In the words of, Martin Luther King Jr. a social activist and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Similarly, Imam-e-Haram of Makkah (Mecca), Saleh bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Aal Talib, posited: “Humanity is greater than any religion.” Imam-e-Haram, further encouraged the Muslims faithful to develop a personality transcending the barriers of caste and creed. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching practice and observance.
In the light of the foregoing, how is it possible to justify the dastardly and unfortunate events that culminated in the killing of a student who was allegedly accused of blasphemy in the core Northern part of Nigeria. The unfortunate incident happened in the college campus of Shehu Shagari college of education in the caliphate city of Sokoto. The cruelest incident cannot be justified or downplayed for reasons of being mindful of personal benefits or political correctness which is not sufficient to justify such inhumanity and criminality.
Given that the disregard and infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or whatever belief, have brought, directly or indirectly, wars and great suffering to mankind, especially where they serve as a means of foreign interference in the internal affairs of other States and amount to kindling hatred between peoples and nations, all reasonable and well- meaning citizens of this country should ponder on additional ominous consequences of this act on the ongoing situation in the country. Will the government act to make the centre hold?
Interestingly, the kind of Islamic practiced in Saudi Arabia where everybody lives in peace, no barbaric act, and the government is able to coordinate all religion, is it the same practiced in Nigeria? Why are we like this? Why the intolerance? Some of my best friends today are Northern Nigerians who I also know to be Good Muslims.
Ironically, when I think of DEBORAH SAMUEL and other such victims, I really wonder if these my friends also approve of the MURDERS so often committed by irate mobs in defense of Prophet and Religion. Sadly, the killing of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto, was carried out openly and captured on camera.
Permit me to conclude this article with the following: The men who extrajudicially murdered Deborah broke the law. The law of Nigeria that supersedes sharia law.
The Holy Koran and the Holy Bible recognize false accusation. The Holy Koran has well established principles of due process which completely goes against jungle justice. Jungle justice negates every single thing the Holy Koran and the Prophet (SAW) clearly prescribed.
So, is it the job of the mob to establish wrong doing or determine the punishment of someone who has erred?
How do you establish false accusation in the face of mindless, barbaric and heartless killing. Lee us assume it is your relative that was accused on wrong doing, would you support mob action against them or you would demand that things be done as prescribed by the Holy Koran? All known extremists I have ever read about never became so by studying the Holy Koran. Not a single one. They became extremists through the indoctrination of one ignorant cleric or the other.
I ask myself, does the Holy Koran or Prophet Muhammed (SAW) prescribe mob justice for blasphemy? Will the Almighty God (Allah), the most merciful, the most beneficient be happy at mob lynching? Murder is an unacceptable act in all religions, human moral and societal standards, and should not be tolerated, no matter the justification. Enough should now be Enough!
Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI