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ICC NOTE: The four missionaries were accused of handing out a pamphlet that questioned the legitimacy of Islam and using words that would injure the feelings of Muslims.

Missionaries found innocent in case linked to literature on Islam

International Herald Tribune

11/09/2006

A Kenyan court on Thursday found four missionaries, including two Americans, innocent of incitement charges for distributing allegedly anti-Muslim literature in a Nairobi slum.

U.S. citizens Andrew Saucier, from Philadelphia and Paul Garcia, from Illinois , were charged along with Kenyans Michael Otanga and Patrick Ngei. The four were accused of handing out a pamphlet that questioned the legitimacy of Islam and using words that would injure the feelings of Muslims.

“The missionaries came to preach and teach children the word of God. Out of the 4,000 pamphlets distributed, only 300 were claimed to be offending,” she said.

Wasilwa said that religious books written by Muslims were sold in bookshops and that no Christian had ever attacked a Muslim for questioning the validity of Christianity.

” Kenya is a democratic country which guarantees freedom of worship and displaying of the pamphlets in my view does not amount to incitement to violence,” she said.

Dozens of riot police stood guard outside the courtroom.

During a hearing last month, Muslims protesters threw stones and riot police fired into the air to break up the disturbances. A day after the pamphlets were distributed outside a primary school on Oct. 17, Muslims demonstrated outside the Baptist church where the defendants are based.

Muslims make up about a third of Kenya ‘s 33 million people.