Muslim lawyers under their umbrella body, the Uganda Muslim Lawyers Association (UMLAS) have decried what they have described as continued disrespect of Muslim places of worship especially by security agencies.
UMLAS’ statement comes shortly after the officials from UMSC took over the administration of Masjid Noor mosque commonly known as William Street mosque amidst heavy deployment of police and other security organs at the weekend.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the lawyers condemned the act which led to the arrest of 14 people.
“We condemn in the strongest terms possible the way management at Masjid Noor William Street was changed without a lawful court order but with the help of police and other security agencies,”the statement reads.
UMLAS also condemned the action of Uganda police and other security organs for taking the law in their hands noting that security forces should always be the ones to respect the rule of law.
They stated that whereas security may have had any criminal investigations or fulfilment of instruction from the government and the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, such action is a continued disregard by force of the sanctity of Muslims’ places of worship.
“There are well established procedures in the police act to follow. If the security forces wanted to conduct any exercise be it handling the property to UMSC other than raiding the mosque as if it is just a marketplace more so without court order settling any dispute therein,”the statement stated.
“it is our considered view that agency of government involving themselves in all these is embarrassing. We think that those on the side of government want to perpetuate Muslim disunity in Uganda otherwise where is the logic of them handing over property at William street to the very people at UMSC who sold it in the first place?”the statement queries.
The lawyers said Muslim community is losing trust in the current leadership at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council under the stewardship of Shaban Mubajje because it is trying to deprive the Muslim community of its prime properties known as endowment (Waqfu).
UMLAS wants Mubajje and his administration to account for all properties which have been sold or else they will be made to account for what they have done and continue to do.