ISIOLO WOMEN OF FAITH CALM INTERFAITH TENSIONS
In February this year, Muslim students held a youth rally where they initiated a fundraising to put up a more permanent prayer structure, only for it to be brought down, which triggered the reactions. Various stakeholders quickly intervened and averted what could have been a bloody clash between the two faiths, Christians and Muslims.
One of the notable actors who greatly contributed to calming the interfaith tension and looming interfaith conflict was Isiolo Women of faith.
Abdia Mohamud, a member of Isiolo Women of faith recounts her experience during the intervention,
“Recently, interfaith relations, particularly Christians and Muslims in Isiolo was abit shaken…A rapid response meeting was convened by the County Commissioner Isiolo, in which various stakeholders including women of faith participated, with an aim to cool the tension build up…We came up with an amicable solution, and the matter was resolved…Religious Leaders came up in one voice, particularly the interfaith network…However, It was a wakeup call that we really need to continue with the interfaith dialogue processes to prevent such occurrences in future”
Speaking on the same incident, Anab, a member of Isiolo Women of faith observed that, “Religious Leaders should not sleep and assume everything is okay…the incident was a slight provocation which could have had a devastating repurcations”. She recommends the strengthening of Isiolo Women of faith network through capacity building in peace building and conflict transformation.
In the year 2012, IRCK supported the formation of Women of Faith Network for local advocacy. The organization has continued to build the capacity of women of faith in Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms such as mediation, skills they utilize in local peace building.