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Profiling Muslims Uncalled For – Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC)

By Zziwa Ashiraf

In the wake of the twin terror bombings in Kampala City, Muslim leaders led by the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council- UMSC came out boldly in condemnation of all forms of acts of extremism directed towards innocent lives and destruction of Property. Muslim leaders at all levels echoed the same message.

Despite this, it’s saddening to note that some security officials especially the Police have taken it upon themselves to profile and harass Muslims. It is now common to hear how a security officer attempted to force a Muslim woman drop her veil in the name of conducting body searches. It is even worse, when the one doing this is a male officer.

The harassment has not spared Muslim men.

I have personally tested this unprofessional conduct of security personnel.

On November 25th 2021, I visited the office of the Administrator General to check on the progress of my application for the letters of administration of my late parents.

I humbly queued up like the rest of the people who had visited the offices for various services. When I reached the security check point at the entrance, the officers subjected me to a thorough body check including empting my handbag containing a file with documents concerning my application. 

However, to my dismay and shock I was given marching orders on grounds I couldn’t enter the building with the bag that the same officers had thoroughly examined.  Incidentally, the remaining people were allowed in with their belongings including luggage.

This is when it dawned on me that my problem wasn’t the bag but the Muslim cap on my head. And i have heard of another Muslim brother was also stopped from entering Offices of Ministry of Finance.

Much as we sympathise with security personnel struggling to keep our country safe from terror activities, we condemn the profiling of Muslims. The majority of Muslims World over are victims of terrorism and extremism. Islam out rightly condemns attacks on innocent lives that results in injuries, loss of lives and property.

It is therefore unfair for my right thinking member of security or member of the public to point figures or target any Muslim without any reasonable doubt for search action.

We call upon security agencies not to act in panic and an embarrassing way and stop profiling innocent Muslims. 

We also call upon the Security authorities to come out clearly and pronounce themselves on this issue before it gets of hand.

The writer is the Spokesperson, UMSC

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