The decision to deport radical cleric Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal indicates that Kenya may be ready to work more closely with Western countries in the global campaign against violent Islamic extremists.
By deporting a radical Islamic cleric this weekend, Kenya seems to be taking a stand to work more closely with the United States and other Western powers in the global campaign against radical Islamic groups.
Kenya arrested Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal after he attended evening prayers at a mosque in Mombasa last Thursday, and announced on Sunday it would deport the cleric because of his past jail time in Britain for preaching of racial hatred.
The move angered Kenyan Muslims and prompted calls for due process from human rights activists, but Kenya’s immigration minister said that the country was acting within its rights to protect national interests.
"We are not deporting him because he is a Muslim," Kenyan Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang' said on Sunday, after signing a deportation order for Sheikh el-Faisal. "We are deporting him because of his terrorist history and the fact that he is on the international watch-list."
El-Faisal took advantage of the fact that Kenya’s Lunga Lunga border crossing point on the country's border with Tanzania is not connected to Kenya’s computerized immigration system, Mr. Kajwang' said, adding that the cleric would not have been allowed into the country if he had arrived at a more up-to-date immigration posting, such as Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.