At least four killed, Christian community center set on fire by Muslim rioters after imam killed in Kenya
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
At least four were killed and a Salvation Army Christian community center set on fire by Muslim rioters in the Kenyan city of Mombasa Friday, after an imam was killed on Thursday night.
This is just the latest instance of violence targeting Christians in Kenya, a problem which is largely being ignored in the United States.
Police tried to use tear gas and live rounds to break up what the Telegraph called “gangs of dozens of young men armed with sticks and throwing stones who roamed parts of the city center after Friday prayers.”
The British Foreign Office called on British people in Kenya to “avoid large public demonstrations and crowded areas” after the riots.
Sheik Ibrahim Omar, an imam associated with al-Shabaab, the group behind the Nairobi mall attack, was killed along with three others Thursday night.
The four were killed when a gunman attacked their vehicle, an act which some call an assassination by security forces, according to the Telegraph. Kenyan security forces denied responsibility for the killing.
The killing of Omar was similar to that of Aboud Rogo Mohammed around a year ago, which also resulted in days of rioting in Mombasa, according to the BBC.
Mohammad was designated a terrorist by the United States government and the United Nations the month before he was killed, according to Long War Journal.
At least four people were killed in clashes with police, seven were hospitalized and 24 others were arrested on Friday, according to Kenya’s Capital FM News, citing the Kenya Red Cross.
Demonstrations began soon after lunchtime prayers, according to Capital FM, and the Salvation Army building in Majengo – described as both a church and community center in various reports – was torched early on.
The fire was contained by Mombasa City Council fireman and Kenya Ports Authority before it spread to the adjacent residential areas.
At least 24 young men were arrested for lighting bonfires and barricading roads.
The Los Angeles Times reports that ethnic and religious tensions have increased after the Nairobi mall attack.
“While political leaders have urged the nation to remain united, many Kenyans on Twitter have called for the closure of Somali refugee camps or the removal of Somalis from Eastleigh neighborhood, the main base for the long-standing Somali diaspora in Kenya,” the Times reports.
Sheik Abubakar Shariff, a cleric in Mombasa, blamed the attack on the Kenyan Anti-terrorism Police Unit (ATPU).
“The ATPU were here. Why have they run way? What are we going to do next? And why are they killing us? We have not killed anyone but the police are killing innocent Muslims,” Shariff said, according to the Kenyan Daily Nation.
Shariff, also known as Makaburi, claimed the United States, Israel and Western governments instigated Thursday’s killing, saying they “do not want Muslims to talk about jihad.”
A recent UN report linked Shariff to terrorism in East Africa, specifically accusing him of providing operational guidance to terror groups.
He is currently under UN sanction for being “a leading facilitator and recruiter of young Kenyan Muslims for violent militant activity in Somalia,” a charge which he denies, according to the Times. He was also designated a terrorist by the U.S. in 2012.
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