In response to comments made by Education CS, George Magoha, which were directed at a Muslim woman journalist donning a hijab, a consortium of Muslim organisations assembled today at the Jamia Mosque Social Hall.
The Education CS’s comments gained notoriety after he was caught on camera requesting the female journalist to identity herself whilst insinuating her association to a terrorist group,
“Kwanza wewe umetoka wapi? (Where are you from) Who are you representing because if you are representing Al-Shabaab I’ll not answer you? Which TV station?” the CS asked.
The various Muslim organisations demanded that the government and respective authorities take action against Education CS, George Magoha.
A number of institutions were represented, including the SUPKEM Chairman Hassan Ole Naado, Sheikh Ibrahim Lethome of the Jamia Mosque Committee, Khadija Mohammed of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Kenya, Fozia Ali Hassan of the Muslim Caucus Team, Juma Namlola of the Muslim Media Practitioners of Kenya, Amina Hirsi of the Muslim Women Network and Al-Hajj Yusuf Murigu of the National Muslim Leader
“The consequences of this profiling, especially coming from a leader of this calibre, are to weaken press freedom, human dignity and religious freedom.”
“Additionally, it undermines initiatives to eliminate violent extremism, one of the biggest security risks to this nation. It puts this woman and other Muslim women and girls in peril.” Hassan Ole Naado said.
Participants indicated mistrust for CS Magoha, stating their unhappiness and disappointment with the Education Ministry Chief.
“His statements are hate speech and go against a clause in our Constitution’s preamble that underlines how proud we are of our nation’s diversity. Election season is a time when calm and cordial community cohabitation is needed and demanded by the nation.”
“We are calling upon the NCIC to take immediate action against the CS, the Media Council of Kenya to take it up and President Uhuru Kenyatta the appointing authority to sack the CS,” said Sheikh Ibrahim Lethome.
Amina Hirsi, “As Muslim women, we are very offended by the Education CS’s careless, negligent, and insensitive characterisation of the young Muslim journalist as possibly being an Al-Shabaab supporter. I strongly condemn the activities on behalf of my Muslim members and as chair of the Muslim Women Network.”
“His profiling is inappropriate and blatantly shows institutionalised Islamophobia, in which using a social slur to denigrate Muslims has become a common insult.
From a top government officer like the CS, this is unacceptable. We kindly ask the young Kenyan journalist to condemn yesterday’s sad incident with the contempt it deserves, notwithstanding this extremely unpleasant experience.”
“The Islamic dress rule for women is based on religion, not ethnicity, as had been implied. The nation must be aware of and appreciate the Muslim faith.”
“Since this is a nation with a wide variety of religions, cultures, and ethnicities, we deserve a voice and a seat at the table.” Fozia Ali Hassan emphasised.
“It is improper for national leaders, who should be promoting unity and national values, to engage in such actions that could cause national division. She strongly condemned the occurrence.” Khadija Mohammed stated
The CS has since kept quiet about the incident and is yet to respond about the remarks he made, which continue to incite outrage among the general public and the nation’s entire Muslim Community.