“Emergence of Somali-related Islamic extremists puts authorities on high alert.
NAIROBI, Kenya, February 11 (CDN) â€” A constitutional battle to expand the scope of Islamic courts in Kenya threatens to ignite religious tensions at a time when authorities are on high alert against Muslim extremists with ties to Somalia.
Constitutional provisions for Islamic or Kadhisâ€™ courts have existed in Kenya since 1963, with the courts serving the countryâ€™s coastal Muslim population in matters of personal status, marriage, divorce, or inheritance. Kenyaâ€™s secular High Court has jurisdiction over civil and criminal matters, and even a decision in the Islamic courts can be appealed at the High Court.
The Islamic courts have functioned only in Kenyaâ€™s Coast Province, but in a hotly debated draft constitution, their jurisdiction would expand across the nation and their scope would increase.”