Muslim clerics and Islamic organisations across the country have strongly condemned Boko Haram’s attack of a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa State, where no fewer than 50 worshippers lost their lives. The scholars said the Monday, November 20 attack has further proved that the group is not representing Islam, and called on the media and global citizens to desist from associating the deviant sect with the religion of peace.
Boko Haram Members Are Not Muslims
They are not Muslims, going by their ideological leanings and actions. The acts of bombing and killing, irrespective of the motives, are disliked, despised and condemned by Islam and the Qur’an.
The Qur’an states clearly: “…If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” – Q. 5:32
Dear Muslims, Boko Haram members are not Muslims. They may speak our languages, but the group does not represent Islam. Be informed! The sect may hold the Noble Qur’an and shout “Allahu Akbar”! This is the phenomenon of MUSLIM IDENTITY THEFT (MIT). They have stolen our physical appearance and pretend to be Muslims, but have satanic and occultic ideologies which are antithetical to Islam.
Parents, allow your children to associate and fellowship with only registered and known Islamic organisations with focused programmes and objectives, where their academic and spiritual potentials would be developed to the fullest.
Nigerian media should beware of stereotyping, stigmatisation or calling Boko Haram an Islamic sect, as the recent incident and past ones have justified and driven home our assertion that Boko Haram is a deviant ideology far from Islam.
We call on all Muslims, Islamic organisations and progressive advocacy groups to work together for peace, sustainable growth and balanced development in Nigeria. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Long live the Muslim Ummah.
– Dr Lukman AbdurRaheem, Assistant Professor, American University of Nigeria, Yola and Amir, The Muslim Congress (TMC)
Suicide Bombing Is A Sign Of Weakness
The bombing of a mosque by Boko Haram in Mubi, Adamawa State is part of the terrorist group’s ploy to instigate the civilian population against the government. It is meant to give the impression that the government is incapable of protecting the citizenry. This is the strategic logic of Boko Haram in attacking mosques and soft targets like motor parks and markets.
However, the honest truth is that the war on terror is being won, but it can’t be won easily. The recent incessant killings by the group are meant to show their strength and that they are not decimated yet, as claimed by government. But we need to know suicide bombing as a strategy of war itself is a sign of Boko Haram’s inability to face the firepower of the Nigerian military, hence the need to take to surprise attacks on soft targets, of which the mosque is one.
The Federal Government should not relent in its fight against terrorism. Efforts should be made to invest in intelligence, collaboration with the local populace and reviews of the strategy of fighting the insurgents.
Muslim scholars have not been silent. They have made commendable moves in addressing Boko Haram by providing counter-narratives to its deviant ideology. Unfortunately, many of them have been killed by the insurgents.
Extremism is a virus and it requires many approaches. We need to preach counter-narratives based on the Noble Quran and Hadith to counter the ideology. The issue of poverty must be addressed too, as idle youth become ready-made tools for insurgents. The level of poverty in Northern Nigeria is to me an act of criminality committed by the political class against the ordinary citizens.
– Professor AbdulRazaq Kilani, University of Port-Harcourt and Founder, Al-Usrah Islamic Organisation.
War On Terror Is Far From Being Won
Whatever it is that Boko Haram wants, it is evidently not Islam. How could it be when the very victims of their dastardly acts, more often than not, are the adherents of the very Islamic values they claim to protect?
They know that whoever is murdered in the cause of servitude to Allah is a martyr in Islam. Just as whoever commits or facilitates such murder is a Kaafir (unbeliever). Why would they help their brothers to martyrdom while they die as unbelievers? Can you see why I said earlier that whatever it is they want, it isn’t Islam?
I believe that the government is trying its best, even though we are far from winning the war on terror. The government cannot possibly police every individual in a place as vast as the North-East. This is where the communities have a role (indeed, a very important one) to play. Let the communities take it upon themselves to engage strangers in their midst. Let them proactively find out the missions of people who are not known to be members of their communities.
We can only pray that the menace does not reach the South-West. How for instance can you police over 20 million people in Lagos? Perhaps what would help us here is that such people would stand out in the community, making it relatively easy to identify them.
– Imam Nojeem Jimoh, National Amir, The Companion
We Must All Be Vigilant
They once had non-Muslims as members. One of their members claimed to be a Christian and is married to one of the Chibok girls! In addition, there is a Muslim majority in the North, and therefore when problems like this occur, they latch unto Islam. The issue also reveals the wide gap in the education of children in the North. A Muslim will not go about killing Muslims in the mosques. Even in war situations, religious centres are places of refuge for all in Islam.
Yes, we are winning the war. It is a slow process and there is no option to what is on the ground. The US declared victory in Iraq more than a decade ago, and we can see what is still going on in that country. It is a wound that has entered the marrow; it will take time to heal.
What is prevalent in the South-West may not encourage its growth here. However, infiltration is possible and we all need to be vigilant, look at our communities, the locations of our mosques and plans for their protection.
Scholars across the country have been at the forefront of the task of educating and directing people. Many have been killed by this belligerent group. The scholars now need organised work that can debrief youths and set them up for productive engagements. Our mosques remain safe for as long as we are not negligent. Let’s keep rearing our children with piety from the start and create time to monitor them.
