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The Zanzibar Riots, the Union, & Religious Tolerance

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Kizibao, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. K

    Kizibao JF-Expert Member

    Jun 9, 2012
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    By Prof: Shariff

    NOBODY in his right mindwould condone the torching of churches and shops in Zanzibar last weekend. But it is a great shame that so many, including some of the top leaders in the country have made these symptoms of a socio-political malaise in the country the central issue for discussion rather than looking at the disease itself. It seems to have been a bonanza for most of the newspapers on the mainland who have used this to launch for what I can only call Islam and Zanzibarbashing spree for more than a week. As a Zanzibari I am proud to say we have had more than 170 years of history of Muslim-Christian interaction in our islands, and before 1987 we never had anything but cordial relations between all religions in our country.

    Anybody who disagrees with this can produce the evidence.The highest denomination of Zanzibar's independence stamps carried the theme of religious tolerance, designedby our revered art teacher Mr Abdalla Farhan, showing the Catholic and Anglican cathedrals, a Sunni and a Shimosque, and even a Hindu temple. Nobody should try to teach lessons about religious tolerance. The modern history of Muslim-Christian interaction in Zanzibar goes back to 1840 when the German Christian missionary Dr. Johanne Krapf visited Zanzibar to ask for permission to build a church at Mombasa which was then part of Zanzibar's territory.

    A c c o r d i n g t o t h e missionary's own testimony, the Muslim Sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Said bin Sultan wrote to his governor in Mombasa in which he said: ‘I am sending you Dr Krapf. He is a man of God who wants to spread the word of God. Do everything in your power to facilitate his work.' This was not because Seyyid Said was a uniquely tolerant ruler, but because this was the tradition of religious tolerance in the Indian Ocean before the coming of the colonialists. Thirty three years later, Bishops Steere and Tozer came to Zanzibar to build the Anglican Cathedral at Mkunazini, but these were enlightened people who The Zanzibar Riots, the Union, and Religious Tolerance By Prof. A Sharif wanted to live at peace with the local Muslim majority. They had regular cordial debates with the Muslim clerics of the time, including Shaikh Mansab bin Ali of the renowned clerical family of Zanzibar. Part of the land on which the cathedral was built was donated by the Hindu Customs Master, and Sultan Seyyid Barghash donated the clock that is still in the tower of the cathedral.

    During all my study of the history of Zanzibar there has never been a confrontation between these two religions until 1987. So what happened in 1987? The country was then discussing personal law, marriage and inheritance, and the Muslims said that we were bound by the Islamic Shariah, as they had every right under the constitution to believe and practice their religion. A p r o m i n e n t w o m a n political leader of the ruling party on the mainland said ‘we will change the Shariah.' Muslims in Zanzibar were incensed, and they came out in a demonstration to protest against this infringement of their rights. They were met by the police, an arm of the Union government, with live fire, and two people were killed.

    The commission under the late Abdulwahid Borafia confirmed that the Muslims were unarmed and peaceful; but no remedial action was taken to bring the culprits tobook. More recently, a young Christian man was instigated by the American preacher to burn the Muslims' HolyBook, but I am happy to say we did not hear Muslims retaliating by burning the Bible. S o t h e f u n d a m e n t a l question is why cases of intolerance have increased since 1987? We will be the proverbial ostriches if we bury our heads in the sand if we conclude that all this is because ‘udini' and hatred against Christians have suddenly flourished in Zanzibar even more luxuriantly that our cloves, and these are always carried out by one religion against the other. It needs two to tango.

    The fact is that over the past two decades, we have been going full speed to develop tourism as the primary foundation of our economy, and aiming to quadruple the number of tourists coming to Zanzibar to half a million, without considering the way we are doing it and the inevitable consequences for our society and culture. I have been dismayed to see how some of our fishing village communities have been turned upside down by the invasion of tourism. Nungwi at the northern end of Unguja was inaccessible before the tarmac road was built in the 1970s, and I had the fortune to visit it in1979. It was a beautiful stable Zanzibar village community– not very prosperous, but I remember it as a clean village in which almost every house had a well-kept carved Swahili door.

