The recent gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel has once again stirred the conventional debate regarding the ties between Islam and terrorism. The tragic incident had further generated a three-legged reaction internationally and locally. The reaction of the first category of people vehemently alluded Islam to terrorism. This segment of people claimed that Islamic tenet basically preaches violence. Their argument was also buttressed with a reference to the long-standing anarchy and chaos bedeviling numerous nations dominated by Muslims.
The second argument revolving around Deborah’s murder didn’t have any iota of religious coloration. The proponents of this argument are also non-muslims. It could be deduced from their reactions that Deborah’s murderers only executed their criminal intent under Islamic guise. They condemned the killing of Deborah and therefore demanded the murderers’ arrest and prosecution. Many renowned clerics such as Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Bishop David Oyedepo, Bishop Matthew Kukah amongst others, fell into this category.
The third reaction regarding the unfortunate incident was from the Muslim communities. A segment of Islamic adherents condemned the murder. Amongst them were the spiritual leader of Nigeria’s Muslims and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and the leadership of Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih (NASFAT) in Nigeria. The murder on the other hand was justified by some Islamic clerics in some quarters.
Without minding whose ox is gored, it should be sincerely noted that the first category of persons who claimed Islam symbolizes violence couldn’t totally be castigated. Deborah’s murder is highly provocative. The extra-judicial killings and unwarranted attacks on the lives and property of non-muslims in Nigeria under the guise of transgressing the Islamic law are alarming.
The Christian religious leaders were not driven by emotions in handling Deborah’s matter. The casualties often recorded in the violent attacks usually are executed by misguided fanatics hiding under Islamic toga. They also advocated for unity from all and sundry in combating these common criminals. On this note, every Muslim faithful must join hands with the Christian faithful in denouncing the criminals in their midst.
The 2009 Ted Talk titled “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie clearly shed light on the negative effect of reaching conclusions based on one-sided narrative or event. The white race are not criminals because white supremacists who kill or oppress the Black still exist. The entire secessionist advocates are not criminals due to the killing and arson being orchestrated by some individuals amongst them. The police force couldn’t be regarded as a criminal establishment due to the bad egg amidst them. Islam doesn’t symbolize terrorism despite those who kill and maim in the name of Allah. The Quran and Hadith represent Islam. And nowhere does any chapter or word preach violence.
Binzak Azeez, Newworth LLP (Legal Practitioners), Onikan, Lagos