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Thursday, December 23, 2010

KILLING WOMEN AND CHILDREN

I do not wish to treat this week’s piece as I did last week’s, though both emanated from the same source: Friday Sermon of the National Mosque, Abuja. Last week the sermon, which I presented a verbatim-interpretation of, exposed the double standard of Muslims in not supporting or giving good counsel to their brethren in leadership positions; and their willingness to do so when a kaafir ascends the throne. When a kaafir ascends the throne was my original caption for that article, but, for obvious reasons my editor saw it fit to entitle it, Who the Cap Fits Let Him Wear It. Whatever was one’s position on that article, as it is now, both the honest who stood by their own, and the hypocrites who betrayed, have been mown down by the man with the resource control fedora!
This column is not reincarnating into a platform for discussing weekly sermons from the National Mosque; rather, the topics addressed by the Imam’s khutbah for these two weeks were pertinent to our current situation in the country that conveying their contents may interest readers. That is what Friday khutbahs should be anyway – current to the happenings in a community, the nation and the world. The world, we are now told, is no longer a global village, but a small room in a compound connected through the internet, satellite television, and mobile phones.
In the week under review the khutbah addressed the issue of Human Rights, especially the Right to Live, and the Right to Life. Here I prefer to comment on the sermon rather than give a complete interpretation of its content.
The West, in spite of all the noise, is not honest about genocide and human rights where Muslims are the victims. It is the same story through history – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Srebrenica, Chechnya, Palestinian Occupied Territories, Iraq, Afghanistan and even Jos. In the infamous Srebrenica Genocide which occurred in July 1995, more than 8, 000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys were massacred, 25, 000 to 30, 000 refugees in the area of Srebrenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina were ethnically cleansed, ‘by units of the Army of Republika Srpska (VRS) under the command of General Ratko Mladic during the Bosnian War....... In 1993 the United Nations had declared Srebrenica a “safe area” under UN protection but its Protection Force (UNPROFOR), represented on ground by a 400-strong contingent of armed Dutch peacekeepers, failed to prevent the massacre.’ Justice is not done in this and many similar cases of genocide and massacre against the Muslims around the world.
Like in the Bosnian war where the Serbs happened to be non-Muslims and the Bosnians Muslims but the massacre was ethnically motivated; so also is the Jos crisis – the indigenes Christians, the settlers Muslims; the conflict ethnic, but due to the religious professions of the warring factions, it has taken a religious dimension.
It is unfortunate, in their comments on the recent recurrence of killings in Jos, that world and Christian leaders, with the help of non-Muslim controlled media, are playing a negative role in donning the crisis with a religious garb. In its front page of Tuesday, March 9, 2010 Leadership reported that ‘The Vatican has also condemned the “horrible acts of violence.”
‘Expressing dismay over the incident,’ Leadership further stated, ‘the Roman Catholic Church spokesman, Federico Lambard, blamed Muslim pastoralists for the attack.’
But Muslims too were killed; if recent victims were Christians, the worst affected victims of earlier attacks were Muslim women and children. Many of them ‘had been cremated alive.’ Endless rows of bodies in white shrouds were beamed on national and international television screens around the world, and on the internet. Muslim properties, cars, houses, and mosques were burnt. If you have received a hurt or a blow, rest assured your assailants will receive similar hurt. These are the vicissitudes which Allah causes to follow one another for mankind... (Aali ‘Imraan, 3:140)
It smacks of dishonesty on the part of the UN, Britain and USA to turn a blind eye when Muslims were slaughtered, but suddenly came to life when the victims were Christian. Killing of people and destruction of their properties should be condemned by all irrespective of the creed or ethnic affiliation of the victims.
The Fulani herdsmen implicated in recent killings were on reprisal mission; they were part of the victims of the indigenous Berom Christians who massacred them, sparing neither women nor children, and banished those who survived the carnage from their homes. Now, they return to their tormentors, who happen to be Christians, to make an ethnic and not a religious statement. Their action has no connection with the religion they profess!
The right to life is sacrosanct to Muslims as well as non-Muslims, according to the teachings of Islaam. Killing the innocent in whatever guise is forbidden. Islaam forbids killing any soul except by just cause, which refers to cases of manslaughter etc. Even during war, instructions were given against burning properties, the environment (no one should cut down trees); killing women and children is forbidden, with the exception of those who carry arms or were seen fighting; whoever, even when they had weapons, ran away or closed doors behind them, were spared. For Allah’s sake, what has Islaam got to do with knocking at people’s doors, waking them from their sleep, killing them and burning their properties?
It is sad that most of the suspects arrested have nothing to do with the charges levelled against them. Fulani pastoralists, as the name denotes, are always on the move, reaching for greener pastures for their herds. After cases of incessant armed robbery against them that often resulted in killing them, and snatching their cattle by robbers, the government, through the Miyatti Allah Fulani organization, gives and permits the Fulanis to carry arms for the purposes of self-defence. Thus, in all parts of this country Fulanis could be found armed with crudely made guns as well as machetes etc. So, the authorities looking for suspects should do a thorough job of finding real culprits, not just arresting innocent Fulanis who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.

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