Police Arrests A Christian Man For Growing A Beard
A Christian man who went to Rubaga Cathedral for a Sunday palm mass was arrested by Police for having a beard in the Church.
A man left his home village in Lungujja a Kampala outskirt and decided to attend a mass at Rubaga cathedral, the center of the Catholic Church in Uganda. It is alleged that he managed to 'beat' the security and entered the church.
According to the Officer in Charge (O.C) of Rubaga Police station, fellow worshippers got suspicious of the beard man and called the police to help them identify who really the person was.
Girimana, not his real name, was arrested by police and taken to near by station for interrogation, and a problem being a beard.
After being interrogated by Police, the bearded worshiper confirmed that he was really a Christian and his family is from Burundi and has been living in Uganda for three years now.
The Christian beard man was so surprised and shocked why the police arrested him and asked if having a beard is really a crime.
Police in Uganda has been arresting people suspected of being terrorists majority of whom being Muslims.
Those who are being arrested referred to in the local media as sheikhs as if a term means a dangerous person.
Sheikh is an Arabic word meaning elderly person, or some one who is knowledgeable in Islamic studies.
Uganda Police has been carrying out numerous operations in the eastern part of the country, and many people especially Muslims have been arrested.
Police raided the house of One Muslim man in the eastern part of the country in Bugiri District; he was arrested for being in possession of a panga and an axe in his house.
In African set up it is rare to find a house without a panga, spear or an axe, now you wonder what the future is holding for people in Uganda, Muslims and non Muslims.
Police on several occasions has been warning Nationals to be vigilant of suspicious people, what I can not tell weather the suspects are those who have beard or not.
Many prominent people in Uganda have beards for example the orthodox leaders, Muslim leaders, the prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda , The Governor Tumusime Mutebire, the United States Ambassador His Excellency Scott DeLisi the list is endless.
Foreigners who come to Uganda some grow beards for example the Zulus from South Africa grow beards and shorten their trousers, should someone label them terrorists?
If people are being suspected and arrested by police because of their physical appearances, then some thing has to be done to change that.
Growing beards and Goatees has become a fashion in the world today, prominent sports men and great persons do it regardless of their religious inclinations.
The Police action on Sunday has received condemnation from different people Muslims and non Muslims on social media, Radios stations, Televisions and civil society organizations.
There is a need to educate the Police and the community at large; many innocent people have been accused for being witchdoctors, thieves and end up being killed through mob justice.
The question is when did having a beard reflect belonging, any one can grow a beard like the orthodox Jews they are not Muslims.
It is from such a background that one can urge and say that growing a beard is a natural thing, people can not be judged depending on their physical appearances, it is not logical that some one who is intending to do harm will identify him self.
Mob justice is the order of the day in Uganda, innocent people have lost their lives, if Christians are now being suspected to be terrorists because of beards, expect death in the absence of the police.
About the Writer: Abubakar Sematimba is A Journalist and Teacher, Founder of Blessedly -Ugandan. A foundation that promotes Home made products and ServiceS.
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