Muslims, Christians’ tug-of-war in Kenya over Obama’s granny

April 25th, 2009 - 12:22 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama London, April 25 (ANI): US President Barack Obama’s step-grandmother in Kenya has found supporters in Muslims and Christians, who have fallen into a row with the former accusing the latter of trying to convert the 87-year-old to Christianity.

Sarah Obama, who has been at the centre of spotlight in the country ever since her grandson bagged the top job, had been invited to attend an event at a Seventh Day Adventist Church.

But she was reportedly stopped by Muslims, who believed she would be converted at the church.

Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa, the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya secretary, spoke against the alleged conversion.

“Mama Sarah should not be forced by anybody to join Christianity since she is a Muslim,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

“Muslims will not sit and watch one of their own being coerced by some religious leaders to convert to Christianity,” he added.

But Lewis Ondiek, a senior church figure, dismissed the claims saying she had been invited just as a guest.

He told Ecumenical News International: “We had invited her to grace our meeting in Kisumu which was to mark the end of a three-week convention, but although she had prepared, she did not attend.”

Muslim leaders had warned of a conflict over Sarah’s alleged conversion, saying Christians hoped to convert her following her significant link to the US President.

However, Saidi Obama, Barack’s uncle and Sarah’s son, insisted: “This is not true, she was not to be converted. she was to attend as a VIP but in the end she did not go because she had other commitments.” (ANI)

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