by Aliyu Smith Almusawi,
As the uproar over the suspension of the Kaduna State University lecturer reaches a controversial crescendo, I find it hard or even unbearable to see how some intellectually impecunious minds are quick to support government in this lopsided measure. John Danfulani’s only fault is that his snide remarks are laced with hate towards a particular ethnic group which, according many a defender of the measure, is unprofessional for a cerebral academic like Danfulani.
As a Shia adherent, and also a victim of hate preaching, I am deluged with various forms of hate speeches not only from people of other religious orientations but from my own people, Muslims, who hate me so much that they pray for our deaths. I can go on.
Where on earth does the audacity to call a spade a spade become a hate speech? Is John Danfulani telling lies about our atavistic state of affairs? I am in times without numbers derided as an infidel just because I write extensively about how millions of beggars from the north gives Islam a bad image because this worrying trend is peculiar only to our people. We destroy their lives whenever we give little attention to their future, and notwithstanding the current challenges, almajiranci does not proffer solutions to the contemporary challenges. This is a bitter pill of advice we should learn to swallow even if we’re given by the people less known to us than Danfulani.
But to me, John Danfulani is just paying the price of resistance against the repressive government of El-Rufai who has engaged in subtle crackdown against whoever disagrees with his government. El-Rufai has already fallen out with Shehu Sani, an indefatigable activist just because he refused to kowtow to his anti-social policies.
If the likes of El-Rufai were serious about stemming the tide of hate speeches, he would not have destroyed Hussainiyya Baqiyatullah because it was the only sanctuary in the whole northern Nigeria that promoted inter-religious harmony. Christians were being invited to attend various programmes in order to understand the peaceful message of Islam. Unity Week was being organised every year with a view to achieving unity in Islam. But El-Rufai has chosen to punish the fingers that fed him. He destroyed Hussainiyya because he thinks we pose threat to the national security while the likes of Sheik Gumi walks freely preaching hatred uncontrollably. Is it not Gumi who once asked the police to shoot Shias because they could not be allowed to block roads during their procession? Is not the Sheik Gumi who spends more time cursing Shias than he spends in preaching peace? Why is that Gumi is somewhat reluctant even to devote an hour criticising Boko Haram? People like Sheik Sunusi Khalil are all based in Kaduna and his notoriety for spewing anti-Christian sermons is no longer new. He had only made a national headline when Hamza Alnustapha sued him for libel. But since our people are the only people who have the monopoly to decide a hate speaker, John Danfulani is punished while thousands of Salafist clerics are promoting hate speeches towards Shias.
The inclusion of Professor Salisu Shehu, a notorious anti-Shia academic as a member of the committee of inquiry into Shia massacre has added credence to the fact that we have not bade farewell to the politics of misplaced priority despite the change of leadership