For more than a quarter of a century, the Nigerian state has not seen violence and massacre on random sets of people at a scale that almost strikes some parallel with the Ruwanda genocide of the early ninet more ies. An indiscriminate sequence of attacks orchestrated by the cult-like group, Boko Haram,in its self-righteous crusade of terror to misguidedly make the predominantly Muslim north an autonomous-Islamic legislated territory.
In its campaign of terror ,the group whose name loosely translate to mean “western civilization is forbidden” has killed non-combatant men,defenseless women,carefree children of Islamic and Christian faith alike,as well as the destruction of churches and mosques. All these atrocities they claim are within the confines of Islam to achieve their ideal society of an “Islamic Order”. However, in sharp contrast to their distorted ideology, and as a correction to mainstream media outlets’ misconception of Islam ,a cursory reference to the Holy Quran and Hadith (Prophet Muhammed(P) lifestyle) would be visited on the theatrics of modern day jihad and religious freedom therewith.
A reference which should best start off by firstly, describing Jihad according to the Quran to correct the prevailing western wisdom which miscontrue Jihad as some holy war ,no different from the Byzantine Crusade of the middle ages where an ecclesiastical authority sanctions the extermination of a people for the crime,but no crime,of adopting a different religious belief. The concept Jihad means to strive in order to attain piety and closeness to God. Which could either be striving against one’s desires that are forbidden, against the devil ,or lastly and wrongly emphasized by extremist elements, against the enemy. The enemy here ,being an unambiguous term ,is a logical reaction to fight in self defence with aggressors who have fought you,driven you out of your dwellings,and force you to deny God. It should be noted that in the early days of Islam ,the idolaters in the present day Saudi Arabia, subjected the nascent Muslims to the hobson choice of either renouncing their faith or be exiled and in subsequent occurrences get killed.
For thirteen tumultuous years, they suffered and endured persecution, waiting patiently for God’s guidance on the best possible course of action.Following which a revelation was related to Prophet Muhammed through the archangel (GABRIEL) asking the faithfuls to fight back the enemies in battle. A directive no different from the ones given to Moses and David in the Holy scriptures of the Torah and Bible used respectively by the Jews and Christians.The Quranic verse reads: “Permission (to fight) is given to those on whom war is made,because they are oppressed. And surely God is able to assist them – Those who are driven from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is God. And if God did not repel some people by others, cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques,in which God’s name is much remembered, would have been pulled down. And surely God will help him who helps His cause”. Quran 22, 39-40.
Indeed this Jihad against the enemy is totally different from the one paraded by Boko Haram ,where innocent commuters, vulnerable teenage boys in their dorm,worshipers in religious centers–and recently–soccer fans in Viewing Centers have been at the receiving end of Boko Haram’s unsolicited bomb gifts.
Tales have been heard of how the devilish group would sometimes slaughter–like a fulani cow—members of a family for refusal of the deceased to recant his/her professed faith; an act, in and of itself, that diametrically opposes one verse too many of the Islamic book. The book which guarantees freedom of religion in its 256 verse of the second Chapter says “There shall be no compulsion in religion …” .Which is further buttressed in Chapter 10 vs 99 ,forewarning against forceful proselytisation “Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed (Muslims) Do you want to force the people to become believers (Muslims)?”
As if that was not enough a caution, the prophet was instructed strictly in Chp 88, vs 22-22 only to convey the message of Islam across and never bother about idolaters believing and converting to the religion or not : “You shall remind, for your mission is to deliver this reminder. You have no power over them.”
It is on public record that since 2009, Boko Haram insurgents have unilaterally massacred more than 6000 easy-going Nigerians, in clear violation of commandments from the religious tenets they purport to uphold. The book has made it clear that except in cases of retribution to punish a deserving criminal,no human lives must be taken . It says “You shall not kill –God has made life sacred –except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.” Qr 6:151. Again in Qr 5:32, this time reference to Moses and ancient Israel was made tasking Muslim faithfuls to follow the same law on killing “…., we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people.”
Even worst is that the tactics of the group have been mostly suicide bombing in the false expectation of dying a martyr to be warmly greeted by some virgin ladies in the hereafter. Qr 49:29-30 says “O you who believe, do not consume each others’ properties illicitly – only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. God is Merciful towards you .Anyone who commits these transgressions, maliciously and deliberately, we will condemn him to Hell. This is easy for God to do.” Taking the broadest interpretation of this verse with a special interest in killing,all suicide bombers shall rot in the bottomless pit of Hell as a recompense for someone who takes his/her live ,regardless of the benefits of the ‘sacrifice to God’s cause’. Suicide is a sacriligeous sin against The Maker.
In addition, to counter any clergical argument for suicide made by some misleading political scholars, a verse says “God never advocates sin . Are you saying about God what you do not know?” 7:28. The simple metaphor of suicide bombing which encourages a sinful act in order to make the enemy suffer,is like asking soldiers to rape women and girls to psychologically crush the minds and hearts of the enemies. Definitely,God whom the muslim qur’an exhort as the most gracious and the most merciful did not permit suicide of any kind.
From the foregoing, one has been able to observe from the Quran that the methodology of Boko Haram is anything but Islamic. Although many disillusioned Nigerian youths might be tempted by the group’s Eldorado-promised manifesto of an egalitarian society, but since their tactics employed is causing more fitna (havoc and tribulation) than the system they oppose, Nigerian youths can only take the Islamic advice of choosing the lesser evil between two alternative dead ends, and support the—yes ! clueless and insincere—government of President Jonathan in ending the bid’a (innovation) of the Dajjah-like sect (antichrist) called BOKO HARAM.
Omasoro Ovie Ali
World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE