Right of Reply: Blasphemy: Look in the mirror, Kano

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Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje

By Abdullah Abdulganiy

A piece with the above title appeared in the column page of The Ravens on Wednesday, September 2. It was written by a friend and brother, Ibraheem Abdullateef. While I have tried to educate Abdullateef in camera on some of his demeaning, scathing and unpalatable remarks about the Shari’a, he remains adamant. He, in fact, dared me to write a rebuttal. Hence, this is in response to his yearning and to set the record straight so that his unsuspecting readers won’t slip where he has obviously slipped.

Rather than treat the merit of the issue which was obviously blasphemy against the prophet, a crime no religion condones, Abdullateef brought in Governor Abdullahi Ganduje to the matter. Even when no court of competent jurisdiction — whether conventional or otherwise — has succesfully convicted Ganduje, Abdullateef took the toga of a judge and declared him guilty as charged. Where is the rule of presumption of innocence as enshrined in our constitution? It’s Ganduje today, it may be him tomorrow. And as you lay your bed, you lie on it. Look in the mirror!

For the record, Yahyah in his song had said Prophet Muhammad was an “atheist, mushrik, who propagates shirk and whose position is lower than that of Inyass in the hereafter.” These are bogus allegations and inflammatory comments that can generate chaos in the society if not properly treated. And many lives might have been lost in the process. We should rather commend the good people of Kano for taking recourse to the law.

The columinist also failed to understand that by the grundnorm, all governors have immunity. In other words, they cannot be tried by any court while in office. So, the issue of saying the Shari’a court is biased does not even arise since it has not tried Ganduje. Abdullateef should have situated his attack properly, by venting his angst at the Nigerian constitution and not the Shari’a for granting governors immunity.

He also remarked that “the Shari’a thing is archaic”. I am afraid my brother is towing the path of a free thinker. He probably does not understand what Shari’a means, and must have relied on the misrepresentations churned out by Islamophobic media to say this. Europe is perhaps one of the most civilized continents today, the Shari’a is in operation there. It’s incorporated into their mainstream/conventional law. So, what’s his basis for saying the Shari’a is archaic? Perhaps, he doesn’t know the law derives from the Quran which is a perfect book that applies to all civilizations.

People like Abdullateef are just trying to cry more than the bereaved. This is a law the majority of Kano people believe in and accept that they be governed by in certain aspects. Why didn’t the latter day activists criticise the move then? Why now that it is about to be effected? Interestingly, the ruling could be appealed. Instead of this social media noise, the activists should get a good lawyer for Sharif to defend him.

Most Kano people are happy with the ruling. To them, it is the only way by which they could be appeased. Doing the contrary can create tension in the society. In fact, the people had wanted to seek self help in executing Yahyah. What this tells people like Abdullateef is that their opinions do not count. The concept of morality is relative. What is moral to you might not be moral to me. Let the wish of the majority which equally is backed by the law prevail.

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