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By Sandra Birungi

MPs yesterday debated on a move to ban street preaching after Kawempe North MP, Latif Ssebaggala commented on the Muslim film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’ which has sparked protests in several Muslim countries world-wide.

The debate has provoked condemnation from evangelists. MPs claim that the street preaching is inflammatory.

“There are people on the streets with Bibles they cannot even read. They are unemployed, and are looking for jobs because they want to survive,” Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality) said. “We need to control these people before it’s too late. We cannot allow people who abuse other peoples’ religions; this will cause chaos in the country.”

Prof. Simeon Kayiwa of Namirembe Christian Fellowship Church yesterday said any prohibition would be a direct infringement on the constitutional right which guarantees freedom of religion. “Open air preaching is an ancient Christian practice and shouldn’t be banned,” Prof. Kayiwa said.

In the statement, Ssebaggala asked the government to condemn the anti-Islam crusaders and restrain those who are promoting religious hatred by inciting Muslims using cartoons, novels and films.

Ssebaggala asked government to grant Muslims permission to stage a  peaceful demonstration against the video but the deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali asked them to seek permission from Internal Affairs.