Killing of innocent Muslims during mourning ceremonies in Nigeria’s Kaduna State

2020-08-23 16:18:03

On August 22, 2020, on the orders of the governor of the State of Kaduna, the police attacked a Muharram mourning ceremony in the city of Kaduna, killing at least three people in a brutal attack and injuring many others who are now reported to be in critical condition!

Moreover, yesterday and following the end of the Muharram ceremony of Imam Hussein, on the orders of the governor of Kaduna State with the support of some thugs and the police, they raided the houses of Shiites to arrest them and, like the Yazidi army on the eve of Ashura, set fire to several houses of Allamah Seyyed Zakzaki's supporters.

Thus far, it has been reported that a number of houses have been burnt down and several people have been reported to be seriously injured.

One of the outrageous claims that is put forth to justify the killing of all these innocent Muslims is that they are opposed to the Government of Nigeria. The fact of the matter, however, is that in every country there are always people who oppose the government, but in no country can mere opposition to the government provide a basis for brutality against said people, let alone the ruthless killing thereof.

Another key point to keep in mind is that Nigeria is one of the most well-respected African countries in the world where, just like any great nation, Shiite Muslim are free to hold mourning ceremonies in any of the country's states. Apparently, it is only in the State of Kaduna, governed by Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, where such unforgivable acts of cruelty take place.

A recent wave of deadly attacks in the southern part of Nigeria’s restive Kaduna State has brought the seemingly never-ending cycle of communal violence and impunity in the state back into focus. The media reported that gunmen killed at least 43 people between July 21 to 24 and that 178 people were killed in the past 7 months across southern Kaduna communities.

The police haven’t commented on the identity of the perpetrators or the motivations behind the attacks. The state governor claimed the recent attacks were carried out by armed bandits terrorizing Nigeria’s northwest states, but media reports included witnesses attributing blame to a militia targeting southern Kaduna communities on ethnic grounds.

Kaduna State straddles the country’s ethnic and religious divide. Northern Kaduna’s population is largely Muslim and Hausa-Fulani, while southern Kaduna is predominantly Christian and home to some 30 ethnic groups. Relations between the Hausa-Fulani and communities in southern Kaduna have long been tense, stemming predominantly from competition over resources, including land, and political control. These tensions have often led to deadly ethnic violence.

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