Home News #JusticeforDeborah: Nigerian Government Must Abolish Blasphemy Laws In Northern Region Because Jihadists Are Not Above Constitution — Humanist Association

#JusticeforDeborah: Nigerian Government Must Abolish Blasphemy Laws In Northern Region Because Jihadists Are Not Above Constitution — Humanist Association

by James Davies


The Nigerian Humanist Association has condemned the killing of Deborah Samuel, a 200-level Home Economics student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto State.
SaharaReporters had reported how the female student was burnt to death by her colleagues for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad (SAW).





Meanwhile, the gruesome murder of the young lady has been connected to a voice vote the deceased sent to her class WhatsApp group.
Reacting in a statement, the Humanist Association urged the Nigerian government to review the practice of Islam in northern Nigeria, citing similar cases of murder in the past.
The group, in a statement by Leo Igwe, a human rights activist, said Deborah’s death could not be alienated from extreme religious practices by Muslims in the Northern region.
The statement reads, “Humanists are outraged by the gruesome murder of a female college student in Sokoto in Northern Nigeria. Such a horrific act is a sordid reminder of the threat of Islamic extremism in Nigeria.
“As the case of this Christian woman has shown, these bloodletters are usually motivated by their religious belief in the prophet of Islam; Islamic teachings and orientations, and by their quest to placate Allah and inherit the paradise in the hereafter.
“So if Nigeria wants to end these horrific attacks and killings, it should take a critical look at how Islam is professed and practised in Northern Nigeria. Nigeria needs to determine if Islam is a religion or a death cult; if Muslims operate within the law or above the law and if Islamic privilege is a state policy. Look, Islam has a history of violence and bloodletting that persists.
“The government must admit that jihadist Islam is entrenched and pervasive. Boko Haram militants are not only in the Sambisa forest. Islamic extremists exist and operate in several mosques, courts, police, and army stations. Boko Haram jihadists and their sympathisers are not a small minority as some people claim. They populate government houses, schools, colleges, and universities.
“So it is high time Nigeria confronted this big elephant in the room; that is Islamic extremism. Muslim leaders should stop living in denial; they should stop pretending that jihadist Islam is not a huge problem.
“Muslim leaders should stop deceiving the world and saying that blasphemy killings and attacks have nothing to do with religion, in this case, Islam. No, these killings have everything to do with Islam as practised in Northern Nigeria. And the way Islam is preached and practised in Northern Nigeria must change.
“The government must address this toxic tendency and habit that makes Muslims value their religious and prophetic icons more than human lives. Nigeria must tackle this savage and dreadful inclination of Muslims to kill, attack or maim others at the slightest provocation.
“Nigerian authorities should monitor the activities of Muslim clerics because these religious actors use their preaching and Quranic indoctrination programs to radicalize young Muslims and turn them into merchants of hate, violence, death, and destruction.
“The government should protect the rights of those who criticise the teachings and traditions of Islam and its prophet because it is through a critical examination of Islamic doctrines and practices that these extremist ideas and tendencies could be exposed and expunged.
“Nigeria should take measures to end impunity and ensure that those who indulge in blasphemy-related attacks or killings are brought to book. Those who carry out these barbaric acts should not go scot-free.
“They are murders and criminals and should be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed to serve as a deterrent to others. Usually, when Muslims attack or kill for blasphemy, no arrest is made, in cases where arrests are made, nobody is prosecuted; and in situations where some are charged to court, they are later acquitted.
“This culture of impunity must end if Nigeria must make progress in this 21st century. There should be serious consequences for blasphemy-related attacks.
“The Nigerian government should repeal blasphemy laws because as long as there are provisions that criminalise insults on religion, freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression will not be guaranteed and these savage attacks in the name of Allah or Prophet Muhammad will continue.”



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