AHMED HADJI

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For three months after being injured by shrapnel in the Kyadondo bombing, Ahmed Hadji was unable to sleep regularly. He still avoids crowds and loud noises, and has never been able to bring himself to return to Kyadondo. He was devastated to learn that the attackers claimed to be Muslim. It made him question his religious identity. He then began to dedicate himself to a deeper study of Islam. He is completing a PhD in ‘Peace and Comparative Transnational Conflicts’, with a focus on religious factionalism and how it inspires conflict. 
The culture of suspicion of Muslims worries him.“It hurts. It’s hard that we play into the hands of these guys. It’s guilt by association, the fact that I am a Muslim.” He chose to pursue in-depth Koranic studies so he could disarm extremists “from a place of authority.” With Hassan Ndugwa, he co-founded the Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum to combat radicalization efforts aimed at Muslim youth. The bombing was a turning point for him. “I started asking myself: What is my role in this world? That’s when I realized it’s important to me to promote mercy, justice, love, common will, and common benefit.”

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