“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible”. Maya Angelou
Mid last year, I was at a conference in Ilorin when Professor Isaac Olawole Albert presented a paper on Religion, Terrorism and National Security: Untying the Unholy Knot and during the cause of replying to comments and questions from mainly Muslim delegates the Christian Professor confirmed what we already knew: “every law passed in this country is something taken away from Islam”. As a Muslim and a legal practitioner myself, there was nothing new or ground breaking in the comment of the learned professor of “Peace and Conflict Studies” of the University of Ibadan. Every informed Muslim do not only know this, but live with it every single day.
Today like always, Nigeria Muslims have been subjected to all kind of harassment and blackmail on the basis of their faith anywhere they turn. Muslims are harassed even in the most unlikely places like the Court rooms and law schools across the country. The issue of hijab is one striking example that always stands out.
I remember when I was called to the Nigerian bar in Abuja a couple of years ago and so many of us were celebrating and smiling for haven surmounted our bar finals exams and about to be pronounced Solicitors and Advocates of the Supreme Court by the Body of Benchers. But in the midst of the festivities and joy where some of our Muslim sisters scattered around the venue with sad faces and tears. They have been told that before they will be allowed into the hall and be called, they must first remove every piece of clothing covering their heads i.e their hijabs must be completely removed and hair exposed. These were women of virtues that no man other than their close relatives and husbands have seen their hair and neck region being forced to strip for no reason at all. If these ladies where to travel to England, studied law, graduated and become Barristers in England, a country of about 5% Muslims where we borrowed our legal regime from, they would never had been asked or compared at any point to removed their hijab. Meanwhile, the hijab is a constant issue in law faculties, law school and even courts rooms in a country with a population of over 75 million Muslims how is that fair?
The story is perhaps even worse in Nursing Schools across the Country, before one can be a Nurse in most part of the country, she must wear a short uniform that exposes most part of your legs, hugs her body in a way that leaves little to be imagined and her hair be made visible. The message to young Muslim girls is very clear; you cannot be a practising Muslimah and be a nurse, this Christian republic of Nigeria just won’t have it. In the Edo State School of Nursing, for example, the immediate past Principal, one Mrs Erunmusele told her female Muslim students to leave and go to the North (referring to Northern Nigeria) if they want to dress as Muslims and study Nursing. And till date, they are still not allowed to wear the hijab despite continuous appeal.
The worst case is still our Children in secondary schools, especially down south; some are mercilessly beaten by teachers, Principals and Proprietors because they dare to use the hijab on school property. There was even the case in Lagos State where a commissioner had the effrontery to asked Muslim parents who wants their daughters to use the hijab to send their wards to private schools.
There is the issue of the NYSC scheme, a federal Government funded establishment this is primarily design to uproot Islam from its roots in Nigeria. There is also a thousand and more other institutionalised attempt to undermine Islam and Muslims in Nigeria.
Whenever these issues pertaining to the rights of Muslims to practise their religion without being prevented or harassed is raised, someone will always ask “where are the Muslim leaders?” In all the issued raised and more, Muslim leaders have adopted the policy of self censorship for fear of being called a bigot, religious extremist, accused of trying to Islamise Nigeria or being a Boko Haram sponsor. We are witness to what happened to General Buhari in 2011, because he was perceived to be a conscious Muslim, a campaign of hate, lies and mudslinging was unleashed on him. Governor Aregbesola of Osun State was accused of trying to Islamise Nigeria because he permitted the use of hijab for Muslim female students. Even our Sultan cannot dare to speak nowadays without one deranged Warri pastor and other irresponsible so-called Christian leaders accuse him of something sinister. There is always a title for any Muslim who dare speak and mention “Islam”, so you hear the products of a wasted generation say while demonising Sanusi Lamido; why call it “Islamic Banking” and not “non-Interest Banking”. The very word “Islam” make them lose their senses and start barking like German dogs.
The latest attempt to vilify a Muslim because he dared to speak for Muslims and Islam is what we are witnessing on pages of newspapers, TV and social media in the last week. Every idiot who cannot spell nor construct proper sentences but so unfortunately owes a facebook or twitter account has become an anti-Yerima social activist on the internet. You hear these fools say “Give them education not P*****”. Imagine such a perverse slogan that decency will not allow me repeat here, these morally deprived individuals have become an overnight moralist.
