Editor's note: In this opinion, Aanu Adegun, a journalist with Legit.ng, argues that the insecurity in the northern region of the country is not as a result of religion. He uses the position of two leading Islamic clerics to justify his position.
To many people in Nigeria, Islam breeds extremism. Hence people tend to blame the religion for any bad behaviour exhibited by the faith's adherents. This actually is not the case.
Let us look at this subject from the point of view of two leading Islamic clerics in the country. One is Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi and the other is Sheikh Muhammad Khalid, the Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters Juma’at mosque.
Both men are Islamic clerics and both have a different worldview on situations around us. One is a known bandit advocate who sees bandits as victims deserving of government amnesty while the other is a known critic of the killings and kidnappings in the country.
While Gumi's approach is annoying most times, Khalid's frankness in speaking truth to power is exhilarating.
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In fact, the presidency, through the media aide to the president, Femi Adesina was forced to accuse Gumi of being a bandit lover.
Let us check reactions from Nigerians on social media to sum up all these:
Musa Ahmed wrote:
"Islam doesn't in anyway support crime and criminality. Therefore, no one can use grammar to twist the stand of Islam. You're on your own!"
"Gumi disclosed that the bandits have managed to create escape routes from aerial bombardments to safeguard their lives. He advised the army to be up and doing and have their eyes and ears everywhere to get accurate and timely information to swoop on the bandits. Just tarnishing his own reputation not" ISLAM ".
"I wrote an article on Gumi's ungodly support for criminals, especially bandits, in the North. In his rejoinder to my article, instead of him replying me in a decorous and brilliant manner, he turned everything to ethnic scuffles between the North and the South.
"Since that day, I lost my respect for him. I thought Gumi was an astute and seasoned scholar. Unfortunately, his response exposed him as a stark ignorant, parading himself as a scholar. Gumi is an overrated cleric. He has almost nothing upstairs. Ask him if his line of defence for bandits has any roots in Islam. Nonsense Sheikh!"
Reactions to Khalid
Ishaya Medugu wrote:
"May almighty God bless you abundantly in Jesus mighty name. We are proud of you sir. Nigeria masses are highly proud of you. You remain the quality Imam/Sheikh. May God continue to protect you against the enemy of state. Amen."
Innocent Ibee Onyeke
"Don't know what to say, just short of words. All I can say sir is thank you for giving me hope with all that is in my heart I say thank you."
"God bless and keep u for us. This country need fearless people of u kind who can stand and speak out boldly without fear of any body. We need more of u type sir. Very bold and courageous."
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