Buried in a feature article in Uganda’s Daily Monitor about Martin Ssempa’s plans to hold a march against homosexuality is a statement about a Muslim cleric named Multah Bukenya. Reporter Rodney Muhumuza wrote:
Multah Bukenya, a Tabliq cleric, has also renewed his threat to form squads that would hunt gays.
Tabliq is an explession of Islam which focuses on inviting others to join their faith, a kind of mission emphasis. In some places, notably Uganda, it has been linked to more radical political activities. According to prior reports, this particular cleric has in the past made clear his radical intent to rid Uganda of gays. While one should always use caution in reading these reports, this current article in the Daily Monitor provides some new confirmation of inflamatory statements attributed to Bukenya in the past.
In 2007, Bukenya was quoted in on the AllAfrica website (the full article is here reprinted from the Daily Monitor) as preparing for open season on gays:
Kampala — MUSLIM Tabliq youth plan to form what they call an ‘Anti-Gay Squad’ to fight homosexuality in the country. Sheikh Multah Bukenya, a senior cleric in the Muslim Tabliq Sect said the vice is widely spreading among the young generation.
“We are ready to act swiftly and form this squad that will wipe out all abnormal practices like homosexuality in our society,” he said last Friday during prayers at Noor Mosque in Kampala.
In addition to the long arm of the law, the “religious” coalition in Uganda, headed by Martin Ssempa, is advocating mob mentality. I wonder if the “Anti-Gay Squads” will be in force during Ssempa’s march next month.
Observers outside of Uganda have correctly pointed to the anti-gay conference in Kampala back in March as being fuel on the fire of anti-gay sentiment there. Rounding out the picture is the festering hatred toward gays generated by Islam in Uganda as well.
As I see it, Christian pastors who join with this cleric in a coalition are akin to pro-life people who advocate violence against abortion clinics. Mainstream pro-lifers are horrified by those who use or advocate such violence. Many Christians are reacting in a similar fashion to these statements and coalitions in Uganda, sadly, in this case, led by a Christian minister – Martin Ssempa – who is supported by many in the United States.