Soyinka Calls For Sack Of Auja Imam Over ‘Muslim Redlines’ Comment

Wole Soyinka
Wole Soyinka

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka said on Sunday that Ibrahim Maqari, the Imam of the National Mosque, should be fired for his statements on Islam’s “redlines.”

Deborah Yakubu, a female student at Sokoto’s Shehu Shagari College of Education, was slain by a mob on May 12 for supposed blasphemy.

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During this time, Maqari used his Twitter profile to suggest that Deborah deserved to die.

The Imam tweeted;

It should be known to everyone that we the Muslims have some red lines beyond which MUST NOT be crossed. The dignity of the Prophet (PBUH) is at the forefront of the red lines.

If our grievances are not properly addressed, then you should not be criticized for addressing them ourselves.

Soyinka accused Maqari of instructing his followers to take laws into their own hands during the launch of the late Ibrahim Attahiru’s biography in Abuja.

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He asked that the Islamic cleric be removed from office and called for an end to such atrocities in the name of religion.

The Nobel Laureate said;

To anyone who cares to listen, Maqari has implicitly directed his followers to take the law into their own hands in the name of religion, and in a nation beset on all sides by wars of ultra-nationalism and religious fanaticism.

That is the message of a supposedly holy man to youths, to us, his message to a nation embroiled in a madness of multiple insurgencies.

The young woman, Deborah, he declared, deserved her death. This mullah, allegedly a man of learning, since his name is professorially captioned, says that there is a line, a red line that none of us must cross, no matter who we are, what we think, profess or value.

So there we are arbitrary lines crisscrossing, drawn by individuals and constituencies of beliefs and non-beliefs, of power and aspirants of power. Nowhere do the belligerents profess the common constitutional line and the boundaries of legitimate conduct that supposedly define the imperatives of cohabitation and respect for a human commonality known as – life.

Soyinka further explained it is time for all group interests to draw their lines, determining where they meet, run parallel, and diverge and/or snarl into a chaotic maze. If Professor Grand Imam Maqari can draw a line in the sand, the rest of the community of equal rights must follow suit, but in a less savage, murderous manner, and with complete respect for human dignity.

Professor Maqari, the renegade of humanity’s creed, must be removed from office. It is no longer adequate for everyone to proclaim that Islam is this and that, that Sharia is this and that, and that Prophet Mohammed set this and that example and made this and that humanistic declaration, he noted.



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