Islamist attacks, corrupt policing, knee-jerk security responses as well as racial profiling are dividing Kenyans increasingly along religious and ethnic lines, experts said. Reuters report:
There is fear on all sides – among Christians who pray on Sundays under armed police guard, among Muslims who are vilified on the internet, and among government leaders who have lost face for failing to provide security.
The Somalia-based al Shabaab militant group has escalated the number of attacks on Kenyans this year, as part of its campaign to stop Kenyan military operations in Somalia.
“It is primed to explode,” said Clive Wanguthi, a Muslim leader living in Nairobi’s Somali-dominated Eastleigh area.
“If they (extremists) continue with these attacks, they will come and hit a sensitive area and everything will go to hell. I mean we will kill each other,” said Wanguthi.
The 47-year-old father of six converted from Christianity to Islam 25 years ago, and is trying to ease tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims in Eastleigh, which has been a focus of government crackdowns. Eleven percent of Kenyans are Muslim, some of them ethnically Somali.