Several incidences of non-Muslim commuters alighting from vehicles as soon as their Muslim counterparts board the same vehicles have been reported in various parts of the Capital, Nairobi. With the Thika road blasts that saw 3 people killed and close to 80 innocent civilians injured, the situation is slowly becoming desperate. Kenya is a nation that has for long preached tolerance and the fact that it composes of 42 different ethnic tribes would just be one of the reasons that necessitated the call. This tolerance is under scrutiny. Only the government can save us from this latest surge of fear and desperation. A people who do not trust each other have nothing uniting them to warrant them being branded a nation. It really should not have turned out this way, yet whom can you blame?It goes without saying that any person of Somali origin currently qualifies as a suspect in the eyes of the public. That has so far been the only consistent report coming out of the media and government spokespersons. Islamic origin. Tell that to a mother desperate to ensure her daughters travel safe to school and she will definitely instruct her daughters to exercise caution in their profiling of fellow commuters. Do new blame the mother for ‘exercising caution’? The question that the current situation begs therefore is that ‘Which Muslim is the terrorist?’ And in the incapability to effectively determine who is and who is not then every Muslim becomes suspect.
The reactions to this turn of events have of course been nothing but shocking! In fact, many others have condemned such intolerance! But how can you blame them for fearing for their lives? Death is certain but never courted, at least not this way! Yet to the innocent Muslim majority this is humiliating! It would have been for me so I must identify with those who have had to go through this. Once we would never have had this conversation, yet now we must. Why? As a way to talk each other through our fears and devise a way to compromise. As a way to inculcate understanding where there is none.
The saddest thing about all this however is that the perpetrator; the terrorist is getting exactly what they wanted. The doubt of a fellow citizen and the urge to profile then avoid e fellow Kenyan. When that Muslim brother or sister sees the queer glances and disapproving looks that ultimately get the debate rolling on the national level; it is the terrorist that gains. And yes so far they have played into our fears and they’re winning. Look at the situation in Northern Nigeria and you will understand just how far this agenda could be pushed. We should not wait to get to that point!
Are all Muslims terrorists? No. I have known and lived among Muslims who live up to the ideals of Islam that I grew up knowing; peace. And none of that is depicted by the current loss of lives and wanton destruction of property that these terrorist call jihad. However, few others will have the patience to look beyond what the eyes witness and the ears hear. The government’s game plan is simply not working. It’s time a different plan was adopted. One that guarantees the public that they are safe on the roads as long as they stick to the traffic regulations. One that assures them that if they do not reach their destinations, then it will not be because some pervert decided to blow their brains out and take them along to their graves. As long as that assurance is not forthcoming, then fear will drive our people against each other.