Muslims Task Govt To Get Equal Funds For Namugongo Martyrs Commemoration

Muslims have asked the government for an equal share of funds as they commemorate Muslim Martyrs at Namugongo. The annual commemoration of Muslim Martyrs will take place on June 10.

Historical records indicate that around 1874/75 during the reign of Kabaka Mukaabya Walugembe Muteesa I, Muslim converts became the first individuals in Buganda to be executed due to their newly found foreign religious beliefs.

It is reported that approximately 80 to 100 of these converts were killed in Namugongo, a circumstance reminiscent of the later execution of Christians on June 3, 1886.

Previously, Muslims marked the day on June 1, two days before Christians held their festival in honor of the 45 young Christian converts killed in Namugongo during the reign of Kabaka Mwanga II.

Speaking at the prayers for the Muslim Martyrs at the Shuhadah Mosque in Namugongo, Musa Nsubuga, the Deputy Imam of the mosque said that when the Catholics and Anglicans, were celebrating their Martyrs, the government-funded them with over a billion shillings each. This is in contrast to the Muslim faith which received 200 million shillings.

He added that they want to develop their area with various projects, including a hospital, schools, shops, and a bigger mosque in memory of the Muslim martyrs, and are seeking government support.

Musa also asked the government to compensate them for squatters who illegally annexed five out of six acres of their land in Namugongo.

Ashiraf Zziwa Muvawala the Spokesperson of UMSC noted that they had asked for one billion shillings for the preparations.

Sheikh Zakiyu Sserunjoji, the district khadi of Nakawa, emphasized that Muslims do not make a pilgrimage to Namugongo but come to pray for Martyrs and learn about their rich history.

“Muslims only make a pilgrimage to Mecca, as stated in the Holy Quran, and this has been performed by Muslims for 1445 years,” Sheikh Sserunjoji stated.

According to the teachings of the Holy Quran, Sheik Sserunjoji said that Muslims can visit graves to pray for the dead and ask for Allah’s mercy upon them. He also mentioned that living Muslims do not benefit from the dead, but rather the dead benefit from the prayers made by living Muslims.

Professor Badru Kateregga, the chairperson of the Muslim Martyrs Mosque Development Committee, stated that he took the initiative to study Muslim Martyrs and the teachings of the Holy Quran to reduce ignorance about Islam.

“Muslims are as ignorant about Islam as Christians are, and we must educate the ignorant because Islam is about knowledge. So, those who are against the commemoration of Uganda Muslim Martyrs, how much knowledge do they have about the history of Uganda and Islam itself?” Professor Kateregga stated.

Huda Orelu Abasan, the State Minister for Defense in charge of Veteran Affairs stated that Muslims have no organized structures to lobby for funds for the Muslim Martyrs at Namugongo.

“The Catholics and Protestants had a very systematic and organized presentation with a theme, but the Muslims had nothing to speak of. What are we asking for the money for? You did not prepare well and then come to the public and complain,” the minister told Muslims.

Orelu urged Muslims to emulate the Martyrs and be committed to their religion and their God.

The UMSC is currently seeking 31 billion shillings to enhance its site at Namugongo with a new and improved memorial mosque to replace the current dilapidated one.urn


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