By BRIAN OTIENO
Muslim preachers in Mombasa have welcomed the government’s decision to make Tuesday a public holiday for Idd-ul-Adha celebrations.
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i declared the holiday in a gazette notice on Friday, for the second time since 2016.
On Saturday, however, the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya said it should be enshrined in the Constitution as a permanent holiday.
Organising secretary Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa said this will cause religious harmony.
Muslims have only one public holiday – Eid-ul-Fitr – while Christians have two – Easter and Christmas.
“We hope the government will heed to our call and make this holiday a consistent one. It will go a long way in uniting Kenyans on religious grounds,” Sheikh Khalifa said in his Mwembe Tayari office.
Eid-ul-Adha, also known as ‘Feast of Sacrifice’, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier one. It honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his own son in obedience to God’s instructions. God however provided a male goat for him to sacrifice.
Sheikh Khalifa explained that to show love and care for neighbours and other people, able Muslims are required to sacrifice an animal and divide it into three parts.
“A third of the slaughtered animal is given to the poor and the needy, a third to friends and neighbours and the other third eaten by the family,” said the cleric.
Sheikh Khalifa also spoke of the detention of Nation Media Group journalists Karim Rajan and Laban Walloga on Thursday.
“We want to see those responsible in court so that Kenyans can truly appreciate that there is no place for impunity anymore in the country,” he said.
Rajan and Walloga were harassed by security guards and arrested while seeking information on why a private developer, said to be a senior government official, has encroached on a public beach by constructing Dolphin Hotel.
NEMA said Friday that tthere wasn’t any encroachment on the beach but that there was illegal dumping of sand on the shoreline.
The authority said that Mombasa Dolphin Resort applied for a licence for the extension and alteration of existing facilities, including a swimming pool.
“The boundaries have not changed,” NEMA said.
Source: The Star