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MBABANE – Are police now monitoring churches in the country?

This is a question that has been raised by some Muslims living in the country, who allege that police now ‘visit’ their Friday gatherings at the various mosques.

Muslims are known to hold their prayer services on Friday from around 1 to 2pm.
Following the unknown visits by the police, there has been concerns from certain Muslim individuals on how their religion is perceived by the local population and the country’s police.

One Islamic follower, who commented on condition of anonymity in fear of victimisation and due to what he perceived as a sensitive matter, confided to this publication that plain-clothes police officers monitor their Friday prayers in the country’s mosques.

The source alleged that police officers attend their 1pm main service of the week on Fridays under disguise as they would pretend to be members of the general public, who had also come to worship.

“We do not understand the perception of the local people regarding the Islamic religion,” said the source.
He highlighted that it appeared they were thought or perceived as people who wanted to perpetuate violence or alter the status quo.
Ezulwini Islamic Institute Imam Feroz Ismail concurred that plain-clothes police officers often come to attend their Friday afternoon main services.

However, Ismail made it clear that their (police) presence during the services did not concern some of them as they had nothing to hide and the prayer was a public event.

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