Thursday, December 27

Radical Islam and Kenya

Kenya's Muslims are for the most part fairly moderate - Mombasa and Lamu seem more welcoming to me than Nairobi, despite it being slightly more difficult to find Tusker in restaurants. There is, however, a growing radical element, as Joshua Hammer discusses in the New York Times magazine. The piece is well worth a read, though I thought he could have spent more time evaluating the overall presence of radical Islam in Kenya, and less on his one electoral case-study in northern Kenya.

None of the people I talked with in Mombasa over the past couple of days appeared particularly radical, but many expressed their anger with Bush and with U.S. policy in Somalia. While radicalism was growing before Bush took office, his departure will certainly help things. After talking with a group of young Muslims about their complaints with the current government's cooperation with U.S. counter-terrorism policies, they all urged me to send their regards to Barack Obama when I get back stateside.

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