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Madrassa teacher defends suspect

The Madrasa teacher of a schoolboy arrested in connection with the Westgate terror attack says he doesn’t teach fundamentalism.

Ustadh Jaffar Hussein of Madrasatul-Zahrail-Islamiyah in Majengo talks fondly of the suspect who was last week apprehended from Murang’a Road Secondary School by Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) officers.

Misunderstanding of faith

“I knew the boy before he even knew how to wipe his nose. His father is my close friend and I was astonished on learning of the boy’s arrest,” said Hussein.

“Where is our dignity as citizens? They first called us sons of whores and now we are being branded terrorists. It is a shame that our youths have disappeared without being given a chance to defend themselves,” he added.

Hussein was the youngster’s religious instructor in his first four years of religious studies before the boy moved to Mombasa and later returned to Nairobi.

“On his return, he assisted me out at the Madrasa for a while before he stopped but I have been seeing him in the area ever since,” added Mr Hussein.

The religious teacher believes Majengo residents are not bold enough to become terrorists and engage in acts of slaughter.

He said the residents know each other too well and if the youngster was a terrorist, word would have spread fast.

He said long before the Interior Cabinet Secretary came up with the ‘Nyumba Kumi’ initiative, it already existed in the area.

Mr Hussein believes shallow understanding of the Islamic faith by the authorities and the public has worsened the stereotypical form of justice that has seen many young people pay the ultimate price for professing their faith.