    It destroyed my assumption that isolation from the town meant poverty and desolation. A few years ago I had the misfortune to revisit Nungwi to give a lecture at one of the beach hotels that now completely encircle the whole Nungwi peninsula. I could not find that village any more. It had been completely over-run by a shanty town of tourism kiosks, bars with blaring foreign music, and brothels. As former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi once said, when you open the window to get fresh air, flies also come in. A few years ago the women of Nungwi took out a demonstration against this invasion that was stealing their husbands and destroying their families. But has anything been done to rein in these misfortunes of our villagers, beyond saying ‘bahati mbaya, utandawazi, etc.?' Last year there was another outbreak with the burning of 80 tourist shops and hovels at Pwani Mchangani, and all the
    mainland-based newspapers plastered their front pages with stories and pictures about Zanzibaris ‘hating Wabara.'

    Nobody investigated why all these shops in a Zanzibari village were owned only by Wabara, and why local villagers were not benefitting from the tourism bonanza, but only having to suffer from its bars and brothels. But there is still the question why the churches were targeted. As I said above, places of worship and their holy books must be respected by all, whether mosques and churches, or the Quran and the Bible. A lot has been said about the culpability of Uamsho in this saga, but nobody has documented the evidence either of their direct instigation or their so-called ‘hate sermons.' Their DVDs are freely available, and it should be easy to document this for anyone who wants to speak on the subject. But most of those who have spoken or written have not cared to see them. Mao tse Tung used to say: ‘no research, no right to speak.' But, again as I said above, it takes two to tango.

    Are we so absolutely sure that the clerics of all the other denominations are clean on this score? I cannot say what is being preached in all the mosques and churches, butI was a witness to one incident that was frightening. A Norwegian missionary organized an interfaith meeting last year in Zanzibar, and I was invited. I was flabbergasted to hear a cleric from the Anglican Cathedral say that since Tanzania was a secular state, why is the Zanzibar Government finance the Qadhi's courts here? A n y b o d y w h o k n o w s anything about Zanzibar will know that 97% of the people of Zanzibar are Muslims. She/he should also know that religion is not a Union matter, and that the Zanzibar constitution nowhere says ‘nchi hii haina dini.'

    There have been Qadhi's courts here even before the coming of the British. In their wisdom they did not abolish them but allowed Muslims to practice their religion in terms of personal law. For more than a century the dual jurisdiction has worked smoothly to the satisfaction of all, including non-Muslims who could take their cases to the country's civil courts. So who is this cleric to add insult to injury by proposing the Qadhis courts should be abolished in Zanzibar, as they were in Tanganyika in 1963, and why at this stage when Muslims on the mainland are demanding restoration of their Qadhi's courts? Fortunately, it was not left to a Zanzibari Muslim to answer him, which would have made it a Christian-Muslim malumbano. A wise Christian Copt from Egypt stood up to answer. He said: I am really surprised.

    We Copts constitute 10% of the population in Egypt, but we have to recognize that 90% of the people are Muslims who want to be governed by their religious rules in these matters. Why should we object? Here, you Christians form less than one per cent of the people, and you want to abolish the Qadhi's courts?' Nothing more needed to be said. So wisdom is called for on the part of all responsible leaders, religious or otherwise. And this relates not only to this sensitive question of religion, but in all matters during this critical period. I was dismayed when I read the story by Mwinyi Sadallah in the Nipashe of 31st May, 2012
    quoting the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Tanzania, Dk. Valentino Mokiwa, saying that the suspects ‘wakamatwe, wapigwe bakora na polisi na baadaye wafikishwe kwenye vyombo vya sheria.'

    When we are writing the new constitution in which we should be safeguarding the human rights of all people against police brutality, should a responsible cleric be giving them free license to beat up people before they have been convicted of any crime? I just hope that he has been misquoted. If he was, then the journalist should apologise too.
  2. kookolikoo

    kookolikoo JF-Expert Member

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    it is better to vent anger by shouting like the cleric rather than torching churches.
  3. zomba

    zomba JF-Expert Member

    Jun 9, 2012
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    Professor Sheriff you deserve a big Thanks for enlightening most of us.

