By Aliyu Smith Almusawi
As the north burns, I wish our Islamic clerics had understood that the
ongoing efforts to conceal the monstrosity of the Zaria massacre is
fruitless and it is bound to ricochet. I wish our Islamic clerics
would come to terms with the fact that the north has had enough of
killings and genocidal resorts to anything that could be solved via
diplomacy and consultation.
As the north burns, I wish our religious leaders would sober up and
ponder, they should know that the solutions to the woes in the
northern part of Nigeria neither lie in exorcising and persecuting
Shias nor do they lie in promoting phantasmic campaigns to up the ante
by spreading anti-Shia sentiments because our vision is not to be the
next Pakistan where Shias are targeted and massacred just because they
As the north burns, I wish our Islamic clerics would do away with a
sanctimonious religiosity, they should understand that terrorism all
over is the monopoly of radical preachings propagated by Salafist
clerics with financial supports from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and
Gulf nations. Boko Haram fighters are not Shias, so are Alqaeda,
Taliban, Ansaru and IS.
So the solution to terrorism isn’t to wipe out Shias, no, but to
crackdown on Islamic scholars who preach hatred, who turn mosques into
a cesspit of radicalism which in the long run incubate many a
terrorist group. It is everybody’s hope that we do not wish to be like
Somalia where a radical Islam has made the country ungovernable for
more than two decades. As the north burns, I wish our policy makers
would make a sober reflection and understand the realistic concept of
war in this century.
War on terror has not made a dent in terrorist activities, has it? It
has rather plunged Muslims into a kind of sectarian schisms which have
only worked to the advantages of their staunchest enemies. In fact,
you can’t put an end to terrorist groups when no attempt is made to
prevent the underlying causes. As the north languishes in mystery, as
poverty bites harder than Boko Haram, as illiteracy reaches its
crescendo, as the generation of beggars, street urchins and shabby
hawkers roam our streets, as our citadels of learnings crumble, as the
fecund imaginations of our youths are tainted by the miasma of
Salafism, ideology that replicates a weapon of mass destruction, I
hope the northerners will come to their senses, to understand that
killings Shias cannot in any way prevent its growing membership.
To wipe out Shias would mean that one has to seek the expertise of
Hitler’s tacticians before he massively massacres millions of Shias
who are scattered around every nook and cranny of the country. But
military, Boko Haram and propagandists alone cannot stifle Shia. But
there’s a glimmer of hope if we could collectively bury the hatchet
and focus on issues that matter.
There may be a scintila of hope for us if we discuss what unite us as
Muslims rather than what divide us into denominations. I hope the
whopping amount of money being used in promoting anti-Shia sentiments
should be properly channeled to something more vital such as helping
refugees displaced by the Boko Haram militants, because as a
humanitarian worker who visits them often, their camps are eyesore to
say the least.
I hope the money being frittered away in sponsoring anti-Shia
sentiments should rather be used in sponsoring and helping thousands
of orphans who lost their parents to Boko Haram violence and thousands
of forsaken children who are displaced by Boko Haram violence.
The north should embrace peace in the midst of diversity.
Notwithstanding the dire economic situation in the region, it simply
can’t afford a sectarian war.