Muslim leaders deny it. The very idea, however, that such a promise would win them votes — which doesn’t seem to being challenged by anyone involved — belies the Western dogma that only a tiny minority of Muslims reject Western pluralistic government and mores.
“Kenyan Muslims deny Sharia claims,” from the BBC (thanks to all who sent this in):
Kenyan Muslim leaders have dismissed as propaganda allegations that an opposition party promised to introduce Sharia for Muslims if it won elections.
The National Muslim Leaders Forum said its deal with the Orange Democratic Movement was to end the current discrimination against Muslims.
Christian leaders have been calling for the pact to be made public to end angry speculation ahead of December’s polls.
Roughly one-third of Kenya’s population of 34 million is Muslim.
Recent opinion polls show 45% of those interviewed support ODM’s Raila Odinga compared to 43% who favour President Mwai Kibaki, who is running on a Party of National Unity ticket.
Muslim leaders decided to make the pact public after a document circulated on the internet claimed that Mr Odinga’s ODM had pledged to introduce Sharia in parts of the country where Muslims are in the majority.
Raila Odinga (front row with hat) at the ODM 2007 election campaign launch
The ODM is hoping Mr Odinga can hold on to his poll lead
“There was a fear that Muslims will force their faith on other people, Islam does not allow suppression of other religions and we will be the last to advocate for this,” said Abdullahi Abdi of the National Muslim Leaders Forum.
Instead the memorandum of understanding, signed in August, states that Mr Odinga has pledged to defend Muslims against harassment and victimisation by state security forces who claim to be fighting terrorism.