    Kizibao pokea shukran zangu kwa kutuwekea huu uzi ulionyooka.
  4. Kitila Mkumbo

    Kitila Mkumbo Verified User

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    Yet, he hasn't told us why the churches were torched, and this is the question he wanted to answer!!
  5. K

    Kizibao JF-Expert Member

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    Read the thread again,hopefully you will able to figure it out.

    MNYISANZU JF-Expert Member

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  7. Democracy999

    Democracy999 JF-Expert Member

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    Wanzibari hawawezi kuuza vinyago, wala hawapikigi nguruwe, hizi kazi wamejinyakulia wabara kiulaini
  8. Ndahani

    Ndahani JF-Expert Member

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    Uongo uliopitiliza. Eti wakristu walichoma quran zanzibar! Lini tena? Mbinguni hatufiki kwa majungu, fitna wala roho za husuda na chuki. Tutakwenda kwa wema wetu.
  9. dudus

    dudus JF-Expert Member

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    Ukiwa umezaliwa, kukulia, na kuishi katika mazingira na malezi ya kinafiki utaendelea kuwa mnafiki hata kama ungesoma na kumaliza shahada zote duniani na ndivyo anavyojidhihirisha huyu Profesa.

    Pamoja na kusifia "uhusiano mzuri" wa kidini huko Zanzibar kwa muda mrefu, kwa sababu anazozijua yeye tena kwa makusudi mazima, hajatueleza "ni kwa nini makanisa yalichomwa" na sio misikiti au vyote tena nyakati hizi. Hebu aache unafiki na udini wake.

    Otherwise, huyu naye JAMBAZI la Uamsho tu - By Nape Nnauye, Dar es Salaam, June 09, 2012.
  10. mzamifu

    mzamifu JF-Expert Member

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    HOWEVER, hakuna mtu aliyewachukia Wazanzibari wala wabara au wakristo hawawasemi vibaya wazanzibari kuhusu matukio yaliyotokea. Watu wanajadili uhalali wa matukio hayo; kuchoma makanisa, kutaka wabara waondoke n.k. Je, haya si matukio mabaya? Ni nani hasa wanahusika? Je wanajiwakilisha wao binafsi au kuna wanaojificha nuyuma yao?

    UMESEMA: "The fact is that over the past two decades, we have been going full speed to develop tourism as the primary foundation of our economy, and aiming to quadruple the number of tourists coming to Zanzibar to half a million, without considering the way we are doing it and the inevitable consequences for our society and culture".

    Je, haya yanaweza kuwa ni maelezo kuwa ni chanzo cha yaliyotokea? Sasa iweje makanisa yachomwe wakati wenye makanisa sio walioleta mabadiliko Hayo? kwa hivo waliochukia ni waislam, wazanzibar au wanauamsho? Nafikiri Prof, ingefaa kama ungeapdate makala yako kutoa ufafanuzi zaidi.
  11. Red Giant

    Red Giant JF-Expert Member

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    nasikitika kusikia aliyeandika ni profesa! kwanza mawazo hayana mtiririko mzuri mada zinaingiliana ingiliana, halafu anajaribu kujustify uchomaji wamakanisa kitu ambacho dunia nzima inajua ni makosa halafu kutokuelewana kwa wakristo na waislamu ameonyesha kama wakristo ndio waanzilishi wa ugomvi mfano kwa kumtaja huyo mchungaji wa anglicana huku asitaje hata baya moja la waislamu yaani wao ni clean!! emotions zikiintefere kufikiri kwetu kamwe hatutaweza solve matatizo
  12. T

    Tume ya Katiba JF-Expert Member

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    Kumbe katiba ya zanzibar haijatamka kuwa nchi yetu zanzibar haina dini! hili jipya kwangu!
  13. Nicholas

    Nicholas JF-Expert Member

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    Excellent language, most useless contents.Quite illogical suggestions
  14. T

    Taso JF-Expert Member

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    Mwandishi hasemi ukweli anapodai Uamsho hawakuchochea au kutoa "mahubiri ya chuki." Sikiliza clips yeyote katika zilizowekwa hapa JF hakuna mwana uamsho aliye miss opportunity ya kutukana "makafiri wa Bara" na "Mfumo Kristo" wa Bara.

