A mob of Muslim students at a university in northern Nigeria beat a fellow student to death and burned her body on campus Thursday after accusing the woman of “blasphemy” against Islam for allegedly suggesting to her fellow students that they will stop posting religious content in an instant run by students. messaging group, the Nigerian online newspaper Paradise News reported on Friday.
“Muslim students at the Shehu Shagari College of Education accused a Hausa Christian, Deborah Yakubu, of blasphemy; they beat her colleague to death and burned her body. Ms. Yakubu reportedly protested against the posting of religious messages on the student platform Whatsapp. Her protest angered some Muslim students who mobilized and subsequently killed her,” Paradise News reported on May 13.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a practicing Muslim, issued a statement confirming Yakubu’s death on May 13, while at the same time appearing to apologize for his barbaric murder.
Buhari referred to Yakubu’s action that allegedly made her the target of his fatal beating on May 12 (i.e. urging his peers to refrain from posting religious content in an official student-run Whatsapp messaging group ) as a “transgression” against Islam.
In addition, he appeared to suggest that the fatal acts of violence perpetrated against Yakubu were justified under Nigerian law, but simply lamented that the mafia responsible for his death had taken justice into their own hands.
“Muslims around the world demand respect for the Holy Prophets, including Isah (Alaihissalaam, Jesus Christ) and Muhammad (SAW) [sic]Buhari said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu.
“But when violations occur, as alleged in this case, the law does not allow anyone to take action on the matter,” he said.
“Furthermore, religious leaders preach that it is not for the believer to judge another person’s actions. The constituted authority should be allowed to deal with such matters when they arise,” the Nigerian president continued.
“No person has the right to take justice into their own hands in this country. Violence has solved and will never solve any problem,” Buhari added.
Where is the international outrage and condemnation? Why isn’t Joe Biden holding a press conference to condemn him right now? https://t.co/d3AX86wU21
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 1, 2021
Buhari’s statement offered his perfunctory condolences to Yakubu’s family and further revealed that an unknown number of additional victims were injured to an undisclosed degree during the mob attack on Yakubu.
“The president extended the nation’s condolences to the family of the deceased student and wished all those injured a speedy recovery,” the Nigerian daily reported. Vanguard noted Buhari’s May 13 press release.
Vigilante mobs attacks on people accused of “blasphemy” against Islam occur sporadically in northern Nigeria. The region is majority Muslim and is home to a few states, such as Kano, that enforce Islamic law (sharia) along with customary law.
“Under a northern Nigerian version of sharia (Islamic law), blasphemy is a capital offence, although execution is rarely carried out. Under national secular law, the penalty is two years in prison,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
“Nigeria’s federal constitution explicitly guarantees absolute religious freedom; however, in an apparent contradiction, blasphemy… is a crime, albeit a lesser one than under sharia,” CFR noted in September 2020.
“The country [Nigeria]’s Penal Code prohibits any act that publicly insults any religion and stipulates a prison sentence of up to two years, while there are Islamic blasphemy laws in sharia courts in 12 northern states,” Al Jazeera observed. the 12th of May.
A court in the northern Nigerian state of Kano sentenced an atheist man to 24 years in prison in April on charges of “blasphemy” for a Facebook statement the man posted in April 2020 that the court found offensive to Islam.
While the north of Nigeria is majority Muslim, the southern region of the country is majority Christian. Nigeria’s estimated population of 215.6 million is roughly split 50-50 between Islam and Christianity. The nation’s current president, Buhari, is a Muslim from the Fulani ethnic tribe. Muslim Fulani cattle herders have terrorized Christian communities in Nigeria for years. Critics have accused Buhari of failing to adequately curb anti-Christian terrorism led by Fulani tribes since he was elected president in May 2015.
International Christian Concern estimated in August 2020 that “between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians have been killed by radical Islamists” in Nigeria over the past decade.