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Northern Nigerian Muslims and Global Jihadism

Originally written by someone brave, who due to security reasons prefer to remain anonymous.
On Monday the 22nd of May 2017, Salman Ramadan Abedi, a 22-year-old Briton of Libyan ancestry, detonated an improvised explosive device as concertgoers were leaving an indoor arena in Hunts Bank, Manchester, England. Twenty-three people, including Abedi, were killed and approximately 120 were injured. If you are in Nigeria, especially northern part of the country, you may have witnessed several attacks like this in the last years. Although they have subsided in recent times, every now and then one terror attack or another is reported in Northeastern Nigeria. Once again, open condemnations from muslims and non-Muslims have followed the Manchester suicide bombing. Once again, embarrassed muslims (and liberal non-muslims) have come out to show how terrorism has no place in Islam. However, many people disagree and some are polite (or fearful) about this disagreement, including powerful leaders. 


Islam is sacrosanct in Northern Nigeria. Suffice to say that denouncing the religion can come with dire consequences. It’s just not something you do. Last year, a young man named Mubarak Bala from Kano bravely did just that. He announced he was an atheist and humanist, and rejected Islam. This came with serious consequences, including alienation from family and friends, physical assaults and death threats. It’s been over a year since this happened and TIA wanted to speak to Mubarak to hear what he had to say and to see how he was doing.

TIA: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

Mubarak Bala: I’m a chemical engineer. I was born in Kano State, northern Nigeria in the mid 80s. I attended the Saudi funded Islamic Foundation Aliyu Bin Abi Talib primary school. I was trained in the Wahhabi Islamic thought, with a jihad ideology. I later attended an all-Muslim private science secondary school, Hassan I. Gwarzo, in Kano State, where Islamic (Qur’anic) study is given a very …

The Almajiri System

Originally posted on: Affairs of Our Nation Saturday September 1st, 2012.

‘Isn’t there present among you, a single good Man!?’No society or nation would prosper, when the so-called elite, do not think for the less endowed majority. Society term all above the age of forty as wise, but I see no wisdom in my society, none in my nation. For how could there be, in a society that condones a system that rots the lives of its children, a staggering 10 million of them (Fed. Min. of Education, 2011 estimate), currently, not to talk of those that grew out of it, and babies yet admitted. Regrettably, apparently everyone had turned a blind eye.

When did a sophisticated system, well intentioned, divert so dismally? I say this is not Islam, because if it were, it would have been practiced in Mecca, Medina, Tehran, Basra, Cairo, Damascus, Dubai, Jakarta or Islamabad. This practice is unique only to black Africa, West Africa to be precise, and where it grinds most; Northern Nigeria, with an estimated po…