    Sisemi kama Bara hakuna Mfumo Kristo, wala sisemi kama Wakristo wa Bara sio makafiri, bali nasema huyu Sharrif asisema kwamba Uamsho hawakutoa uchochezi, walichochea.

    Neno instigate maana yake kuchochea, na kuchochea maana yake si lazima utangaje "jamani nagawa mafuta ya taa twendeni tukachome makanisa." Hapana, unapohutubia halaiki ya watu na kutukana Wakristo na kusema kwamba wameleta ukahaba Zanzibar tayari hiyo ni alama ya kwamba tukawachome. Mwandishi badala ya kujikita kuchambua huko yalikojiri hayo matendo yeye ame focus kwenye waandishi wa Bara, ni dhahiri hana hoja wala uungwana.
  15. K

    Kizibao JF-Expert Member

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    Hayo yote kutokana na magezeti yenu haya kuripoti hiyo habari lakini imetokea na jamaa alifugwa miezi 18 jela,sasa kama kitu hukijui usipende kuwaambia watu kama ni waongo

  16. Lonestriker

    Lonestriker JF-Expert Member

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    With all due respect to the professor,I find the article to be interesting but rather shallow.It does not answer the burning questions,in fact it seems to ask more questions and leaves me with a more biased opinion that they is something seriously wrong with Muslim Islanders.

    If 'every' kiosk is owned by Wabara then the Islanders must have been sleeping all that time when 'Wabara' were busy building the kiosks or were they busy praying in the mosque.On a serious note,unless if the Wabara breached the local laws there, I find no problem in them owning every kiosk there-it is a competitive world,survival is for the fittest only.

    Most of us in Tanganyika do not even support these thing called the union.If a referendum were to be held today or tomorrow am sure it would be a landslide victory for those of us who are tire of you whiners,no more Muungano.Nevertheless we are still irked by the childish,immaturity,idiotic and cowardly means that the so UAMSHO group have resorted to,I mean why burn the church?

    If this is not immaturity then what is it? Mind you no mosque was burnt down so don't try to sell to me that those who did that have not been confirmed to be muslims.
  17. Ndahani

    Ndahani JF-Expert Member

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    Kwahiyo mtu mmoja akichoma quran basi makanisa yote ndiyo yachomwe? That is not a justfication. What about the abuse christians get by some few fundamentalist moslems? Could it be a justification of punishing the rest?

    Ninachokiogopa sana siku hizi ni kwamba wasomi badala ya kuhakikisha we defend the good things in the society, ndio tumekuwa vinara wa kutoa maandishi ambayo kamwe hayawezi kujenga any society. I sometimes wonder...yes we have gone to school and attain the best of what the schools and college could offer. But have we developed educated minds? I doubt...madesa yameharibu mpaka maprofessor na madokta wa nchi yetu hii.
  18. F

    Falconer JF-Expert Member

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    Si kweli kama makanisa yote yamechomwana waliofanya hivo ni vijana wa UVCCM na wanajulikana. Zanzibar kuna makanisa 48 na wakristo wasiofika elfu 9. Kuna wakristo wa asilia na wakristo wakuja. Na miaka nenda hapajatokea vurugu. Inaonekana wazi kuwa kuna watu wana ajenda fulani kuhsu udini Zanzibar. Labda ni katika kuondosha "focus" kutoka kwenye mihadhara ya katiba kuitia katika dini.
  19. k

    kwamwewe JF-Expert Member

    Jun 10, 2012
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    Siasa bila dini ni uendawazimu'

    Na Lilian Nyenza

    Kanisa halitaacha kutoa mwongozo kwa watu wake hata kwa mambo ya kisiasa ukiwamo uchaguzi kwa kuwa, siasa bila dini ni sawa na uendawazimu.

    Aidha, imedaiwa kuwa tabia ya kuwalaghai vijana kuwa ni taifa la kesho, ndiyo inayowadumaza kiakili na kuwafanya watumiwe na wanasiasa kufanya fujo, badala ya kujitokeza kuongoza kwa kufuata taratibu za nchi.

    Mkurugenzi wa chama cha kifamilia cha Undugu Association Tanzania, Padri Baptiste Mapunda, alitoa kauli hiyo katika sherehe za kuuaga mwaka 2004 na kuukaribisha mwaka mpya wa 2005, zilizofanyika katika ukumbi wa Parokia ya Mt. Yosefu, Jimbo Kuu Katoliki la Dar es Salaam.

