Suicide Bombing: Nigerian Muslims Are Peace-Lovers - From Nigerian Masjid

4 January 2010

By Isa Ali Ibrahim-Pantami 

The recent global happenings to Nigerian Muslims portray Islam and the country in bad image to those that are far away from reality and first-hand information. The happenings include “Boko-Haram”, concoction against Darul-Islam, alleged attempted suicide-bombing, Kala-kato crisis in Bauchi and a host of other minor instances.

Islam is a comprehensive and universal religion that teaches peace, mercy, caring, justice, kindness and compassionate. The religion protects human life irrespective of religion, gender, race or continent. Innocent lives are being protected through out human history.

There is a clear demarcation and partition between the injunctions of Islam and the practice of some people in the name of Islam. Today, because of the sentiment of others, they enjoy attaching any bad or ugly action to Islam in order to equalize their feelings. The Noble Prophet of Islam has enunciated that any action that is not sanctioned by us is rejected. On the basis of this, some people take an advantage of our infinite and unlimited border of freedom in Nigeria, to perpetrate evil and attach it to Islam, while their action is not sanctioned by the Noble Prophet.

The suspected suicide bomber, Umar Farouk Mudallab got this idea definitely from somewhere not Nigeria, because of three reasons. First, his biography indicates this. He studied and visited places like Togo, United Kingdom, Egypt, Dubai and Yemen. Second, in his Northern Nigeria, we have never heard anything like suicide bombing in our midst; we only hear it on international stations. Typical northern Muslim like my humble self considers an aircraft like a grave or perforated ship which sails on high water. Whenever we join it, we are devastated, finding it difficult to eat, drink, pray, sleep or discuss. Aircraft is a strange technology to most of our Northern Muslims to date. Third, we have never heard any attempt in the past by a Nigerian Muslim to carry out a similar mayhem, here or anywhere in the world. The action of Faruok’s father where he reported the situation of his son to the relevant authorities is enough to vindicate how patriotic is he, and how northern Muslims are upright, peace-loving and sincere. His father demands commendation.

It is true that in recent times, Northern Nigeria has not been an exemplary place for religious tolerance. Many young energetic Muslims and Christians have perpetrated and perpetuated holocaust and genocide in the name of religion. They use knives, sticks, cutlasses, daggers and locally made single barrel gun, but you can hardly hear of any sophisticated weapon, except in very few instances and clashes.

This episode portrays the level of insecurity in our airports. How could someone come and pass all the screening phases and even entered an aircraft without identifying him. The failure must be either from the security personnel or the security gadgets in the airport he left and even the Amsterdam airport, or from both of them. Our rebranding campaign has become lip service without any impact on the country.

No one will deny the existence of moral decadence in our communities, particularly in the midst of our youths. This failure manifests itself from the negative contribution of many segments of our country, which includes governments at various levels, parents, scholars and traditional leaders.

Our country is governed without equality before the law; there exist an infinite border of freedom. Security personnel perpetrate what they were urged to stop. Killing innocent people has become rampant.

Parents allow their kids to interact with any company of people- the good, the bad and the ugly. Rich parents send their kids abroad to study, to become educated, secularists and enlightened. Parental supervision occupies a fundamental position in Islam, which cannot be achieved by abandoning them abroad.

The best our Islamic organization and scholars do, to condemn any act of extremism after the damage has been done. But “Prevention is better than cure”. Our scholars need to have sincerity in their hearts, unite the Muslim Ummah, obey the methodology of our pious predecessors,  inculcate morality into our community, teach our younger ones moderation, because Islam neither agree with laxity nor extremism. The recent event of Kala-Kato in Bauchi is enough to vindicate how the name of Islam is being tarnished, subdued and vanquished by so-called Alarammomi or scholars. Fire-brigade approach will not solve our problem, but rather we need total rehabilitation, reorientation and rejuvenation of our youths and communities in general.

The entire western world should not take this as a pretext of subjecting Nigerians to unnecessary investigations, harassment and checking. The British witnessed the ugly trial of their Shoe bomber, Robert Reid their fellow Briton. He attempted to blow up a transatlantic flight some years back.  Timothy McVeigh, the man who blew up a Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 was an American. This is just a tip out of the iceberg.

Muslim youth should avoid taking laws into their hands, but rather need to acquire sound and genuine Islamic knowledge from Arrabaaniyyun- pious and sincere scholars.

Violence should be condemned, including the killing of innocent people in Palestine by the brutal Israeli Army. Islam never supports these killings, let us continue inviting people to Islam and allow peace and tranquility to dominate the world. These are really the signs of the last hour, let us get prepared. 

Isa Ali Ibrahim-Pantami can be reached at Masjidul-Qur’an Jumu’ah Masjid Bauchi/ATB University.




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