By Francis Emorut
KAMPALA - A survey conducted in 11 districts has found that there were no Muslim children radicalized as claimed by security agencies during last year’s arrests of Muslim clerics and closing down of Madrasa schools.
The survey was conducted between September 2013 and February 2014 by senior researchers at Makerere University.
It was commissioned by Muslim Centre for Justice and Law and supported by Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa.
Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke, a lecturer at Makerere University, presented the findings and said there was no link to children being radicalized as claimed by government security operatives.
“Within a period of three months, over four Madrasas closed down in Sembabule, Wakiso and Mukono districts on orders of resident district commissioners on allegations that they were radicalizing children and training them to become Jihadists,” he said.
“However, no proof has been adduced to this effect,” Musoke told security operatives, Muslim clerics and stakeholders.
He presented the findings at Hotel Africana Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday.
The lecturer said last year’s arrests of Muslim clerics and closing down of Madrasa schools (which teach children the Islamic faith) were linked to human trafficking, terrorism, abuse children and causing religious tensions and some for treason.
He informed the government and especially security operatives that they should recognize that Madrasa schools have been in existence in Uganda for 170 years without a problem.
“Any information based on global trends on terrorism should be treated with caution and investigated thoroughly,” he said.
He appealed to security agencies to investigate cases of suspected terrorism thoroughly before closing such institutions.
“Isolate the bad elements if found and arrest them without causing disruption to learning innocent children. Closing down a whole school because of one suspected criminal is not only unfair but wrong,” he said.
The other districts where the survey was conducted included Masaka, Rakai, Bukomansimbi, Lwengo, Kalungu, Iganga, Mayuge and Kampala.