which over two thousand people were killed when another northern Nigerian state, Kaduna, tried to introduce sharia there. Dozens of Christian churches have been burned and desecrated all over northern Nigeria.

Or take the case of Egypt, it failed to convict a single murderer following the January 2000 massacre of 21 Coptic Christians in the village of Al-Kosheh, 300 miles south of Cairo. The court convicted only four of 96 defendants, and only on lesser charges. All four men convicted were Muslims; not one was convicted for murder, but two for “accidental homicide and illegal possession of a weapon” and the other two were each sentenced to one year in prison for damaging a private car.3 From the outset, the government of Egypt had sought to cover up the gravity of the case and to avoid the political minefield of punishing Muslims for the murder of Christians. After the verdict, Egypt’s Christians feared for their lives.

Here at home, the burning down of the Catholic Church in Nairobi South B is still fresh in our minds. In the closing days of June 2003, Churches were burned by Muslims at the Coast.


In order not to raise suspicion, Sharia does not always make a grand entry. It comes in stages. First, they request Kadhi’s courts to arbitrate in matters of personal law between Muslims. The second stage is to extend the jurisdiction to cover civil matters – just as they have done in the Draft Constitution, and lastly, comes Sharia. This is confirmed by the following writings of Dr Usman Muhammad Bugaje of Islam in Africa Organization. He says:

In Nigeria the movements have over the last two decades or so been challenging the secular status of the country and pressing for the application of Sharia for the Muslims. Though they have not as yet secured a total application of the Sharia, they have extended the jurisdiction of the Sharia from the narrow confines of personal law to cover all civil matters. [7] But even more important, the movements have, through the Sharia debate, mobilized an increasing number of the Muslim population for future action.

Kenya in East Africa, also falls in to this category, under a Christian leadership it’s nearly 40% Muslim population, mainly living in the coast, had been completely marginalized for the three decades of Kenya independence. In the last two years however the movements in Kenya have brought this gross injustice to the center stage of Kenya politics. In the wake of multiparty politics they have insisted on the registration of the Islamic Party of Kenya IPK. Professor Ali Mazrui, himself a Kenyan Muslim from the coastal area, had publicly supported the cause the IPK champions and advised Kenyan government to redress the injustice to the Muslims in Kenya or face what he called a ‘black intifada’.

Published by East Africa Center for Law & Justice

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