Category Archives: Islam and non-Muslims

Sharia is far better than democracy – Prof. Kateregga


Prof. Badru Badru Kateregga is the founder and Vice Chancellor of Kampala University and former Ugandan ambassador to Saudi Arabia for 11 years. He spoke to The Campus Journal’s Musa Kiggundu about his education investments and about governance.

Qn. Knowledge and wealth is a rare combination. How did you afford to seek for knowledge and at the same time accumulate the money to establish a university?

Ans: Indeed it is rare but also an interesting one because knowledge is the source of wealth. If you are lucky you can use the former to achieve the latter. Wealth derived from knowledge is the best because it is achieved from an endless informed source.

Qn: People like you have made it difficult for anyone to claim anymore that Muslims in Uganda are illiterate or uneducated. Is this the time for Muslims to celebrate?

Ans: I wish they could celebrate because great strides have been met since the inception of Islam. They have not only succeeded as scholars but also as education investors.

However, much as we have got to the pinnacle, the numbers are still small. Also, while Muslim scholars are progressing in secular education, they should progress in the religious education at the same time.

Qn. You were Uganda’s ambassador to the Middle East throughout the 1990s. What lessons can Uganda learn from Arab countries?

Ans: Many lessons. But the biggest problem is that the systems of governance are different. Uganda uses democratic government, or mass rule, whereas most Arab nations use the Islamic Sharia together with Majlis Shura (consultative councils).

Sharia laws were made by Allah who can never make errors. However, democratic laws are made by human beings who make errors and that is why we need amendments every other time. Democratic governance is not the best that is why countries like the U.S. have got Electoral Colleges. (In the U.S., the President and Vice President are not elected directly by the people; both are elected by the Electoral College composed of 538 members. Ed.)

Uganda also needs to enter the Arab markets. It is unfortunate that Uganda is the only county in the world that has always been with balance of payment problems with Arab nations.

Qn. You have often espoused the view that while terrorism is reprehensible, self defence is commendable. When is a community supposed to use violence to defend itself?

Ans: Self defence in conventional terms is legitimate. All nations including the U.S. have an army for purposes of self defence.

However, according to Islam, you must use self defence by applying an equal measure (proportional reaction). Do not exceed the limits. If the aggressor is violent, you should also defend yourself with equal measures.

Qn. Besides being a scholar and a diplomat, what else describes you?

Ans: I am a successful education entrepreneur. Not everyone is successful as a scholar and investor. I have managed to establish a university with five campuses, a nursing school and a Grade III institution.

I love teaching and that is why my life rotates around the education sector. I don’t teach because of money but because I like it.

Qn: “Kampala University Original.” Why do you often add and emphasize the word “Original?”

Ans: Original is for purposes of recognition. KU was established in 1999 while KIU (Kampala International University) came in 2001. However, very many people often confuse KU with KIU because they have names that are almost similar.

Qn. What else can you say about yourself or your university?

Ans: KU has a future. In 2001, it almost collapsed with the collapse of Greenland Group of Companies. We lost students from 750 to 25. But with my determination and faith in Allah, KU has managed to become a great university. In the Africa Zain Challenge (brain game), we became the 3rd best university in Uganda. We are like an Oak tree – the more the wind blows it the stronger it gets.

Myself, I believe that I am successful and it is the reason I was honoured by King Fahd [of Saudi Arabia] for my excellent service and I am proud to be the only African with that honour. For 11 years, I managed to be the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Saudi Arabia (in the 1990s). I did not only restore Uganda’s poor relations then with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but also appealed for the establishment of the Islamic University in Uganda and King Fahd Plaza. I am not always where there is no success.

This interview was conducted in 2009 and first appeared in the print version of The Campus Journal  the same year.



A Letter from Prophet Muhammad to All Christians


I have to admit that I was sceptical and looked on Snopes and Urban Legends websites until I found the following

This is a short one but worth a read.

I truly wish the Saudis’ and their stooges – The WAHABIs – who claim to be the guardians of Islam would follow this covenant!

A very important Islamic principle, unfortunately, misunderstood and wrongly practiced by many so called Muslims around the Globe.

To be spread and re-spread!

The Greek Orthodox monks living in the monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai have in their possession many precious documents going back many centuries.
Their library is one of the finest in the world for ancient manuscripts.

One of the most precious documents of all is the copy of a letter narrated by Prophet Muhammad to the monks in the year 628. Its contents might come as a surprise to many, since in this precious manuscript Muslims are exhorted to protect the Christians living within their midst. The words are so beautiful that we repeat them in full here:

This is a message from Mohamed ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.

Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.

No compulsion is to be on them.

Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.

No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims houses.

Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.

No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.

The Muslims are to fight for them.

If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.

Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.

No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (The end of the world – Judgement day).

It should be quite clear from this that, far from being a threat, Islam is actually the guardian of the Christian presence in the Middle East.

These words of the Prophet Mohammed should be made known to Muslims and non-Muslims throughout the world.

“War is nothing but a continuation of political intercourse, with a mixture of other means. Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

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