Muslim identity and thought in Nigeria derive from the Sufi brotherhoods of Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya, primarily as a result of the historical role of the Kanem-Borno and Sokoto caliphates in the spread of Islam. The Sufi orders and the Izalatul Bidi’a wa Ikhamatis Sunnah (People Committed to the Removal of Innovations in Islam; hereafter Izala) are the two dominant contemporary Muslim foci of identity. The disdain towards and fear of boko (Western education) arose from its historically close association with the colonial state and Christian missionaries. This also suited colonial educational policy well, as the British had no intention of widespread education anyway. The aim of colonial education, particularly in northern Nigeria, was to maintain the existing status quo by imparting some literacy to the aristocratic class, to the exclusion of the commoner classes (Tukur 1979: 866). By the 1930s, colonial education had produced a limited cadre of Western-educated elite, who were conscious of their education and were yearning to play a role in society. Mainly children of the aristocratic class, the type of education they received was different from the traditional education in their various societies and this by itself was enough to mark them out as a group (Kwanashie 2002: 50). This new education enabled them to climb the social and economic ladder over and above their peers who had a different kind of education, Quranic education. This was the origin of the animosity and distrust between the traditionally educated and Western-educated elite in northern Nigeria. Though subordinate to the Europeans, these educated elite were perceived as collaborators by their Arabic-educated fellows. Thus the antagonism towards Western education continues in many northern Nigerian communities, which have defied government campaigns for school enrollment to this day.
Kyari Mohammed
Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism and says in His Book: 'But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)'; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders....All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in 'Al- Mughni,' Imam al-Kisa'i in 'Al-Bada'i,' al-Qurtubi in his interpretation and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: 'As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life.'On that basis and in compliance with Allah's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, 'and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.'...We -- with Allah's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson....Almighty Allah also says: 'O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.'Almighty Allah also says: 'So lose no heart, nor fall into despair. For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith.'[World Islamic Front Statement, 23 February 1998]
Osama bin Laden
So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: .' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality,' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.
Christopher Hitchens
I ran across an excerpt today (in English translation) of some dialogue/narration from the modern popular writer, Paulo Coelho in his book: Aleph.(Note: bracketed text is mine.)... 'I spoke to three scholars,' [the character says 'at last.'] ...two of them said that, after death, the [sic (misprint, fault of the publisher)] just go to Paradise. The third one, though, told me to consult some verses from the Koran. [end quote]' ...I can see that he's excited. [narrator]' ...Now I have many positive things to say about Coelho: He is respectable, inspiring as a man, a truth-seeker and an appealing writer; but one should hesitate to call him a 'literary' writer based on this quote. A 'literary' author knows that a character's excitement should be 'shown' in his or her dialogue and not in the narrator's commentary on it. Advice for Coelho: Remove the 'I can see that he's excited' sentence and show his excitement in the phrasing of his quote.(Now, in defense of Coelho, I am firmly of the opinion, having myself written plenty of prose that is flawed, that a novelist should be forgiven for slipping here and there.)Lastly, it appears that a belief in reincarnation is of great interest to Mr. Coelho ... Just think! He is a man who has achieved, (as Leonard Cohen would call it), 'a remote human possibility.' He has won lots of fame and tons of money. And yet, how his preoccupation with reincarnation—none other than an interest in being born again as somebody else—suggests that he is not happy!
Roman Payne