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Imam in Darfur prevented from speaking at mosque

December 18 - 2009 ZALINGEI

An imam in West Darfur has been prevented from preaching at the mosque of Hassa Heissa, a residential area in Zalingei. The religious man, Younis Matar, was summoned Thursday evening to the security office. The officers accused him of siding with the rebel groups. A witness told Radio Dabanga that he was ordered not to preach at all, while they choose another imam to lead the worship in today’s (Friday) main prayer. Talking to Radio Dabanga, the warned imam Younis Matar explained that he is used to talking about the events in his community during the Friday prayers: ‘We need to tell the people what happens with the refugees, the internally displaced people, the killings of innocent people and the continuous looting of properties. We have to address these issues”. He said he will not appear in the mosques anymore until the issue has been solved: “This is not a matter for the security apparatus. The complaints filed by government officials should be dealt with by our Religious Council, not the police or security”. Hassa Heissa Mosque is the second largest mosque in town.

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