It was a fateful Wednesday morning at the pathology department of a hospital in Ibadan. The tissues were being processed, sections were being stained, and histology slides were being screened. All seemed to be normal except the resounding arguments of Alfa and Yinka. The bowl of contention on this particular occasion was Boko Haram. Not again…
Yesterday while reading the comments of readers of a news item on CNN.com, it became evident that there is a growing generalization of Moslems as terrorists. Some are even proposing that Moslems be kicked out of America. One of the comments that caught my attention was “Do you want your family to be safe? Watch that long bearded guy in your neighborhood more closely”.
As justified as Americans are making a proposed clamp down on Moslems to be, it is without gainsaying that personal interactions with some Moslems had made be know that not all of them duff their hats for terrorism and unrests as steadily recorded in Nigeria.
Back to Yinka versus Alfa argument mentioned earlier, Yinka was attempting to condemn Boko Haram in all ramifications while Alfa’s statements pointed to the fact that some issues raised by Boko Haram were reasonable, and their aspirations were quite realistic.
He said he was in Bauchi several weeks before the wild rampage. And from what he could gather, the vanguards of the organization were concerned with chasing away corruption in their community by compelling corrupt leaders to leave political offices. But, like he said, the nameless campaign was given a bad name when the organization targeted some highly placed corrupt leaders who masterminded the massacre to cover their tracks. Quite plausible an account, but why are those who know the true story not speaking up?
Unlike the Nigerian terrain where people are not voicing out what is on their minds because of the fear of being lynched by religious fanatics much to the chagrin of complacent law enforcement agencies, Americans and nationals of other western countries are not ready to take a cue from Nigerians, and to save the face of Islam, it is time for Islamic scholars to clarify the numerous issues, and answer the innumerable questions.
Firstly, Nigerians want to know what the position of the Grand Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria is on Boko Haram. Are they in total support of western education or totally against it? Even though we all condemned the jungle justice meted on the leader, the respected Islamic scholars should tell the whole nation the way forward from the Islamic perspective.
Secondly, we all want to know the position of Islam on terrorism as the religion is being criticized and the silence of Moslems is more or less applying granulated salt to a debilitating wound. We need them to tell us what Prophet Mohammed (SAW) said concerning killing innocent individuals especially children and women, and how perpetrators should be handled.
Personally, I want clarification on the 7 virgins awaiting those that die in the course of fighting Islamic battles. Is the myth true? If yes, are they for terrorists? And will the 7 virgins be so ecstatic to sooth the nerves of men who might have killed virgins like them?
Recently, a Facebook status update was ‘I hope my Moslem friends will not name their children Umaru. It’s either they are sick or blowing up airplanes. The amount of threats the guy received from northern Moslems were amazing, one even threatened massive retaliation all because of a Facebook status! This brings me to the next question. Is it right for Moslems to take laws into their hands anytime somebody somewhere ‘insults’ anything that is Islamic? Since Allah is the almighty and all sufficient, shouldn’t Moslems allow Allah to fight for them?
Another question I will like to ask Islamic scholars is: How precious is life? Was the 9/11 event justified because thousands were killed? And how does Islam see those terrorists that got killed- heroes or villains? What about the 3- year old girl that died with her father, and the fetus that was roasted in the wombs of the pregnant woman who crashed with the 15th floor of the Twin Towers? Are they mere casualties of a just cause or victims of the handiworks of psychologically deranged individuals who should be seen and treated as societal menace?
As the Muslim world is caught up in another litmus test of its faith of peace, the need for Moslems all over the world to commend or condemn Umaru Farouk Mutallabi and other prospective and ambitious suicidal bombers cannot be overemphasized. This is not the time for Moslems to seat back with folded arms on rocking chairs and watch as the stories unfold.
This is time for them to rise up to clarify the issues, explain their position and lead the way in ensuring global safety. Continual silence is not the best option, it further ascertain the myths that are widely circulating. But if they are true, then the world is doomed.