WHO’S AT CHARGE?
Some decades ago, Kenya was one of the safest countries that one would be in unlike now when the song hakuna matata is slowly losing relevance due to terrorism.
Young children and even centenarians are well versant with this beast by the name al-shabaab. How then could there be no matata when pupils and students are living in constant fear in learning institutions all in the name of seeking knowledge?
Truth is bitter they say but it’s high time that we got to admit that security is a real challenge and Kenya is no longer as safe as it used to be. Since 2011,many lives of Kenyans have been lost to terror attacks with many others left injured; the major attack being the Garrisa university attack in April this year which left 147 people dead followed by the Westgate attack in September 2013 where 69 people were killed and 175 others left injured.
It’s sad how active our security personnel are after an attack and how reluctant they become few months after the attack. In shopping malls and public offices, people are thoroughly frisked at the entrance some days after the attack but few months down the line either the guards or their searching machines go missing. One is only left wondering if all we need is frequent attacks for us to keep watch.
Fighting terrorism is demanding and it requires more than just pointing fingers at particular people and communities. The Somali community and the Muslims in general have for a long time been associated with terrorism in Kenya. Yet, not all Somalis are Muslims neither are all Muslims members of the Somali origin. As such, not all Somali and Muslims are terrorists; some are good and patriotic citizens who are victims of terrorism and are willing to fight against it.
Is terrorism really about defending the Muslim faith? Many believe that terrorism is closely related to Jihadism which is Muslim’s holy war. But why then do we find John, Peter, Joseph and the likes amongst al-shabaab suspects? This could only mean that terrorism is more than just the Muslims defending their faith since members of other religions are also partaking in the vice.
In the documentary Pillars of Terror, Sheikh Osman Mohamed puts it clear that Jihadism is striving in any positive way and doing good for either self or the community. He further adds that an Islamist is any Muslim who practices his faith peacefully and thus the term Islamist should not be used to refer to terrorists who are criminals.
If jihad is about doing good, then killing is definitely out of question and those who do it should thus not be referred to as jihads. Associating some communities to terrorism only creates more animosity rather than solving our security problems as a country.
We should thus view the whole thing in a different perspective and probably think of better ways of improving security rather than play blame games. For instance, the government may consider empowering the youths economically as they are the major group joining the terror militias probably due to lack of employment.