Museveni To Address UMSC General Assembly on Muslim Unity Top story

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In short
Unity has eluded Muslims in Uganda since its advent in the country. In 1972, the former president, Iddi Amin Dadda forcefully united Muslims under the umbrella of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council. However, the unity was short-lived as his government was disposed in 1979.

President, Yoweri Museveni has promised to meet the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council General Assembly so as to address the issue of Muslim unity in the country. Museveni said this while addressing Muslim leaders during the Iftar dinner at State House Entebbe last evening.

He was responding to the request by the Mufti, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje to meet the General Assembly, the top most organ of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council over the issue of Muslim Unity. In his response, Museveni welcomed the proposal, saying he will find time and address the general assembly.

According to Museveni, the issue of Muslim unity is line with the NRM agenda. He explained that NRM believes in unity around common interests and opposed to identities. "We don't care about your identity, all we care about is people uniting around common interests," he said. Adding that, "This is why were able to unite people in this country."

Museveni also noted that he was happy that the Quran promotes reconciliation among warring parties. "It is good that I have learnt that the Quran doesn't allow disunity, we shall work to unite all Muslims in the country," he said.

According to Museveni, even the Catholics and Protestants in England were split at one time leading to the 30 year war, but they were able to put behind their differences and work together.

Unity has eluded Muslims in Uganda since its advent in the country. In 1972, the former president, Iddi Amin Dadda forcefully united Muslims under the umbrella of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.  However, the unity was short-lived as his government was disposed in 1979.

Muslims reunited again in 2000 shortly after the election of the incumbent Mufti, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje but broke up only a few years later accusing his leadership of illegally disposing off Muslim property. A group of Muslims dragged to court and three others for theft of Muslim property, which exonerated them of any wrong doing. 

Those opposed to his leadership were dissatisfied with the ruling and went ahead to establish a parallel leadership based at Kibuli Mosque.  As a result, Museveni appointed the Professor. Tarsis Kabwegyere led Commission to inquire into the perennial Muslim wrangles and make appropriate recommendations for implementation. 

However, the report is yet to be implemented. The Iftar dinner drew representatives from various Muslim groups including Ismailia, Ahmadiyah, Kibuli Muslim faction and Shias.

 

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About the author

Ahmed Wetaka
Ahmed Wetaka is a URN editor. Wetaka is also the editor-in-charge of Up Country bureaus. All bureau chiefs out of Kampala answer to Wetaka. Wetaka has been a URN staff member since 2007.

Wetaka started his career as Mbale Daily Monitor freelance writer. He was also the Open Gate FM reporter, anchor, talk show host and news editor from 2000.

Wetaka is a keen follower of public affairs developments, politics and religion. In 2014, Wetaka managed to fulfill an important Muslim rite of Haj to Mecca.