    Mkurugenzi huyo wa UNDUGU ASSOCIATION TANZANIA alisema kuwa, Tanzania imeanza kuonesha dalili mbaya za machafuko kutokana na baadhi ya watu wakiwamo wanasiasa kuweka mbele ubinafsi.

    "Tukikaa kimya huku mambo yanaharibika katika jamii; eti tuwaachie wanasiasa wafanye watakavyo, tutakuwa hatutendi wajibu wetu na hivyo, Kanisa halitaacha kusema ukweli kwa maslahi ya umma hata kama unamkera mtu. Hii ni kwa kuwa tunajua wazi kuwa siasa bila dini, ni uendawazimu ambao mtu hajui akifanyacho kwa kuwa akili yake haijatimia kiroho." alisema.

    Aliitaka jamiii ya Kitanzania ijifunze thamani ya amani na siasa safi kutokana na hali ya amani na usalama katika nchi jirani za Rwanda na Burundi ambayo ni hatari na inasikitisha.

    Alisema vita na mauaji yanayoendelea katika nchi hizo, yanasababishwa na uroho wa madaraka wa watu wachache ambao hawajali utu wa wengine.

    Aliongeza kuwa, "Siku zote tunapaswa kukumbuka kuwa, amani na mapendo ambayo Mungu ametujalia, tunapaswa kuyaenzi sisi sote kwa kuwa siasa bila dini, ni sawa na uendawazimu."

    Padri Mapunda aliiasa jamii kuendelea kumuomba Mungu ili azidi kuwajalia amani,upendo na utulivu uliopo sasa, kuwa uwepo hata baada ya Uchaguzi Mkuu kupita.

    Amewataka Waamini kuwaombea viongozi wanyanyasaji kama Herode, wabadilike na hivyo, kuongoza nchi kwa haki na akawasihi Watanzania kuyashinda maovu kwa kutenda yaliyo mema.

    Hata hivyo, Padri Mapunda amewatahadharisha vijana kujiepusha kutumiwa na baadhi ya viongozi wa siasa, kwa nia ya kufanya fujo katika uchaguzi.

    "Vijana mara nyingi wamekuwa wepesi wa kurubuniwa na vijizawadi vidogo vidogo, ili wafanye kile wanachokitaka wanasiasa wabinafsi. Sasa mimi nasema mkae chini na mlitafakari hilo kwa makini. Mtakao angamia ni ninyi na si wao," alitahadharisha.

    Alisema vijana ni Taifa la leo na Taifa bila vijana limekufa, hivyo aliwasihi kuwaheshimu wazazi na walezi ili wapate kuishi maisha marefu na yenye heri duniani, kama walivyojaliwa kuuona mwaka huu mpya.

    Naye Mwenyekiti wa Umoja huo, Bw. Benjamini Komba alisema, lengo la Shirika la Undugu, ni kuiunganisha jamii, ikiwa ni pamoja na kuimarisha Ukristo katika kupata hamasa katika kazi ya umisionari, ili ijengeke roho ya umisionari wa kweli nchini Tanzania.

    Bw. Komba alisema kuwa, Shirika limekuwa na mchango mkubwa kwa jamii, kwa kuwa ni chombo cha kuelimisha jamii na kuendeleza mawasiliano na wamisionari wa Afrika ambao wapo ndani na nje ya nchi kwa lengo la kusukuma mbele kurudumu la Injili katika Taifa hili.

    Umoja huo haujishughulishi na mambo ya siasa na hauna ubaguzi wa dini, rangi, imani wala itikadi.

    Katika sherehe hizo, Wanaundugu na watu wengine walialikwa na kuhudhuria pamoja na familia zao.
  20. k

    kwamwewe JF-Expert Member

    Jun 11, 2012
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    wapi ulisikia wachoma maknisa hao walikimbilia kwenye baa na kzichoma na walionekana wakinywa baadhi ya hizo bia , leo uniambie ni waislamu wa uamsho ???

    mnakuwa hamsomi facts mnazoletewa kwa jaziba au kwa hizi propaganda za kanisa