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Press Release: Anti- shia campaign of calumny during Ramadan Tafsir and Plan to Attack Quds Day Procession: Our stand

ByIbrahim Usman
Having failed in previous machinations through past governments to crush the Islamic Movement in Nigeria led by His Eminence Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), some envious and disgruntled Islamic scholars have decided to use their pulpits in this holy month of Ramadan as a launching pad for attack on Shi’ites and all that it stands for.

Not only are these disgruntled trouble hatchers are turning their Tafsir sessions as incubators of mayhem and massacre, they preparing the new administration against the Shi’a community in Nigeria.

It all started before Ramadan with an open call by Izala/Salafi group to all its envoys dispatched to all states to use the Ramadan Tafsir for attack on Shi’ites.

Shortly after this unpopular declaration, a lecturer in the faculty of Mechatronics Engineering at Bayero University Kano, Dr. Abdussamad Umar Jibia, obviously within the Izala/Salafi fold, wrote an uncouth letter to the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari requesting him to as a matter of national security deal with the Shi’ites, which he described as a potential danger to the country.

According to him, the Shi’ites are more dangerous than Boko Haram and therefore must be "nipped in the bud". He also demanded that all Shi’ites holding public offices be flushed out.

During presentation of its 2014 Ramadan report in Kaduna, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) through its Secretary-General Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, used the occasion to also vent his deep-seated hatred for the Shi’a voice in Nigeria, and particularly Kaduna state. He described "Shi’a Tafsir" as a highly dangerous trend taking the airwaves in public radio and television stations that should be given a blackout.

Few days to the commencement of Ramadan another group, Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jama’ah held a Tafsir train-the trainer workshop in Kaduna with mostly renowned anti-Shi’a elements in attendance, called on the government as a matter of urgency take decisive action "weapon brandishing sects" in Zaria and "nip it in the bud".

The result of all these meetings and call for violence was the present mode of Tafsir sessions that are constantly replete with war cries, while relegating the true teachings of Islam to the background. From Sultan Bello to Tudunwada Kaduna to Abubakar Siddiq Sani Zangon Daura and Masjidul Sahaba wal Ahlul Bayt Tudunwada mosques, the trend runs; heavily dosed with verbal attacks, campaigns of calumny and blatant lies and fabrications, rather than following etiquette of Tafsir and preaching. The story is the same in other states such as Sokoto, where the Izala envoy for this year’s Ramadan Tafsir charged gullible listeners and followers to launch offensive on the Shi’ites.

In Kaduna the Salafists held a breakfast at the Sultan Bello mosque last Thursday with the emerging area boys in Kaduna called Yan Shara (Sweepers) that have become an eyesore to the society. The Salafist used the event to instigate the area boys against the Shi’ites. These area boys are presently on the loose, launching senseless attacks on communities in Kaduna metropolis. Government, through its security operatives is currently hunting for them, and on the alert over the heinous crime being committed by these hooligans. The Salafi group in Kaduna are now recruiting these unwanted and blacklisted elements to fight the Shi’ites this Ramadan. They used the same tactic to launch attack on residence of Shaikh Zakzaky, which woefully failed.

More consistent and vocal are the Tafsir sessions at the Sultan Bello and Sani Zangon Daura and Tudunwada Kaduna mosques. On the 19th day of Ramadan, the moderator of what one can equate with a Talk Show at Sultan Bello mosque charged the atmosphere with insults, while unleashing venoms on Shi’a and its adherents. Other Islamic groups were not also spared from his perilous statements. He demanded that the government use its might and power as government to ban airing of Shi’a Tafsir as well ban Shi’a public gatherings and processions.

According to him, the Shi’ites are the root of Boko Haram, heretics who bring bad omen to the society that should not be tolerated at all costs. These are the same scholars who were used to campaign against the government in power before election and recruited to sabotage its victory.

We are surprised how the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) could allow such inciting statement to be aired unhindered. We are tempted to ask: What happens to the National Broadcasting Commission Act, which upholds the principles of equity and fairness in broadcasting? The Shi’ites have the right to be heard and operate, like other religious groups with equal rights. Peaceful co-existence in this country cannot be guaraneed with some people trying impose on the government and its people imported sectarian hatred and violence from foreign shores.

We, view this as a calculated attempt by these trouble makers and contractors of faith in religious garbs to instigate and lobby the present government to do their dirty work. They are specifically envious of the mass acceptance of the Islamic Movement as a popular and mass movement that people are coming to terms with. We also see this as a grand plot sponsored by the enemies of humanity, the global oppressors of the weak (U.S, Israel and their satanic ally- Saudi Arabia) to stop and possibly attack the Quds Day procession, as they did last year in which they killed 34 people in Zaria.

We, the media wing of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, deem it necessary to call on all lovers of peace and freedom to take note, and not to be deceived by these satanic instigations and call for violence and anarchy. Known for its peaceful conduct over the years, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the spiritual guardianship of His Eminence Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) will by Allah’s grace this Friday conduct its 33rd Quds Day procession in series across major cities in Nigeria, together with other nations, groups and individuals across the world. The Quds Day procession is to identify with the plight of the oppressed Palestinians in the gruesome clutches of Zionist illegal state of Israel and its cohorts. Through the peaceful march, we are symbolizing our concern and identifying with the oppressed people across the world, irrespective of faith, creed or boundary. Through commemorating the International Quds Day advocated by late Imam Khomeini (of blessed memory), we get a better understanding of the injustices and genocide taking place across the world today. This what the oppressors and their puppets do not want and want to stop at all costs.

We use this medium to condemn the Tuesday bomb attack in Sabon Gari Zaria Local Government secretariat in which many civil servants attending screening exercise were killed. The attack was a callous act of sponsored terrorists through international conspiracy. While praying for the repose of the soul of the dead, we pray for quick recovery of the injured.

Peace be upon those who follow the right path.

Ibrahim Usman