Sunday, May 02, 2004

Nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, "We are Christians"

Governor Ahmed Sani of Zamfara State [Nigeria], has ordered the demolition of all churches in the state, as he launched the second phase of his Sharia project yesterday.

Speaking at the launch in Gusau, the state capital, Governor Sani disclosed that time was ripe for full implementation of the programme as enshrined in the Holy Quran.

He added that his government would soon embark on demolition of all places of worship of unbelievers in the state, in line with Islamic injunction to fight them wherever they are found.
via Abiola Lapite

UPDATE: Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka on the Islamic fundamentalist reaction to the prospect of the 2002 Miss World pageant being held in Nigeria
In order to stop the Miss World pageant from taking place on Nigerian soil, the fundamentalist agenda mounted a rampage. It was not sufficient that the organizers agreed to shift the date for the finale out of respect for Ramadan, the Muslim season of fasting and purification and - lest it be forgotten - peace. It was not sufficient that, as yet another concession, the absurd decision was taken that the competitors would not appear in swimsuits in the finale. Additionally, the head of state, President Olusegun Obasanjo, had earlier agreed to receive the contestants in a courtesy call; he withdrew in deference to Muslim sensibilities. All these merely whetted the appetite of the beast of intolerance, to whom a superficial loss of face can only be assuaged by a loss of lives.

The newspaper that allegedly committed the offense, ThisDay, published fulsome apologies and retraction of the publication that gave offense. This apology was sententiously accepted by Muslim leaders and the Supreme Islamic Council, laying emphasis that the newspaper in question showed contrition and remorse.

Nothing in the statement of the Muslim leaders, however, considered an expression of remorse necessary for the loss of innocent lives nor administered a stern rebuke to the fanatic hordes that swept through the streets of Kaduna, burning and butchering.

The pattern has become wearisomely familiar - an imagined slight or disrespect, even governmental failure to promptly acquiesce in unreasonable demands that infringe on the civic rights of others, and the response is violence unleashed on an unsuspecting populace!
Sooner or later, the issue of the freedom of expression must be addressed within societies such as mine, and the nature of due response that is permissible when such freedoms are held to have wounded the sensibilities of others.
The minds that we are dealing with feel obliged to prove, time and time again, that they would go to any lengths to impose their concept of appropriate human conduct on their immediate society and even on the world.

The parameters of "offense" are now totally without definition and have turned infinitely expansible. While they deny others the right of freedom of expression, they exercise theirs in the form of bloodletting.
The accommodating are in retreat on so many fronts, little understanding that every abandoned space of coexistence is immediately occupied by the aggressive agenda of fanatics. They advance again and again to demand and seize more concessions, more demands on the way of life of others.
via protein wisdom by way of Saturn in Retrograde

We've made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here!