Deborah Samuel: Rethinking Political Correctness and Religious Bigotry – Richard Odusanya.

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 times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

Similarly, the Imam-e-Haram of Makkah (Mecca), Saleh bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Aal Talib, postulated: “Humanity is greater than any religion”. Imam-e-Haram, further encouraged Muslim devotees to develop a personality transcending caste and creed barriers. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes the freedom to change one’s religion or belief and the freedom, alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest one’s religion or belief, in worship, in the practice of teaching and compliance.

In light of the above, how is it possible to justify the despicable and unfortunate events that culminated in the murder of a student allegedly accused of blasphemy in the central part of northern Nigeria. The unfortunate incident happened on the university campus of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in the Caliphal city of Sokoto. The most cruel incident cannot be justified or minimized on grounds of concern for personal advantage or political correctness which are insufficient to justify such inhumanity and criminality.

Since the disregard and violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or any other belief, have caused, directly or indirectly, wars and great suffering to mankind, especially when used as a means of foreign interference in the internal affairs of other states and tantamount to stirring up hatred among peoples and nations, all reasonable and well-meaning citizens of this countries should reflect on the further adverse consequences of this act on the current situation in the country. Will the government act to make the center hold?

Interestingly, the type of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia where everyone lives in peace, without barbaric acts and where the government is able to coordinate all religions, is it the same practiced in Nigeria? Why are we like this? Why 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 similar victims, I really wonder if my friends also approve of the MURDERS so often committed by angry mobs in defense of the Prophet and the Religion. Unfortunately, the murder of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto was carried out openly and filmed.

Let me conclude this article with the following: The men who extrajudicially murdered Deborah broke the law. The law of Nigeria that replaces Sharia.

The Holy Quran and the Holy Bible recognize the false accusation. The Holy Quran has well-established principles of due process that are completely against jungle justice. The justice of the jungle denies everything that the Holy Quran and the Prophet (SAW) have clearly prescribed.

So is it the mob’s job to establish wrongdoing or to determine the punishment of someone who has made a mistake?
How do you establish a false accusation in the face of senseless, barbaric, heartless murders. If we assume that it was your relative who was accused of wrongdoing, would you support a mob action against them or would you demand that things be done as prescribed by the Holy Quran? All known extremists I have heard of have never become so by studying the Holy Quran. Not one. They have become extremists through the indoctrination of one ignorant cleric or another.

I wonder, does the Holy Quran or Prophet Muhammad (SAW) prescribe mob justice for blasphemy? Will the Almighty God (Allah), the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent be pleased with the popular lynching? Murder is an unacceptable act in all religions, human and societal moral standards, and should not be tolerated, regardless of justification. Enough should now be enough!


Richard Odusanya is a social reform crusader and the organizer of the AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI

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