MUSLIM HATE IN SIERRA LEONE

 

Violence Ensues Between Muslim And Secret Society Members
 

The Independent (Freetown)
NEWS
May 2, 2005
Posted to the web May 3, 2005

By Alhassan Kamara
Kambia

 

Situation has returned to normal at Rokupr in the Kambia District , northwest of Sierra Leone after a violent confrontation between Muslims and Hunting secret society members which resulted into the burning of shops and the Hunting Secret Society makeshift camp.

 

Had it not been the swift intervention of the new Local Unit Commander of Kambia Mr. S.B. Kargbo, what Muslims referred to as the "battle of Badr" would have taken place at Rokupr in Kambia during the celebration making the birthday of the Holy Prophet Mohamed last Thursday.

 

Speaking to The Independent, Mr. S.B Kargbo said on that day, he heard a radio message from his office at Rokupr Police Station requesting for re-enforcement. "The message indicated that there had been a confrontation between Muslims and members of the Hunting Secret Society", he said . He added that the radio message stated that Muslims (whom he had granted permission to celebrate on the streets of Rokupr township and its environs) were in a confrontation with Hunting members whom he said he did not grant permission.

 

Eyewitnesses said the Muslims were just preparing to come out on the streets to celebrate the 'Maulidin Nabi" (Birth anniversary of Prophet Mohamed) when they heard the Hunting members beating drums to go to the streets.

 

The Muslims wasted no time to report the matter to the section chief Pa Alimamy Kafoirr, and pleaded with him to persuade the Hunting Society not to go to the streets, but to wait the following day.

 

The chief was reported to have appealed to the Hunting members and promised to take feeding responsibility for their visitors who came far away to dance with them. The witnesses said the chief even promised to pay back their fares and take care of their entertainment expenses but they rejected his offer.

 

They were alleged to have challenged the Muslims saying that they would definitely go to the streets with their masked dancers that are called "devils" in Sierra Leone.

 

An argument consequently ensued between the two groups and resulted in both groups hurling any objects they could lay hands on each other. It resulted into a free-for-all fight. The whole town was plunged into a pandemonium and people started running into different directions.

 

Muslims however gained the upper hand over the Hunting Society members who they described as "Kafris" (pagans). The Hunting Society group was chased out of the town. Angry Muslims youths went berserk and burnt down kiosks and shops where alcohol was suspected to be sold. The Hunting Secret Society makeshift camp called "Hunting Elay" was destroyed.

 

Police say two people who are suspected to be the ringleaders in the fracas are now helping in the investigations.

Meanwhile, in another development, the LUC Kambia Mr. S.B. Kargbo says he and his team working in close collaboration with the National Revenue Authority are making frantic efforts to reduce smuggling in the district. He says two weeks ago, they arrested a number of commercial motorbikes known a "Okada", which were discovered to have been bought in neighboring Guinea and compelled the owners to regularize their customs and excise

Copyright 2005 The Independent. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

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