All lives matter; whether you are black, white, Jew, Christian or Muslim, killing a soul unjustly is a major crime and those who do this earn nothing but the wrath of God. On this note, I condemn the killing of Rev. Lawan Adinmi, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, by Boko Haram.
When the unfortunate news of the murder broke out, there were different reactions from people – anger, pain, compassion, etc. Many Muslim organizations, as well as individuals, condemned the murder using different platforms and sympathized with the family of the victim and the Christian Community. This act is very common when a Christian is the victim of Boko Haram, but when a Muslim is the victim, there is no cry save from the Muslims.
We cannot pay attention to the fact that Boko Haram claims to be an Islamic Organization, therefore, it is quite logical if Christians see no need in condemning them when they strike against Muslims since it is a case of ‘Muslim-kills-Muslim’. Hence, the narrative goes thus, “they can kill Muslims for all we care, they should just not kill Christians”. Unfortunately, this type of reasoning is found amongst those who claim to be the front line of preaching humanity.
As for the argument above, we can continue to live in delusion and hypocrisy while we strengthen terrorist organizations psychologically, give them a sense of belonging and make easy for them to gather new recruits. Commenting on ISIS, Barack Obama, America’s Ex-President said,
“ISIL does not represent Islam. It is not in any way representative of the attitudes of the overwhelming majority of Muslims“.
He furthered, “…those types of stereotypes are counterproductive, they are wrong, they will lead, I think, to greater recruitment into terrorist organizations over time if this becomes somehow defined as a “Muslim problem” as ‘opposed to terrorist problem”
In the same vein, (as in Obama’s speech above), Boko Haram does not represent the attitudes and/or the thought process of millions of Muslims in Nigeria. While Nigerian Christians, CAN especially, continue to sell the Boko Haram are Muslims narrative like it gives them orgasm, Boko Haram continues to kill both Muslims and Christians.
The emergence, menace and presence of Boko Haram in Nigeria’s political space is not a Muslim problem and should not be regarded as such, rather, it is a terrorist problem. If we continue to blame Islam for the evil of Boko Haram, zealous youths who possess more emotions than knowledge may see their entry into this terrorist organization as a service to the religion this organization is affiliated with. Consequently, Boko haram has new recruits cheaply, spending fewer resources on brainwashing youths but capitalizing on the hypocrisy of a people who say Boko Haram is practicing what Islam teaches although we have millions of these Muslims in the same country. How does 0.1% of a people, religion or ideology be a perfect representation of what it teaches against the majority who are at a direct contradiction to the views of this minority group?
Like Muslims, non-Muslims all over the world should learn to respect life. A life lost in Syria, Iraq, Palestine does not get much coverage, condolence compared to the West’s. Muslims weep with the oppressed of Iraq and at the same time, put up the French Flag in solidarity. Muslim’s respect for life can be traced to the Qur’an. We read,
“…whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely” (Qur’an 5:32)
The verse above also clearly points to the fact that a Muslim who truly understands Islam will not kill a soul unjustly. ALlah says,
“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly” (Qur’an 60:8)
Until we continue to see terrorists as humans not according to the religion they use as a smokescreen in that they profess but do not practice, until we see that lives are lost not their identity, until we call terrorists as terrorists, our problems will not just remain but compounded.
In Nigeria, we have a terrorist problem. All hands must be on deck to condemn and fight them, however, we need to do away with hypocrisy, sentiments, bloddy politics and most importantly, Yellow Journalism. God bless Nigeria.
Bashir LuCas Samson Lukman ( The Knowislam Project – Knowislam.com.ng)