State raids Coast shops for hate DVDs

By Benard Sanga                                      

Mombasa, Kenya: The Government Thursday launched a crackdown on shops in Mombasa, seizing material containing preaching by radical Muslim priests from Kenya and Tanzania.

Officials confiscated DVDs containing radical Islamic teachings of slain Muslim cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo and other Tanzanian ‘hate’ preachers, amid reports of resistance from some traders in Mwembe Tayari and Majengo, where Rogo had strong support.

The swoop by officers from the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) and the police also targeted DVDs of a Tanzanian sheikh in renewed efforts by the Government agencies to combat radical Islam in the country. Thursday morning’s operation, according to officers from KFCB, was aimed at containing the proliferation of DVDs with radical Islam teachings of Rogo and extremist Tanzanian Muslim preachers Sheikh Salim Mazinga and Hassan Ilunga.

Mombasa County Police Commander Robert Kitur said the Government would not allow the propagation of hate messages, adding that the “crackdown will go on without relenting”.

Three people believed to be the biggest suppliers of the movies were arrested in the operation and will be arraigned in court today. Messages on the DVDs by the three preachers were mostly similar, calling for the jihadist movement in the region and support for youths who have joined the Al-Shabaab militant group in Somalia.

Controversial movie Other DVDs confiscated were those containing satanic teachings and debates about Christianity and Islam as well as the controversial movie, Wolf of Wall Street, and pirated copies of the Jicho Pevu investigative series by KTN. “Movies have become a key avenue for radicals to spread their teachings,” said Bonventure Kioko, a senior KFCB Coast regional officer. He added that the agency was keen to get jihadist messages off the streets.

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