Archive for the Nigeria Category

Sharia Law as Sacrament in Nigeria

Muslim women in Nigeria

“The baobab connotes spiritual strength . . . and fortitude . . . in distressing times.”

Ayesha Imam and the women she worked with for years in the Nigerian organization BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights possess those very traits. The group, founded in 1996, fights to protect women’s rights in the maze of the Nigerian legal system, with its overlapping religious, secular and customary laws and courts.

Imam tells me they use tools from whichever system can “recuperate rights,” believing it is often possible to arrive at similar conclusions by working through Muslim discourses or international human rights. “My issue,” she underscores, “is not where you come from, but where you arrive at.”

With her colleagues, she tried to “deconstruct what is Sharia (Muslim laws). How does it get to be Sharia? Is it divine or is it merely religious?” In the ’80s and early ’90s, some of the Sharia courts in Nigeria had come up with “what we may call progressive” interpretations, “as opposed to following somebody’s idea of how it should have worked in 13th-century Arabia.” Imam’s efforts to support women living under these Muslim laws brought her, inevitably, to work on fundamentalism.

“Fundamentalism hit us in Nigeria so it was absolutely necessary, because otherwise fundamentalism was going to close us all down, close all the dreams down, close all the hope down,” she says.

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As fundamentalism began to transform Nigerian lives, Imam and BAOBAB became involved in the cases of women who were facing sentences of stoning. One of the first, that of Fatima Usman, ensued when the woman’s father took the man who fathered her baby to court to get child support. “He had no idea he was going to set up his own daughter for the possibility of being stoned to death.” (Today Usman remains technically out on bail, as the case has never been finally resolved. Nor, thankfully, has the sentence been carried out.) Most such cases began with vigilante groups forcing the police to prosecute and ended in “lots of people convicted of Zina [unlawful sexual relations] and whipped because they were not married.” If people do not appeal, they are taken out and whipped right away, Imam laments. “It was really important to establish the principle that you can appeal. It’s your right.

“It’s not anti-God to appeal.”

However, it was difficult to rally victims of such prosecutions to fight back. “They thought, as Muslims, if they were charged under Muslim laws, they could not defend themselves. It would be tantamount to arguing with God.”

Read the rest: Fight for Women’s Rights Under Sharia in Nigeria.

Child Marriage Is a Right in Islam

Child marriage is allowed in Islamic lawA  prominent Niger Delta Muslim, Alhaji Mujahid Abubakar Dokubo-Asari, has lashed out at critics of the moves by Nigeria’s Senate to approve under-age marriage.

Expressing his opinion on the issue this morning, Dokubo, who converted to Islam as an adult, insisted that it is the right of Muslims to marry or give out their daughters at any age they wish, adding that this is not the business of non-Muslims.

Said the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) leader through Facebook:

“People should learn to respect other people’s sensibilities…We Muslims have the right to marry when we want or give out our daughters at any age we want. It is not your business and the law must respect our right to do so. Anything short of that is an infringement on our rights. We did not ask you to marry ladies of that age or give your daughters out in marriage at that age. Plzzzzzzzz respect our sensibilities.”

Read the rest: Muslim Nigerian Leader: Child Marriage is Our Right

And Dokubo is right.  It is permitted for a man to marry a girl as young as six.  Why?  Because Mohammed did and, according to Allah in the Koran, Mohammed is the perfect man and his words and actions are to be emulated by all good Muslim men.

20 Nigerian Women Killed for Wearing Western Clothes

Nigerian Women in Western ClothesA day after 10 men were killed in Maiduguri, at least 20 women, some clad in mini-skirts and others in slacks, were slaughtered in their Maiduguri homes and college dormitories.

While members of the Boko Haram terrorist organization Boko Haram organization are suspected of committing the heinous terrorist acts, police have not confirmed the identities nor arrested any suspects.

Members of the radical Islamic terrorist group believe Western education is sinful. The group is a jihadist militant organization based in northeast Nigeria that violently opposes man-made laws and modern science, according to an allafrica report.

Friday, the Nigerian Joint Task Force, Operation ‘Restore Order,’ placed a bounty on suspected terrorists and members of Boko Haram.

The new execution-style violence is different than other recent killings conducted by Boko Haram Muslims in that it targeted women only. Authorities believe the women may have been slaughtered due to dressing in Western style.

Read the rest: 20 Nigerian Women Killed for Wearing Western Clothes.

Nigerian Women Held for Traveling without Male Relatives

Man kissing black stone of MeccaNigerian officials say 398 Muslim women pilgrims traveling to Mecca were temporarily held at a Saudi Arabian airport for traveling without male relatives.

Read the rest: Nigerian Woman Held for Traveling Without Male Escorts

You see, the Saudis, in their typical extremist fashion, forgot the last part of the sharia law ruling.

From the Reliance of the Traveller, m10.3:

A woman may not leave the city without her husband or a member of her unmarriageable kin accompanying her, unless the journey is obligatory, like the hajj.  It is unlawful for her to travel otherwise, and unlawful for her husband to allow her to.

An “Ugly Trend” in Violence Against Women in Nigeria

Wife of Osun State governor, Mrs Sherifat  Aregbesola has lamented over the increased pace of violence against women, especially rape across the country. 

[. . .]

The state’s first lady frowned at the way government at different levels handled the issue of violence against women with levity, urging those concerned to come up with ways to arrest the ugly trend, before it gets out of control.

She further called on parents to protect their female children against abuse by giving them adequate attention that would make them feel loved and secured.

According to her, parents should not discriminate in providing quality education and care for their children, saying even God does not discriminate against any sex when providing for the family needs.
[. . .]

Mrs Aregbesola also called on governments at various levels to design more programmes that would give women more access to economic power, saying the present status accorded women is not in the best interest of the country.

She stated; “We know too well that women have limited access to economic and financial resources with negative impact on the well-being of women themselves, families, communities, economic growth and overall development. Therefore, we must constantly seek for opportunities to enhance the profile of women.

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