‘Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all mankind. Qur’an 5:32. I almost believed it’s a religious battle, but from several different scenarios, it’s an individual choice regardless of one’s religion. Out of desperation, they seek to give life meaning by maiming and instilling fear on fellow human beings but in the end, it’s vanity. Quran 5:32 confirms that indeed Islam is a religion of peace and does not advocate for any inhuman acts as the terrorists portray it.
The hospitality I received from the locals was amazing and I always felt part and parcel of them. Tender school children in hijabs ran to receive me with hugs and helped me carry my bag each morning to class.
Early this year, Fatuma Mohamed lost her two sons at the hands of Al Shabaab terrorists when the insurgents ruthlessly attacked Saretho Primary School in a remote village in Garissa killing four pupils, three of whom were siblings and a teacher. This among other brutal killings by the group are enough to prove the malevolent and evil agenda of the group. For people claiming to be promoting Islamic values while brutalizing anyone, they come across depicts wickedness that is contrary to the belief of Muslims. Garissa is a region largely dominated by Somali Muslims and Kenyans from other parts who happen to be non-Muslims have always lived and worked peacefully with the locals. Al Shabab attacks have planted seeds of discord between the residents resulting in a mass exodus of teachers who do not hail from that region.
Islamic teachings according to the Holy Quran advocate for peace, morality, and humanity at all costs.
I miss the days I stayed at El Wak Mandera, another Muslim dominated region where I served as a primary school teacher. The hospitality I received from the locals was amazing and I always felt part and parcel of them. Tender school children in hijabs ran to receive me with hugs and helped me carry my bag each morning to class. Staffroom stories with other teachers as we marked books and prepared lesson plans made me feel at home. Neighbors passed by my single room house each evening just to say a simple ‘Asalam Aleikum Mwalimu’. This turned out to be my day to day experience for the three years until I secured another job in the capital city, Nairobi. Never did I ever imagine that a day would come when people from other regions will fear working in Mandera and greater Northeastern Kenya due to terrorism. It was heartbreaking when a bus ferrying teachers from Mandera to their respective homes for holidays was attacked by the insurgent group al Shabaab creating tension and fear that forced many non-local workers fending for their families to move out of the region in fear of losing their lives. I was shocked by the county that was hospitable to me had turned to the Al Shabab battlefield. We have witnessed incidents where true Muslim faithful have saved non-Muslims from the jihadist terror group. In 2019, a driver transporting eight construction workers saved 8 non-locals in the Elwak Kutulo area where I had taught earlier. The driver sped off and narrowly escaped death when he approached the armed men who tried to stop him, this earned him respect across the globe.
‘Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all mankind. Qur’an 5:32.
On several occasions’ community members in the northeastern region have helped save non-locals through hiding them and urging them to live among them to escape being killed by al Shabaab terrorists.
The numerous attacks on both Muslims and non-Muslims in North Eastern Kenya depict clearly that al Shabaab terrorists are out to pose a threat to the peaceful coexistence of humanity and have nothing to identify with the Islam religion. Islamic teachings according to the Holy Quran advocate for peace, morality, and humanity at all costs. With this, I believe that terrorists have no religion, their desperation for money, fame and other human desires have led them to kill innocent people. Let’s join hands, all peaceful religions in fighting terrorism. Terrorist acts are committed by those fueled by hatred and do not consider human life sacred. Al Shabaab mission can never match the peace and value in humanity as revealed by Islam since they aim to cause terror and spilling innocent blood.