On January 25, during a special edition of the “NTV Sasa” show hosted by Salim Swaleh and Jane Ngoiri to discuss the terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Dusit complex, security expert Simiyu Werunga, who was a guest on the show, made some disturbing comments that have the potential to foster animosity and prejudice against Muslims and members of the Somali community.
In his analysis on why Kenya was prone to terror attacks — unlike Uganda, Ethiopia and Burundi, which also have troops in Somalia — Mr Werunga reasoned that it was due to “a large population of Somalis in the country”.
While he pointed out that Islam does not condone terrorism, his comments that “the vast majority of terrorists are Muslims” was clearly prejudiced against Muslims.
It is a worrying and dangerous trend to see the likes of Simiyu Werunga being given a platform where they can freely spew stereotypes and prejudicial statements, which only serve to create discord among Kenyans.
Regretfully, this narrative, which the Press continues to amplify, has been among the main reasons for the increasing animosity towards Muslims and members of the Somali community, especially in the aftermath of terror attacks.
Due to their influential role, the media should be at the frontline to rally Kenyans to strongly safeguard the country’s diverse religious and cohesive structure, and avoid being used as a platform for promoting ethnic and religious hatred among Kenyans.
— Abu Ayman Abusufian, Head of Media, Jamia Mosque, Nairobi
‘Discovering’ the black panther
I salute your enlightenment of ethical journalism and responding to queries.
A few days ago, the sighting of a black panther in Laikipia became a trending topic online. What irked me was the headline, First black panther sighting in a 100 years.
I was dumbfounded, considering there was a similar sighting in 2013 that never brewed a storm.
Since the pre-colonial period, we have been overfed with this perception that something creates a buzz only when a Westerner discovers it.
The black panther story took me back to the most stupid questions I came across in Standard One history — such as, ‘Who discovered Mount Kenya?’ or ‘Who discovered Mount Kilimanjaro?’
Africans had sojourned barefooted on those snow-capped mountains yet someone rewrote history to say European explorers discovered them.
I want to applaud the Daily Nation for carrying a different headline and giving credit where it is due — that a Nation journalist had already documented the black panther, giving us a very clear picture of the elusive cat.
— Kelvin Munga, chef, Nairobi
Fearless ‘City Girl’: Let her be
I love “City Girl” articles and my friends never miss a copy of the Saturday Nation. Most of Njoki Chege’s articles are much-talked about, meaning many people read the newspaper, translating to more revenue for NMG.
We must agree that “City Girl” is, indeed, a talented girl, who has a particular way of using words. Many readers relate to what she writes.
In her recent article about the ‘Prophet’ (It is time to rein in these religious quacks — Saturday Nation, February 2, 2019), she was spot on and many readers were shocked that she had the guts to tackle such a sensitive issue.
Now that we have the fearless “City Girl”, let her be. There is, basically, no error to correct from her article; what she wrote is a reality and most people can relate to it.
I’ve just read your (“Public Editor’s Notebook”) commentary, (City Girl, freedom of expression and the rights of ‘The Prophet’ — Daily Nation, February 8, 2019).
I like your analysis and conclusion but I disagree that the Nation should apologise. To a charlatan and quack doing all that harm to innocent and dumb followers?
On the contrary, it’s ‘Prophet’ David Owuor and other like-minded quacks who should apologise to Kenyans.
Taking risks not worth the trouble
Dear “City Girl”, I’ve been following you for a long time and I admire your guts. I hope you will get my message. And it is this: Compared to your initial ‘revelation’, you are now headed into distinctly murky waters.
I don’t know whether it’s a nice road for you to dare walk because the risks are not worth the trouble. I’ve been down the same road and I should know — I’m a little older and, perhaps, a little wiser than you.
The subject of ‘prophets’ (and religion, in general) is the murkiest part of the Jewish religion brought to us as part of our colonial heritage by the British and the Romans.
Truth be told, there’s really no such thing as ‘religion’; it’s all human imagination. That your subject prophet seems to make you very angry is tragic.
It’s not just him; they are all equally ‘guilty’ right down to the current travesty in the Press called the ‘hijab girl drama’. It’s a battle you can’t win. Ever.