Sheikh Rajab Kakooza
Remain calm, Muslims urged
Publish Date: Sep 22, 2012
By Jeff Lule, U. Kashaka, S. Nakandha, S. Saad and I. Anguyo
Muslims have been urged to remain calm and disregard the recent film which reportedly demonized Islam and Prophet Mohammad.
Delivering their messages during Juma prayers on Friday, leaders strongly condemned the film but appealed to Muslims to exercise calmness.
“This should not divert you from your principles. It should only give you courage to strengthen your faith. The films are a figment of people’s imaginations and are not true,” Sheikh Rajab Kakooza said.
Kakooza who was addressing Muslims at Old Kampala Mosque, described the film and cartoons as acts of “aggression and provocation” to the Muslim fraternity.
He appealed to Muslims to desist from any kind of protest but condemn the act in the strongest possible terms.
At Kibuli Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Kasule strongly condemned the film but appealed to the faithful to just loathe it.
“These things are not new in the history of Islam. The early Muslims encountered suffering and adversity. The Prophet was insulted; tribes plotted against him, he was stoned but remained resolute and accomplished his mission,” Sheikh Kasule remarked.
He added that the only way Muslims can express their disapproval is by hating the act deep in their hearts and not resort to violence.
At Kansanga mosque, Sheikh Twaha Bbaale asked Muslims to stick to Islamic foundations and avoid being driven away by extremists whose intentions are unknown.
“These people have a motive which we can’t tell. That’s why they keep on provoking us. Just ignore and continue reading the Koran to guide you on how to overcome such difficulties,” Bbaale implored.
At Wandegeya, Sheikh Nasif Kakembo urged Muslims to be patient and learn from Prophets like Ibrahim and Yusuf who with Allah’s guidance defeated their enemies.
“The patience and self-sacrifice these Prophets exercised enabled them to win God’s blessings and He was pleased with them,” he added.
Kyambogo University Imam, Sheikh Abdul Nasir Mutyaba said Muslims should ignore and concentrate on the pilgrimage.
In Pakistan, at least 20 killed on day of protest against incendiary video
At least 20 people died and more than 150 were injured in the protests in Pakistan, authorities said — the highest one-day death toll since protests began over the video on Sept. 11. The demonstrations have spread to about 20 nations.
The government’s announced effort to tamp down anger by providing a national holiday for peaceful protest clearly backfired, offering instead what seemed like an official sanction to violence.
Critics called the holiday a pandering attempt to please hard-line Islamist parties, whose influence has been on the rise here in recent years.
“This was a terrible idea,” said Mehreen Zahra-Malik, a columnist with the News, a national English-language daily. “It was time to calm people down and not give a stamp of approval to protesters, many of whom would just use it as an excuse for violence. . . . There was clearly going to be violence.”
Another commentator, Marvi Sirmed, said on Twitter: “It is sad, so very sad that we could never make a government realize that they don’t have to kneel before mullah,” a reference to Muslim clerics.
Despite repeated U.S. disavowals of the privately made video and denunciations of its content, many Pakistanis remained unconvinced, seeing it as an intentional calumny against the prophet Muhammad.
Most of the fatalities and destruction came in the southern port city of Karachi, where Saghir Ahmed, health minister for Sindh province, said 14 people died, including two policemen shot by rioters. At least 80 people were wounded, Roshan Ali Shaikh, the city’s police commissioner, said.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar, rescue workers and other officials said six people were killed, including a policeman and a member of a television crew, in rampages that also left about 60 people wounded. Television journalists on the scene said police opened fire with live rounds as mobs torched two movie houses.
Demonstrators also battled security forces for the second day in the usually calm capital, Islamabad, in the north. They blocked major highways there and in neighboring Rawalpindi and set a tollbooth and vehicles on fire.
Fourteen police officers were injured in the chaos, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said. The Pakistani army was mobilized and successfully protected the U.S. Embassy, presidential residence and Parliament building.
In the eastern city of Lahore, officials said 12 riot police officers and four protesters were injured during pitched battles involving thousands of demonstrators.
The rioters in all four cities targeted U.S. diplomatic facilities but failed to reach them, thwarted by Pakistani police and paramilitary forces who had set up barbed-wire barricades and steel shipping containers to deter demonstrators.