– Muslims complain of ill-treatment by police

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The Muslim Community in Lusaka says it is concerned about the increased human rights abuse against its general membership by government authorities in Zambia.

And the Muslim community says there is no chance or room for gay-ism in their religion- Islam.

In four separate petitions to the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission in Chawama today, representatives of the Muslim community told the commission that their members are facing discrimination and violation of their human rights in courts, prisons, police stations and in many other public institutions where they are forced to do what is against the Quran.

Chawama Mosque Youth Forum Leader Elias Sinkala told the Commission that Muslims in Zambia are not recognized as citizens as they are un-candidly treated in courts such as taking oath using the bible and told to remove their head gears especially at police stations.

He explained that forcing Muslims to take off their head gears at police stations is a violation of their human rights as individual who
belong to a religion which is recognized by the constitution.

And commenting on homosexual practices in Zambia, Mr. Sinkala said his religion has no room for such as his religion only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman or two.

Mr. Sinkala stated that it Islam does not allow  men to marry fellow men saying doing so was against the law.

And Nancy Musa who was representing the Chawama Mosque narrated how she was made to remove her head scuff at the National Registration Office for her to take her side photo.

Ms. Musa however said she was shocked to see celebrities who were in dreads where not treated in the same manner.

She noted that public officers perceive Muslims to be foreigners who she said was not the case and added that officers should be educated that Zambia has people of different religions.

And another member of the Islam Bamus Seif Tembo also complained that Muslim leaders are not recognized by police as leaders who can sign for bond when their member has been found to be in conflict with the law.

Tembo wondered why the police should deny Muslims such rights when Christian leaders enjoy such rights.

He also complained that Muslims in Prisons are subjected to eat food which are deemed illegal by their religion because the prisons do not
provide their food.

But Commission Chairman Frederick Chomba explained that in some cases Police officers take it that all citizens are the same such that they make them remove their head gears without intentions of discriminating the Muslim community.

Justice Chomba however noted that in some instance the public officers’ error hence stated that discrimination against one religion is not
encourage in the country.