Muslim faithful are seeking passports to travel to Mecca for hajj
Chairman says a person with a national ID should not be subjected to extra processes
- Duale said a desk had been set up at Immigration to serve Muslims
EQUAL RIGHTS: Garissa Supkem chairman Abdullahi Salat at Rtd General Mohamud Idd grounds on Tuesday after Idd prayers
The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims has termed the vetting of Muslims seeking passports as discriminatory and an infringement of their rights.
Speaking to the press in Garissa town on Thursday, Garissa Supkem chairman Abdullahi Salat said it had become the norm for Muslims in Kenya to acquire national identification documents.
Salat asked why somebody who has been vetted and issued with an ID card should be subjected to the same exercise when acquiring a passport.
He said they have sought dialogue with the relevant government departments without success.
Salat said the problem is not confined to Muslims from Northeastern but anyone with a Muslim name countrywide.
He cited a man in Nyeri who named Mohamed Kamau who was subjected to screening “just because his name is Muslim”.
“Surely, as Muslims we want to categorically say that we have had enough of this. We can no longer continue being treated like second class citizens in our own country,” the chairman said.
He added, “The next step we intend to take is to seek an audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta with the hope that he will intervene in this matter once and for all.”
Salat said the problem is more pronounced now that Muslim faithful across the country want to visit Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage. It one of the five pillars of Islam.
His comments come three weeks after National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale said a special desk had been set at the Immigration Department to ease arrangements for Muslims planning to travel to Mecca for Haji.
Duale had hinted that this time around, unlike in the past where Muslims have been inconvenienced, they will find it easy to acquire the necessary documents because they are served from one desk.