Accessibility links

Breaking News

Zimbabwean Muslim Leader Urges Obama to Block Terrorism Stigma

President Barack Obama greets children from Al-Rahmah school and other guests during his visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland, Feb. 3, 2016.

A senior Zimbabwean Muslim leader, Sheik Ishmael Duwa, has commended President Barack Obama for visiting a mosque in Baltimore, USA, on Wednesday saying the American president needs to ensure that members of his religion are not discriminated on religious grounds.

Sheik Duwa said Mr. Obama should “walk the talk” following his remarks that Muslims are part of “one American family”.

Sheik Duwa was quick to say that the United States should stop accusing Muslims of allegedly promoting terrorism. “President Obama knows that problems that are caused in the Islamic society are caused by the Western countries, especially America.

“If I cite Libya, (Maummar Gaddaffi was killed … Who caused that? If we go to Iraq … Iraq was said to possess weapons (of mass destruction) whatever … there is no solution there. So, he (Mr. Obama) is an interested person who goes to our Muslims and says Moslems are like this and he goes on the other side he says something else.”

He said Muslims’ role in society is to bring peace and tranquility as per the dictates of the Quran. “The Quran says Muslims should co-exist with other people, to bring peace and tranquility.”

During remarks Wednesday at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, President Obama thanked Muslim Americans for helping to build the U.S. and make it strong.

He also acknowledged the "hugely distorted" negative view Muslim Americans have had to endure with the rise of terrorism-related violence by Islamist extremists.

Responding to these remarks, Shiek Duwa commended Mr. Obama for noting that Muslims are not trouble makers.

“It they are some terrorists said to be Muslims, they are not Muslims. They are just individuals. They may be Muslims but doing that act it does not mean that it’s Islam. It’s like I am a Zimbabwean and if I go and commit a crime in South Africa they cannot say Zimbabweans are not good. No.”

In Zimbabwe, he said, Muslims are helping local people in getting scholarships and some are looking after orphans, among other projects.

President Obama criticized remarks by Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and others in recent months. Trump called for all Muslims to be barred from entering the country for a period of time, and Cruz suggested that the United States resettle only Christian Syrian refugees.