Malawi Muslims Attack Christians

( [email protected] ) Jul 03, 2003 04:03 AM EDT

A faction of Muslims in Malawi launched protests against the deportation of five Al Qaeda suspects in Blantyre and Mangochi on 28 June, which brough injuries and incendiary fire in Christian churches, The Nation, a Malawian newspaper, reported on 30 June.

The Muslims rioted for two days against Christians. Seven churches were damaged and also the national offices of the aid agency Save the Child was also their target.

Cedric Kamoto, a pastor of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian said "As the Muslims chanted Islamic slogans, they threatened people to get out of Mangochi. They told Christians that Christians disturbs them by bringing Americans in Malawi.

Justin Opuku, director of the national office interviewed with the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the Muslims attacked a pickup truck, a Roman Catholic priest was inside of it. Bernard Thungwa, a seminary professor who was in the truck said "the Muslims pulled Girevulo from the car and beated him before others came to rescue."

In Malawi, Muslim constitute is only 13 percent of its population. But the Muslim population is growing. Now president Bakili Muluzi is also a Muslim. But he doesn't want any religious conflicts in his country.

"I don't want anybody who cause religious strife in Malawi," he said.

The five suspected Al Qaeda members were handed over to the U.S. after debate both within and outside of the country.

On 28, 11 people were arrested for the riots. Inspector General Joseph Aironi told The Nation that "we will not tolerate any terrorist elements to use this country as a hiding place."