Hip-hop Artist, David Adeleke came under intense criticism following a music video he posted a Twitter that depicted people dancing in front of a Mosque. He, Davido, deleted the video following backlash from the Muslim community.
I will start by correcting an impression. Irate youths were said to have burnt David’s picture in Maiduguri, why? because he is an Islamophobe, anti-Islam, or what? I’m afraid that if we do not sensitize people, the case of Usman Buda who was killed by an irate mob in Sokoto will continue to repeat itself. He didn’t blaspheme, he only asked that solicitation goes to Allah alone. Some ignorant people who do not understand the religion but are ready to kill at the mention of blasphemy will attack anyone whether he is sincerely ignorant or not. For those who don’t know Usman Buda, he was killed.
In the case of Davido, the video he shared did not portray him as an enemy of Islam, rather, it is his own ignorant way of identifying with the Muslim community – something he must have learnt from the so-called Muslim singers. There are other musicians who try to ignorantly identify with Muslims by including passages of the Hadith and Qur’an in their songs.
As much as such identification is wrong and should be condemned, people who commit blunders while attempting to identify with the Muslims community should not be condemned the same way someone who outrightly disrespects the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), portray Muslims as terrorists, or parades women in Niqab smoking weed will be condemned.
Professor Wole Soyinka’s opinion that Davido owes no Muslim explains why the country could have been plunged into chaos if he was left to manage its affairs. Soyinka did not receive a Nobel Prize for Peace but Literature and there he has his respect.
As a Muslim, when I saw the movie, “Gangs of Lagos”, I felt the director misrepresented the Eyo Masquerade and I wrote against it. Twice an Eyo shot and killed which is not what they do in reality. When the Oba of Lagos asked that they remove Eyo from Gangs of Lagos, he had every right to do that.
I have watched Soyinka’s engagement at the Nexus Debate Institute where philosophy, not literature, was discussed and he wasn’t as sound as he would have been if it was about literature. In fact, he was a bit embarrassed when he wanted to make a point, gave one or two examples and said et cetera, the other person asked him for more examples from the et ceteras but he couldn’t. Soyinka is a literary icon and an elder but that does not make him an expert in other fields like managing a diverse society.
In a diverse society, people have the right to criticize what they feel is disrespectful to their culture, religion, and person. The most reasonable thing to do is to charge people to be respectful and anyone who feels disrespected should approach authorized bodies.
Davido did well by taking down the video he has shown that he is not an enemy of Islam. So, those burning his pictures should rest. Davido might have been motivated by the so-called Islamic singers who record their music videos in Mosques. They deserve every bit of condemnation that Davido got. And when you look at it, compared to the so-called Islamic singers, Davido probably shot it in a building that’s not a Masjid.
To Davido and “Islamic singers”, Allah says,
وَأَنَّ ٱلْمَسَٰجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا۟ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ أَحَدًا
And [He revealed] that the Masjids are for Allāh, so do not invoke with Allāh anyone.
As they say, “ignorantia legis neminem excusat”, before identifying with Muslims or anyone in a diverse community, study them and identify with them in a way that’ll not come as offensive.
Davido did well by taking down the video and that’s enough.
Bashir Lucas Samson Lukman