When Senator Ahmad Yerima, the ex-Governor of Zamfara State stood up in the Senate that very day arguing against the removal of Section 29 (4)b of the 1999 Constitution, he was seen to have spoken for Islam, Muslims and the honour of the beloved Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW). And since that day, a minute has not past that something vile, hateful and obscene is not written and said about him by non-Muslims and some few pathetic so-called liberal Muslims.
On Friday 19th July, 2013 I made a post on my facebook wall and page that reads:
On Yerima: Nigeria has many uncountable problems and none of them is early marriage. As a matter of fact early marriage the solution to about half of our problems.
For those who wonder if I can give my daughter(s) out in marriage at the age of 9 or 13, I tell you most honestly, I can give her out at the age of 6 if I want to and its not your business. This is because I am a Muslim and I follow the example of the best of mankind, Muhammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ.
In Islam, marriage is not only about sex, it is about family and helping one another in achieving their goals, which is the attainment of Paradise.
In Islam, a girl can be given out in marriage as early as 6 years old, but consummation of the marriage can only be done when the girl becomes physically mature and she gives her consent to it because unlike English law, it is not permissible for a man to rape his wife in Shari’ah Law.
So what can anybody tell me? I live in a city where young girls at the age of 12 have already became serial fornicators and cannot count the number of man they’ve had sex with. I live in a City where primary school children disvirgin themselves behind toilets on Valentine day. I live in a city where young girls flood the street at night looking for men that would give them N500 to have sex with them. I live in a city where parents send their daughters out overseas to prostitute and send dollars down. I live in a City where Government officials pick undergraduates from University car parks with Coastal Buses to wild sex parties. I live in a city where abortion is so common that even a Chemist shore owner can perform abortion with just N2,500.
These are your daughters, and this should worry you and not Yerima’s private matters.
So ask me again why I support early marriage and I will slap the Jinn out of your head.
The post was shared repeatedly, copied and pasted until the link to the source was perhaps lost. The following day, Mr. Femi Fani Kayode pasted it on his facebook wall with the heading: “SENATOR AHMED SANI YARIMAN BAKURA REPLIES HIS ENEMIES”.
Then Femi Fani Kayode added a four paragraph response to the post. In the first paragraph, The Pastor called Yerima a paedophile, devil, evil, a very sick man who should be behind bars or in a mental institution. He went on to say that he concluded from the Yerima’s comment that he thrives on under-age sex and child rape and tries to justify it with Islam. All this insults just for one man because he stood up in the Senate and said that any attempt to peg the age of marriage of a girl to 18 years of age goes against Islam and for that, Pastor Fani Kayode declared him not only a paedophilia, but a devil and a sick evil person who should be locked up. The Pastor and Commander-in-Chief of irresponsible and vulgar Nigerians on Facebook never took time to verify if actually Yerima made the said comment, there was no need to, the buffoon seized the moment to vomit all the nonsense and filth in his heart on the gentleman Senator to the “glory of Christ” . As the bible rightly stated in Luke 6:45:
“……an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”.
If you thought the foul mouth Pastor was finished, he was just starting, in paragraph three, while calling out his dogs he said:
“It is time to stand up to this monster called Yerima and those that think like him once and for all no matter what the consequences are”.
Fani Kayode is not the type that plays with words, he pick his words very carefully. Fani Kayode calls on his people (Christians and perhaps liberal Muslims) to rise up against those who think like Yerima (conscious Muslims) no matter the consequences. And to this call, he followed it up with a reason:
“First he introduced political sharia into Nigerian politics in 2001 which, a few years later, resulted in the meteroric rise of islamic fundamentalism in the north and Boko Haram”.
This is what this is all about; Yerima brought Shari’ah and he dared to promote the Shari’ah in the Senate. And as blackmail goes he accused Yerima of being responsible for so-called “Islamic fundamentalism” and Boko Haram.
But Fani-Kayode is a mean, silly and despicable person. Was Yerima there when Police killed Muhammad Yusuf and hundreds of innocent Muslims in Maiduguri in 2009 that led to the Boko Haram uprising? Or was he there in Jos when Muslims were slaughtered in 2001 because Obasanjo appointed a Muslim Alhaji Muktar Mohammed to head the poverty alleviation programme? Was Yerima responsible for the Jos post-election violence in 2008 where hundreds of Muslims were killed including Muslim Children receiving social study lecture? Was Yerima or Islamic fundamentalism to blame when some Berom Christian youths attacked a Fulani/Muslim settlement (Kuru Karama) and killed over 600 and came online to boast about how they killed Muslim children? Was Yerima there in 2011 when Muslims were killed on Sallah day and their dead bodies where roasted and eaten like suya while Nigeria Police stood by, watched and did nothing?
