Friday, 20 February 2015


In 1996 The Runnymede Trust, an independent research and social policy agency in United Kingdom, established the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia. The Commission, chaired by Professor Gordon Conway, is composed of eighteen members, and is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious committee. The report identified eight (8) distinct features of Islamophobia as closed views, viz:

Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.

It is seen as separate and "other." It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.

It is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive, and sexist.

It is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism, and engaged in a clash of civilizations.

It is seen as a political ideology, used for political or military advantage.

Criticisms made of "the West" by Muslims are rejected out of hand.

Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.

Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural and normal.

Case studies of Islamophobia include:

Rev. M.J. Luke, in his sermon at Breadfruit Church, Lagos, on December 1886 was said to have declared Islam as a religion that “has done no good in our country and has not taught the people anything whatsoever.” [T.G.O. Gbadamosi, The Growth of Islam Among the Yoruba, 1841 – 1908. London, Longman Group Ltd. 1978. P. 155.].

French Encyclopedie Larousse which stated: Muhammed remained in his moral corruption and debauchery, a camel thief, a cardinal who failed to reach the throne of the papacy and win it for himself. He therefore invented a new religion with which to avenge himself against his colleagues”. [M.H. Haykal, The Life of Muhammad; Lagos, Islamic Publications Bureau. 1982.]

The Katsina riot of 1991 was the result of the reaction of the Muslims to the blasphemy against the Prophet of Islam when one Orlando Atanda of Fun Times and Lolly Magazine came out with a caption titled “Will you Marry a known prostitute turned born-again?” in which he accused Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and called one of his wives a prostitute.

The recent article of one Isioma Daniel, published by ThisDay Newspaper in respect of Miss World Beauty Contest hosted by Nigeria, contained blasphemous statements about the Prophet of Islam.

A multi-religious nation (Nigeria) where one Adelowo made a provocative statement against the Muslims sayings: The Yoruba Muslims‟ priests maintained themselves by deceits and charm making. Their religion was the greatest obstacle to the progress of civilization and to all that is pure, holy……. Islam was as stagnant as it was obstructive to progress. It discourages free labour. [E.D. Adelowo, “Islam and Christian Church in Yorubaland in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century: A Critical Study of Interplay of religions” in Mala, S.B. Boluade, E.B; Balogun,I.A.B.; ( (eds) Religions, A Journal of the Nigerian Association for the Study of Religions (NASR), (Ibadan Vol. 4. 1979). Pp. 48-49.].

A Muslim/Christian riot erupted within the city of Kano in 1991 when the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) organised a crusade in Kano with Evangelist Reihnard Bonnke from Germany as the guest preacher. The Muslims in the city protested to the government who allowed this Evangelist to come to the city after it had initially sent back a South African Muslim preacher-Ahmed Deedat from Kano. This injustice in dealing with the affairs related to religion on the part of government provokes religious crises that may not be contained easily.

Pope Benedict XVI's delivered a lecture at the University of Regensburg on 12 September 2006. This lecture, on the subject of faith and reason, had focused mainly on Christianity and what Pope Benedict called the tendency in the modern world to "exclude the question of God" from reason. Islam features in a part of the lecture. The Pope quoted a Byzantine Emperor's strong criticism of Prophet Muhammad's teachings that “Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached” [Lecture of the Holy Father - Faith, Reason and the University Memories and Reflections", Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 12 September 2006].

Chinua Achebe stated in ”There was a Country - A Personal Narrative of Biafra.” that “Throughout the conflict, the Biafran consistently charged that the Nigerians had a design to exterminate the Igbo people from the face of the earth. This calculation, the Biafrans insisted, was predicated on a HOLY JIHAD proclaimed by mainly ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS in the Nigerian Army and supported by policies of economic blockade that prevented shipments of humanitarian aid, food and supplies to the needy in Biafra. THE WARTIME CABINET OF General Gowon, the military ruler, it should also be remembered, was full of intellectuals, like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, among others…..”. The Biafran struggle that led to this declaration was between Ojukwu (Christian) and Yakubu Gowon (Christian). Could it be “Holy Jihad” or suppose to be “Crusade” ? Other major gladiators on the side of Federal Government include Obafemi Awolowo as Vice Chairman (Christian), Generals Benjamin Adekunle (Black Scorpio), Alani Akinrinade, Alabi Isama, Isaac Adaka Boro, Theophilus Danjuma, Olusegun Obasanjo among others. Are these gladiators “Islamic Extremists in the Army” or they are “Christian militias” ?

The Quran (in Q2:135-136) admonished thus “They say, "Be Jews or Christians [so] you will be guided." Say, "Rather, [we follow] the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth, and he was not of the polytheists. Say, [O believers], "We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him." (….to be concluded next week)

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