The Minister for Internal Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire has reassured the Muslim community that President Museveni and the government do not hold any grudges against them.
Otafiire emphasised that the government does not discriminate when it comes to apprehending suspects, particularly those involved in terrorism-related incidents.
Otafiire made the comments in response to accusations from Muslims that their community was being targeted in such cases.
The minister made the remarks during Eid al-Aduha prayer at Nakivubo Blue Primary School playground in Kampala. Eid al-Aduha is celebrated to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah and his readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail. At the very point of sacrifice, Allah replaced Ismail with a ram, which was to be slaughtered in place of his son.
This command from Allah was a test of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness and commitment to obey his Lord’s command, without question. Therefore, Eid al-Aduha means the festival of sacrifice.
Speaking to Muslims during this occasion, Otafiire dismissed the idea that the government was ‘witch-hunting’ Muslims, stating that every religion had its ‘bad people’.
“We don’t arrest Muslims but we arrest the criminals. It is not true that we target Muslims because I also believe in Islam. Those arresting Muslims are mentally ill. Why do you arrest Muslims? Arrest those who have committed a crime not Muslims,” he said.
He further noted that Muslims were not the only ones who were arrested and imprisoned, and that there was no reason for some people to have a ‘grudge’ against the President.
“God is powerful and God is great. God doesn’t need machineries to help him. Stop saying you are fighting for God, you cannot fight for him, he doesn’t need help. Yes, it is true that in prisons there are Muslims but there are also Christians,” he said.
He stated that president Museveni had never stopped anyone from worshiping and associating with any religion.
“Has Museveni ever stopped you from believing in God? Has Museveni ever stopped you from performing your prayers? Why are you here now (performing Eid prayers)? Museveni also pays Zakat. Am I lying? He takes Muslims to Mecca. He always breaks the fast of Muslims fasting during Ramadhan,” he said.
He implored Muslims stop despising president Museveni, wondering how some Muslims especially those who have been against the head of state, will face Allah during the resurrection day.