In continuation of his vile campaign of obscenity and blackmail, Femi Fani-Kayode was on AIT referring to Senator Yerima as a “self confessed Paedophile”. Pedophilia is defined as the act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children. It has never been defined to include sexual relationship between married couples irrespective of their age. More so, consummation of marriage does not necessary immediately follow marriage in Islam. Not that it is anybody business, Senator Yerima may or may not have consummated his marriage with his Egyptian bride, and even if he had, it still cannot be classified as Paedophilia.
I read an article written my Haija Maryam Uwais yesterday concerning the event at the Senate, while one may agree that she made valid point when she argued that marriage does not necessary confirm adulthood to a lady in Islam, she erred in totality when she attempt to make an argument against early marriage, because like many others, she left reality when she tried to pin all the social and economic problems in Northern Nigeria to early marriage. Then she started dishing out ridiculous statistics that only her knows about. Early marriage is not one of the problems in this country. Under 18 marriage is not half as high as she claimed in the north. That some men maltreat their young wives and some others abandon their wives with VVF in hospitals cannot be blamed on early marriage. That some women develop VVF because of prolonged and unattended child labour cannot be blamed on early marriage. That there is an increasing maternal and child mortality rate in the North can only be blamed on the Government failure to provide essential amenities and not on early marriage.
What particularly saddened me in the article by Haija Maryam Uwais is the disrespectful tone in which she referred to the distinguished Senator, Ahmad Sani Yerima. It is sad that some Muslims have unconsciously bought into the hate campaign directed at Yerima since the introduction of Shari’ah penal code in Zamfara and other parts of the North over a decade ago.
To the Muslims who have unfortunately taken the side of the deranged misfit and hate filled pastor, Fani-Kayode, ask yourself this question: since when have Fani-Kayode and his likes develop love for Muslim and Northern children that they are campaigning to “save” Muslim children from early marriage? Since when? Is this not the same debased low-lives who are everywhere on the internet insulting our beloved Prophet (SAW), leaders and anything Islam and Northerner? They do not care about your daughters, just has Boko Haram uprising that have killed thousands of Muslims and destroy billions worth of businesses delights them, so will it delight them if your children roam the street at night hawking themselves for N500.
The Yerima the nonsense Pastor is slandering about was a farmer and a business man who was known for his generosity and humanitarian activities long before he became Governor of Zamfara State. He had helped people marry, secured jobs for them, gave them shelter, paid hospital bills for sick people that could not afford it. He did this as philanthropy and maintained that trait when he became Governor. When he introduced Shari’ah, he settled brothel and bar owners and converted their places to schools. He was very accessible and those who succeeded him follow his footstep. A bus driver can walk into government house and demand to see the Governor and he sees him.
“Whosoever thinks through envy that Allah will not give him (Muhammad) victory in the world and the hereafter and is enraged at the thought of his victory: let him stretch a rope up to the roof of his dwelling and let him hang himself, then let him see whether his strategy will remove that which enrages (him)” – Qur’an 22:15
To Femi Fani-Kayode and his army of vile supporters, Shari’ah is the right of every Muslim, early marriage is part of the religion of Islam and Yerima’s honour is sacred to every sincere Muslim. You cannot teach us our religion, you cannot love our children more than we love them so give your daughters marriage when they are 18 or 40 that’s your business, we will marry out our daughters when we feel its best for them and in accordance with Islam in sha Allah.
Igho Hakeem Ohwojeheri
- Re: The Burdens Of Islam
- BECAUSE A FOOL HAS AN OPINION….18 becomes a Magic Number
- A MUSLIM OPEN LETTER TO PASTOR AYO ORITSEJAFOR
- Nigerians Against Religious Divide? Or Nigerians Deceiving Themselves?
- Vanguard Nigeria Newspaper: A Dangerous Tool of Disunity and Religious Bigotry
- The SUN’s Phenomenal Bias in Reporting the Jos Crises
- BOKO HARAM: Let’s Agree on the FACTS (THE GOVERNMENT BEGAN THE VIOLENCE)
- Cannibalization of Muslims in Jos on Video: Where is Our Humanity
- Summary of a Paper Presentation by a Christian Professor at MULAN 6th Annual Conference
- Boko Haram, Media and Government: Three Sides of the Same Coin
- GENOCIDE IN THE NORTH: WHO WILL STOP JTF?