Tuesday, December 7, 2021

FRIDAY SERMON: Muslims, media and Islamization of Nigeria, by Abdullah Musa Abdul

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Jaafar Jaafarhttps://dailynigerian.com/
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

Nay, they say: “These are mixed up false dreams! Nay, he has invented it! — Nay, he is a poet! Let him then bring us an Ayah like the ones that were sent before!”  Qur’an 21:5

For many years the Muslims have lived peacefully with their neighbours, and it is somewhat inconceivable that the Muslims fight against others by initiating a provocative act. History bears testimony to the fact that the battles fought by the Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) were purely for self-defense. He never started a war that he initiated, and where an offensive tactics were involved then it must have an over-riding public benefit. We have physical warfare, we have biological warfare, we have what the Arabs would call “الغزوة الفكري” (intellectual warfare). The intellectual warfare did not start at the inception of the modern media, nay it has its roots since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). However, it failed even before it started.

Be it as it may, the Arabs would say ‘whatever is oft-repeated is bound to be assimilated’ and in another statement of theirs, it states that “التكرار يعلم الحمار” (repetition teaches the donkey).

Taking Nigeria as a case study, the anti-Islamic sentiments being repeatedly promoted in all forms of media and in churches by the non-Muslims have found its way in settling the minds of many gullible citizens. It takes only a small unwanted action by an insignificant few among the Muslims, and then the Christian Association of Nigeria in her various manifestations would immediately inundate the media-scape with a false and a deliberate propaganda against Islam and Muslims. This has been raging for decades now and they are trying very hard by all means necessary to redefine how Nigerian Muslims should be viewed especially the leaders among them.

The term “Islamization of Nigeria” always finds its way into out day-to-day vocabulary whenever we have a Muslim leader/president in the country. It would be rather naive to expect a balanced judgement of Islam and Muslims from the non-Muslims except the extraordinarily just and right-thinking ones among them. As a way of substantiating the claim, The National Christian Elders Forum, NCEF, insisted that the Federal government was planning to Islamize the country through Jihad according to a September 11, 2017 online report filed by Vanguard Nigeria. Again, Professor Ben Nwabueze claims that the Islamization of Nigeria is real and so also did Bishop Oyedapo reveal in a video  that there are plans to Islamize Nigeria. Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, is at the forefront of this scandalous, childish and unintelligent claim. Someone even claimed that the current Federal government’s anti-corruption war is targeted at the Christians, then an intelligent fellow replied by asking if corruption was a Christian.

Whatever the agenda is, the Muslims must not be defeated intellectually by this oft-repeated fake news being shoved down the throat of many people. The propagandists and champions of this fake news are nothing but crying babies seeking attention. They know what they are doing, they are trying to condition the minds of people and to sway the tide of public opinion against Islam and the Muslims. An apt example also, is the case of the herdsmen and ethnic militias. Instead of calling on the government to look into the raging issue involving these two and proffer a lasting and effective solution, the Christian Association of Nigeria and many Christian leaders have once again not frustrated the expectations of many by living up to expectations. They have instead decided to be silent when the attack is against the herdsmen but vocal and vociferous with negative propaganda of “Islamization of Nigeria” when it is the other way round. No right thinking individual or group should play religious and ethnic sentiments with the lives of innocent people. The herdsmen are not justified in what they are doing and so also are the ethnic (sometimes, state-sponsored) militias.

Go to most government buildings, go to most hotels, is there any special provision for Muslims wanting to use the toilets. Often at times you have to get an empty soft drink bottle to purify themselves as toilet paper is not ideal for Muslims. Look at the pattern of holidays starting from Sunday being declared a work-free day even though it is the first day of the week while Friday which is a day of celebration for the Muslims is not, yet the Muslims are silent. Having a renowned pastor as the vice-president does not make the Muslims promote the agenda of Christianization of Nigeria through her number two-citizen but having a retired military officer who is not a preacher nor an Imam in any Masjid is enough to make the propagandists and false alarmists to cry foul.

Those who will come after us will be better than us or worse than us because of us.

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