The Nigerian reformer, free-market activist and writer, reflects on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Nigeria:
He writes: "In a state in northern Nigeria where Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, its former governor, publicly burned secular books eight years ago, nine people have been sentenced to death for blasphemy. Abdul Inyas, Hajia Mairo Ibrahim and seven others were convicted of disrespecting the Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be unto Him) and sentenced to death in a closed sharia court in Kano during the fasting month of Ramadan.
This is not unusual in Nigeria’s most populous state and second largest city. A religious riot killed over 100 people in 2001. Amina Lawal was sentenced to death by stoning in 2002 for adultery, resulting in the boycott and relocation of the Miss World beauty contest that was scheduled to have been held in Nigeria. Her conviction was later overturned after an appeal buoyed by a global outcry. Earlier this year in April, churches were burnt and a pastor’s daughter was killed in the process. The present governor, Mallam Abdullahi Ganduje, presided over the destruction of truckloads of alcoholic drinks.
In a state where they have burned books, it is no surprise they are killing people for dissent and punishing people who have chosen a different lifestyle, a right the constitution of the country allows in all parts of the federation."
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