– Ustadh AbdurRasaq AbdusSalam – Author & Deputy Director (Programmes), Voice of Nigeria (VON)
Boko Haram Is Up To Something Against Islam
Boko Haram is up to something against Islam. We all should know that the group acts contrary to the teachings of the Noble Qur’an. Islam is a complete way of life and Allah has warned us against taking lives unjustly. To kill a single soul has been made unlawful by Allah, not to talk of tens, hundreds or thousands of innocent lives. The question is: Where did these people find their own Islam?
Definitely, some people are working behind the scenes to give Islam a name that does not belong to it. They are the financiers of Boko Haram’s nefarious acts. But, unfortunately for them, the more they try to give Islam a bad name, the more Islam becomes popular.
AlhamduliLlah, today in the West, these evil acts have made Islam even more popular. The religion of peace has gained publicity by being in the news because the more they carry out their nefarious acts, the more people want to know about the religion, and the more they know the truth about Islam, the more they embrace it.
As such, the youths involved in these killings in the North are not Muslims. They are not Northerners too, because if they are, they will not kill their brethren. They are people hired to kill the people of the North. Let’s leave religion out of the issue now. Let us talk about ethnicity. How on earth would a Hausa man kill a Hausa man? When some of the suspected Boko Haram members were interviewed, they could not even speak Hausa.
AlhamduliLlah, we are doing everything possible to curtail the infiltration of this group into the South-West. So, the next thing we did was to have very cordial interactions with our Christian brothers. I was one of those who worked on the meetings, as some of them thought that the Muslims had ulterior motives.
I have Christian brothers; we all have Christians in our families. And we have been living in peace despite different religious beliefs because we have ample affinity. So, we are not arguing with our Christian counterparts. We just want them to understand why Islam would not tolerate such. Before, they claimed “Muslims were killing the Christians”. Now that the so-called Muslims are now killing Muslims inside mosques, what would they call such?
Sheikh Sulaiman Adangba, National Missioner, Al Fatih – Ul – Quareeb
Our Mosques Are Not Safe
The attack is evil, barbaric, primitive and unwarranted. It is a product of depraved minds, for how can someone in his right senses collapse the House of Allah over His worshippers? I feel extremely sad. That can’t be an act of faith. No, I don’t believe that it was carried out by Muslims, and if it is claimed by a group of people who answer to Muslim names, I make bold to say that a mere name does not make anybody a Muslim.
As to whether the Federal Government is winning the war, yes, of course, they have won it already. We know the situation before this government came on board and we know what the situation is right now. But of course, it’s not that easy to completely overcome the remaining effects of the problem. It was an all-out war in the North-East, so the effects will only disappear gradually.
Ten years after the Liberian civil war had ended, some minor skirmishes still remained, until they gradually and then finally ceased.
The South-West Muslims lack the temperament for Boko Haram tendencies, for if it is about Boko Haram’s aversion for Western education, Yoruba Muslims are highly educated, and if it is about its ideology of violence, Yoruba Muslims are easily frightened and are not willing to die. In a nutshell, the value system here is different.
Scholars are not helping the situation. In some climes, their messages in religious circles are too extreme. You don’t foment trouble only when you categorically preach violence. Even hate speech, incitement and dangerous ideological indoctrinations are evil as well.
Our mosques are not safe, especially up North. There is no day I observe my Jumah service at the Abuja National Mosque without silently nurturing some fear of explosion. It is so bad that before my Takbirat Ihram, I look left and right. This doesn’t mean that security protection is not in place, but to me, it is not enough. Must the authorities militarise the mosque? No, but experts in the area of security should be involved, and not just small boys who search you to pants.
– Ustadh Sa’eed Abdur-Rauf Abu Mazeedatilkhayr, Researcher at International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT)
Boko Haram Members Don’t See Their Victims As Muslims
This is barbaric, senseless bloodletting. May Allah accept the victims as martyrs (Amin).
The Boko Haram members are Takfeeris (an Arabic term for Muslims who accuse other Muslims of apostasy). They do not consider their victims, particularly those worshippers killed in a mosque during Solatu-Subhi (Morning Prayer) as Muslims. They deem them worse than even non-Muslims. They excommunicate Muslims unjustly and pronounce them apostates.
Our scholars are trying their best in educating the people, especially Muslim youths, about the evil of these ideologies. That is why we do not have a lot of youths who are involved in this menace in the South-West, and the few who are afflicted with the ideology harbour such secretly. All of us Muslim leaders must continue to warn the people, especially the youths, about the dangers of Takfeer, which allows criminals to de-Islamise and de-humanise other Muslims.
Undoubtedly, the Federal Government is winning the war on terror. When terrorists are defeated, they resort to soft targets such as markets and places of worship, where it will be easy for them to attack many innocent people. Government must not relax in the fight against the Takfeeris (Boko Haram) and other terrorist elements in the country. It must take the security of lives and property of Nigerians as its major priority.
– Ustadh Abdul Kabir Al-Asfar, Mudeer, Darul Hijrah College, Lagos
All interviews by Rasheed Abubakar