What comes bellow is Habilian Association's interview with Abbas Juma, member of the organization of Imams in Kenya on the sideline of 30th International Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran.
What do you think about unity among Muslims? What is the role of Muslims in confronting the West that promotes terrorism in the region and Islamic countries and all over the world?
First of all, unity among Muslims is very important. All of us must walk together. Once we unite, it will be easy for us to fight the common enemy; the war we are facing now is called soft war. This issue unfortunately is attracting our younger generations. Young generation attracted to West this way. When imperialism saw they cannot confront Islam, they invented another way, which is coming with globalization and issues like internet and Facebook. There is cultural invasion against our community.
So now Muslims must alert and show out the danger of western countries to their communities. In times that [the west is] dividing us. In times of fighting us, we have to get awareness to the Islamic community and tell them who our enemy is. The enemy is not the person whom we share the same Qibla and same Quran. The enemy is not the person who is fasting whole month Ramadan. The enemy is not the person whom dividing us, and narrowing down the differences; and tell, you are the Shia, they are the Sunnat. We are common in Islam. Our real enemy is the enemy who is actually afraid of Islam, because Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.
Who is this enemy?
The West and their supporters in the region. They are Muslims by names but protecting the West’s interests. They are not protecting Islam. Islam is for peace and unity. This particular conference is very important especially when we are about to defeat the ISIS group in Syria, Iraq and other places.
As well as you said, the West has launched a cultural invasion against Muslims. Can we say the West also invades non-Muslims through Islamophobia and creating ISIS?
Yes, it’s true. What they have done is what we call “killing two by one stone”. They have used Muslims to fight each other and portray a bad Islam. They show killing of the innocent people in front of the camera. When non-Muslims see these kind of pictures, they will hate Muslims. The West has plans to divide us and create enemies. Islam is for peace and wants mercy for the entire world. They know that non-Muslims are converted to Islam one after another. So everybody becomes afraid of Muslims, even in the public vehicle they see you and fear…
Some experts say after ISIS is defeated in Iraq and Syria they will immigrate to Africa. Like Boko Haram in Somalia and Libya. What is your opinion about that?
In fact, they have already started in Africa. We see Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab in Kenya that have created so many problems for governments. Muslims who are living peacefully with their governments are now facing many challenges and problems because of terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab.
Africa is the future continent. And this war is the war of interests. In this part of world [Middle East] there is gas and oil but there are sources like uranium which you can only find in Africa.
How can they access to those minerals in Africa? By creating instability, war and fear. When they create fear, they will offer us security and by protecting us they will steal our wealth and take it to the west.
How do you see the future of Boko Haram in Africa and Kenya?
Speaking as a Kenyan, in our country we could manage these groups and keep them away from the society. We are working hand in hand with civil societies and organizations to show Islam as a peaceful religion and to show Islam is against terror. And anybody following these groups is actually arrested and taken to prison. The community won’t accept them because as a nation, we are seeking peace.
What do you think about the upcoming election in Kenya?
We know that it would be a peaceful election, the president even told the nation if he is defeated he will handout the power. We know a country like Kenya has more than 42 tribes, so the issue of tribalism has been there and the problem is about tribalism.
In countries like Kenya, there are lots of challenges in their political future. What is your actual and factual solution for defeating terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab, which are at the borders of Somalia?
Now we have initiated a project called “ten-house information”, in this project the information about any kind of person who bridges threat against the community, should be shared among 10 people.
What is your actual plan for Kenyan defense forces to confront Al-Shabaab group?
Our country decided to go to Somalia because they face the problem of terrorism. They are coming and attacking our civilians so the government decided to send the troops and protect the civilians of Kenya. In Kenya the boarders are highly protected and everything is under control.
What is your idea about the role of Islamic Republic of Iran in the political procedure in African countries especially Kenya?
This question has to be answered by the politicians. But I know we have good relations. I remember visas would be issued at the airport.
We even call upon our Iranian brothers to come and visit Kenya and its natural beauty. We have a lot in common and we can share commonality. Visiting each other’s countries would be beneficial for both countries.