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article imageOp-Ed: Zanzibar is Sinking in Political Upheaval

By Khalid Magram     Oct 23, 2012 in World
Zanzibar - On Wednesday, October 17, hundreds of Uamsho (Awakening) supporters took to the streets of Zanzibar demanding police release the leader of Islamic movement Sheikh Farid Hadi who disappeared mysteriously the day earlier.
The unpleasant images of death and destruction out of Zanzibar by local bloggers and on twitter (hashtag #Zanzibar) have been upsetting and terrifying for many including Zanzibar diasporas outside the island.
However, most of the information posted on the social media networks seems to embellish the violence. Many Zanzibari feel most messages written on Facebook walls and Tweets with #Zanzibar intended to instigate violence. Indeed, Zanzibar police are now looking for people suspected to be involved in instigating chaos using social media.
According to Salma Said, a Zanzibari journalist, there are at least two fake ‘Uamsho’ Facebook pages created and active in the name of Islamic movement. Uamsho has condemned the inflammatory content of both Facebook pages in the past and says the pages do not belong to Uamsho. However, the irresponsible use of social media is definitely tarnishing the reputation of majority of Zanzibari, who are renowned for peace and national unity among its diverse ethnic, religious and racial groups for centuries.
On her Facebook page, Said pleading to islanders to stop using inciting language on Facebook pages and other social media networks.
But, one thing is certain the beautiful Indian Ocean archipelago, once earned fame from prominent world personalities including The Aga Khan, Bill Gates and the famous African singers in their songs, including: “Oh Zanzibar,” is fast sinking in a political turbulence.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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