Kenya Imams demand stiff penalties for sodomy by religious leaders

(The Standard) Muslim leaders at the Coast have called on the Government to give stiffer penalties to religious leaders who sodomise young boys.

Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) organising secretary Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa said imams who sodomised boys were not worthy of living and the only penalty was death.

“Imams and preachers who have been sodomising our young boys are not worthy of being alive, according to the teachings of the holy books, such a person is supposed to be killed but because it is not among the penalties in this country, then they should be jailed for life,” stated Khalifa.

He revealed that two imams who were recently arrested for sodomy claims have already been stripped of their titles and that they would not be allowed to teach or conduct sermons in mosques.

“Our children are being used and abused by such immoral people who are worthless in this society. We cannot condone such acts,” he said.

Khalifa divulged that they would throw out any religious leader claimed to have abused children.

And Sheikh Majid Hobeni, said a preacher or imam should not be allowed to teach if they were not married arguing that such immoral practices were done by unmarried men.

“The only solution is to ensure that the imams, and any religious leader is married because it would be difficult for a married man to do such evil acts to children,” said Hobeni.

He also argued that poor upbringing of children had also contributed to the rise of such cases. He said that children are brought up to be humble and quiet, especially to the elders.

“When a child has been molested, there is no way he or she would be able to reveal what happened to them because of the way we bring up our children. We expect them to be quite and humble to elders and so speaking up would be a problem if such a thing happens,” he added.

Last month, police arrested an Imam of Pakistani origin who was accused of sodomising boys under his care. He had been beaten up by a mob before police came to his aid. He is currently facing six charges for the crime.

And last week, another imam was rescued by police in Mombasa from an angry mob that was about to lynch him. Police arrived just in time to save the man.

He too was accused of molesting children who attended his classes.

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