Name of the organisation
The name ‘Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters’ (UMBS) was chosen out of several proposed because the UMBS online forum was already known among the Muslims after almost a year of operation. The name also reflects the need for Muslims to unite and treat each other as brothers and sisters as advised by prophet Muhammad (SAW).
The UMBS is therefore a product of a period of sustained groundwork and extensive consultation among Uganda Muslims. The emergence of the UMBS is a natural expression of Muslim solidarity and a sign of growing maturity and confidence of Uganda Muslims. It is an initiative of the Muslim community, will be led by the community, and for the service of the community.
Brief history of UMBS:
Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters (UMBS) was started as a discussion forum in 2010 by a Ugandan Muslim, Abbey Semuwemba, based in the United Kingdom. The main aim at the time was to encourage all Muslims to come together and discuss anything on their minds. It was started with only about 200 members but gradually, however, membership expanded to more than 6000 people in different countries, and so the need arose for formal operational guidelines.
UMBS is building itself to become the national umbrella organisation dedicated to the common good, to the betterment of the Muslim community and country. It was formed after several years of wide-ranging consultation and careful planning by a group of Muslims that discussed Islamic affairs online regularly. It intends to bring together all representatives of different Muslim organisations in Uganda to meet up on annual basis to discuss the affairs of Muslims in Uganda.
The need to coordinate efforts on wider issues of common concern became apparent in the course of the feud that developed between Muslim leaders after the sale of Muslim properties in Uganda. This created a climate of distrust and non-cooperation between many diverse groups in the country.
Through the UMBS forum online and countrywide consultations, data was collected on perceptions of the problems facing the Muslim community in Uganda. Most of the grass root consultation was verbally done by some Muslims already on UMBS forum and residing in Uganda. The analysis of responses pointed to an overwhelming sense of anxiety on the future of the community. Many valuable ideas were received in the course of the consultation and online debates, both from leaders of established community organisations as well as well-informed observers of the community.
It sees itself as a body that will bring together Muslims of all social, political and cultural backgrounds. It is an inclusive body that deals with issues in a practical, informed and rational manner.
It will be an independent body with openness and transparency and in accordance with its constitution.
The UMBS is opposed to labels such as: ‘Baganda, Bagishu, bekibuli, bekampala-mukadde’. We are Uganda citizens with an Islamic heritage who stand by our citizenship responsibilities so long as the cause is just.
The UMBS’s approach to dealing with civic affairs is one of participation, not agitation or violence; in dealing with government, it is one of constructive engagement. This means that the UMBS strives to deal with problems and influence policies and outcomes through principled and effective participation, in conformity with Islamic norms and standards.
Events leading to the formation of the UMBS
- The sale of Muslim properties by some Muslim leaders. Muslim leaders at Old Kampala became at odds with those at Kibuli;
- Having so many Muslim organisations in the country whose activities, aims and objectives, are not visible to everyone;
- Underrepresentation of Muslims in political and public posts, such as the cabinet posts, KCCA, Ambassadors, e.t.c
Objectives of UMBS
- To promote, among Muslims of Uganda, a feeling of loyalty to themselves and their leaders and to remove any misconceptions that may arise as to the intentions of working with various non-Muslim and political leaders in the country;
- To establish a position for the Muslim community within Uganda that is fair and based on due rights.
- To prevent the rise among Muslims of Uganda, of any feelings of hostility towards each other or other communities or religions
- To promote cooperation, consensus and unity on Muslim affairs in Uganda.
- To promote the general welfare of members as well as Uganda Muslims and global Ummah, promote and defend their rights and interests at all times and in all places.
- providing an effective and efficient means of communication (exchange information and share ideas) for Uganda Muslims around the globe
- To work for the eradication of disadvantages and forms of discrimination faced by Muslims in Uganda
- To promote research on different topics among Muslims in Uganda
- To liaise and co-operate with any other individuals or organizations who are willing and able to assist in the realization of these Objectives.
- To acquire properties or structures (landed or otherwise) and to do all such things as shall be conducive to the attainment of the above.
Membership of the UMBS
Membership is open to any organisation (in and outside Uganda) whose activities are primarily for the benefit of Muslims of Uganda. Individuals can also become members as long as they profess to the Islamic faith. The founder of UMBS will indefinitely remain a member of the organisation.
UMBS wishes to ensure that each region of Uganda has a voice within UMBS. So the organisation will have several representatives in and outside the country. International representatives will have a job of: a) registering UMBS in the country they reside in; b) mobilizing Uganda Muslims in their communities; c) looking for funding to support our activities or targets; d) help in organizing the UMBS annual delegates’ conference, e.t.c
★Peace Be Upon Everyone
★La ilaaha Illallahu Muhammadur Rasoolullah
★There is no God but Allah & Muhammad SAW is The Messenger of Allah SWT.
Further details can be obtained from the UMBS office: PO BOX 8797 Kampala, Uganda , email:firstname.lastname@example.org, or the UMBS web site which is yet to developed.