Nairobi Riots over Al-Faisal

Nairobi Riots over Al-Faisal

From Aljazeera -- some of the best reporting.
From Aljazeera -- some of the best reporting.

As night fell on Nairobi, Friday, the streets were quiet and five people were confirmed dead.

Below is an edited report from the BBC, but let me first complain bitterly about the NPR report. I love NPR but they continually get Africa wrong. Alone among such giants as the BBC, Reuters and Aljazeera, NPR failed to report that much of the riot was caused when Nairobi citizens started throwing stones against the Muslim demonstrators.

It seems that the police may have then sided with the much larger anti-demonstration crowd and over-reacted. But this would be typical in Nairobi. I remember during the August, 1998, bombing of the embassy. The first public action by Nairobi citizens was to burn the city mosque.

See my earlier blogs this week and last about Al-Faisal, terrorism, etc. Here are excerpts from the BBC:

At least five people have died after Kenyan police opened fire at supporters of a Jamaican-born Muslim cleric notorious for preaching racial hatred.

Faisal is in detention in Nairobi after Kenya failed to deport him.

Kenya wants to expel him citing his “terrorist history”. He was jailed for four years in the UK for soliciting the murder of Jews and Hindus.

Muslim youths began the protest match after Friday prayers at the Jamia Mosque in the centre of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

They wanted to present a petition to Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s office.

But police had banned the march and intervened.

One banner read: “Release al-Faisal, he is innocent”, reports the AFP news agency.

Some reports suggest that the protesters were waving flags of Somali Islamist group al-Shabab.

Reuters news agency reports that some people joined the security forces in attacking the protesters.