Published on: 28 January 2018
More than 35 Christian students were beaten and stabbed at Jamuhuri High School in northern Nairobi, Kenya, by fellow Muslim class-mates on Tuesday evening (Jan 23) for refusing to convert to Islam.
According to Kenya-Today, a fight broke out between a Christian and a Muslim student in the dining hall because of differing religious views.
The incident was reported to the principal, Fred Awuor, who allegedly calmed the students but trouble started again.
The principal reported that “Small issues always come up in schools. We are investigating the issue…there is no school that lacks small issues.”
According to Morning Star News, tensions had been growing for weeks at Jamhuri High School, with Muslims primarily of Somali, Boran and Oromo descent complaining of discrimination. Due to increasing hostilities, the boarding school had designated separate bathrooms and separate sections in the library for Christians and Muslims, a local source said.
The conflict came to a head on Jan 23, when Muslim students began speaking in inflammatory terms and tried to force Christian students to recite the Islamic creed for conversion and force students to participate in Muslim cleansing rituals, a source on campus who requested anonymity said.
“Some Muslim students forcefully tried to induct Christian students into their Islam faith, and those who refused were knifed, while others were physically beaten. The knives and machetes used are alleged to have come from outside the school.”
At least 35 of the school’s 1,500 students were injured, including some Muslims when the Christian students tried to defend themselves, the source said. Some Christian students received hospital treatment for stab wounds and dislocated bones in their hands and joints, he said.
The school has been closed indefinitely.
School Principal Fred Awuor was reportedly injured in the attack and had received hospital treatment.
Lonah Mumelo, chairperson of the board of the Nairobi school said the situation will be evaluated and given to the appropriate authorities.
“We have to asses the situation. If it is what the school can manage, we will do so. All these things are under investigation.”
Mumelo said the injured received treatment and were sent home with their parents.