C.A.N, Donald Trump, the Nigerian Media and Islamophobia, By Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The discussions between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Donald Trump during the Nigerian president’s official visit to the U.S. on Monday and President Trump’s declaration on killings in Nigeria is capable of further dividing Nigerians, by saying that the “killing of Christians in Nigeria was unacceptable” to the American government

President Trump on Monday said, “we have had very serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed in Nigeria. We are going to be working on that problem… because we can’t allow that to happen.”

As usual, Mr. Donald Trump has missed the road again. His statement puts to shame and leaves presidential norms in the dust. It is prejudiced, parochial and uncivilised. Mr. Trump’s statement makes a mockery of democracy. And it is sheer interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.

Mr. Trump’s comment is one-sided and uncomplimentary and signalled his hatred for Muslims and Islam in Nigeria. To make the claim about a nation where innocent souls are wasted with recourse to their tribe, race, religion, region or political affiliations is a call to separatism. And the call for separatism when the world is advocating for collectivism is not a healthy sign. It is divisive and insincere at this point in time.

I wonder if President Trump is not aware of or deliberately ignored the murder of several Muslims in a Mosque at the University of Maiduguri, or those killed in Mosques in Yobe, Adamawa, Borno, Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States; and many other parts of the country.

Mr. Donald Trump’s comment on killings in Nigeria implies that he would prefer that if it is Muslims alone who are being killed.

President Muhammadu Buhari should have defended us there by telling Mr. Trump that his claim was wrong, but he allowed the international bully to intimidate him and the country with his naive and skewed characterisation of falsehood.

We call on all the respected world leaders to ignore insinuations that Muslims are not against terrorism. Let me reiterate that as Muslims we condemn and reject all forms of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, rebellion, and oppression in whatever name they are being perpetrated.

Also unfortunately, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Wednesday, April 25, 2018, called on its members across the country to hold demonstrations and protests after church services over the killings across the country. As a result of this call, Christians in many part of Nigeria held protests on Sunday, April 29, 2018.

But what we actually want any right-thinking person to understand is that, Christians have not been the only victims of the killings around Nigeria. Muslims are losing hundreds of the faithful on a daily/monthly basis in the North-East, as Boko Haram terrorists unleash terror on the predominantly Muslim populace.

Many Muslims are being killed in Zamfara, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Kaduna, Taraba, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue and Plateau States on a daily/monthly basis.

We condemn in the strongest term the public protests against what Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) falsely describe as “killing of Christians in the country.”

What does the CAN aim at achieving with these protests? Are they saying they are the most affected by the recent killings in the country or what? Do they want to use the killings to score cheap political goals? Are the CAN claiming to be more passionate than any other religious group on recent issues as it affects our nation or are they planning towards the 2019 general elections? Is CAN sympathising with the victims of the recent killings in the country or is it articulating the voice of some politicians who want to bring chaos and confusion into the country?

We are truly saddened that the CAN leadership is protesting on the false claim that “only Christians are being killed” under the regime of a Muslim president!

My people! Let’s be patient. It’s just Islamophobia. The fear for the development and progress of Islam and Muslims, which gave birth to their hatred against Islam and Muslims!

Dear Servants of Allah! A phobia has been defined as a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous, or it’s a strong fear, dislike, or aversion. When checking the various kinds of phobia some people suffer from, it’ll amaze you that they range from being afraid of water, mirrors or even working.

Islam is the religion sent to all of the Messengers in the general meaning, but more specifically given to Muhammad. It refers to the belief that five pillars are obligatory: the testimony of absolutely ONE deity worthy of worship – Allah; His final Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him); to establish the Prayers; to fast in the month of Ramadan; to pay the Zakah; and to travel on Hajj. Islam has six tenets of faith: Muslims believe in Allah as Lord, His Angels, the scriptures sent to the Prophets, they accept all of the Messengers, believe in Angels, recognise that there is a Judgment Day, and testify that there is fate; which we must accept either good or bad.

That is Islam in the least amount of words; hence attaching phobia to it has to be defined as a person afraid of its tenets, or any person who accepts and believes in them.

The media-driven fear, racial hatred, and some non-Muslims’ hostility toward Islam and the Muslims were created by a standard image of linking Muslims and their religion to all acts of terrorism today. This has resulted in discrimination and the biased profiling of Muslims in social and civic life. This form of stereotyping existed in the three continents of Asia, Europe, and Africa during the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Many conclusions were drawn from his message and teachings from people of propaganda.

Allah sent Muhammad with the message of Islam as a mercy to everything created. He said:

“And We have sent you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) not but as a mercy for the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).”

The state of the people during the time Islam appeared is similar to what we witness today. People in Persia were Zoroastrians, while in some other regions Christianity and Judaica were more prevalent, except in Makkah where paganism was dominant. In China and Japan Buddhism was the religion of the state.

The fact that Prophet Muhammad appeared on the scene inviting people to worship One God only represented the reality that they needed to change their belief and behaviours; which are among two of the most difficult things to change in a human being. By nature, people tend to feel troubled when it comes to change. People go through two crucial cycles that require a caller to have patience. The first is denial, and then anger and resistance. The feeling of people who reject Islam are connected to their status and threat of the things they did to get where they are incorrect, and thus would require change; so they create a phobia for themselves.

Take Fir’awn (Pharaoh), for example, Allah the Almighty said:

“Fir’awn (Pharaoh) said: “Leave me to kill Musa (Moses), and let him call his Lord (to stop me from killing him)! I fear that he may change your religion, or that he may cause mischief to appear in the land!” [Surah Ghafir: 24]

Fir’awn (Pharaoh) was afraid people would realise he wasn’t the great Almighty with the entire power.

Also ponder over the fear of Queen of Sheba. Allah said:

“She said: “Verily! Kings, when they enter a town (country), they despoil it, and make the most honourable amongst its people low. And thus they do.. “But verily! I am going to send him a present, and see with what (answer) the messengers return.”So when (the messengers with the present) came to Sulaiman (Solomon), he said: “Will you help me in wealth? What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay, you rejoice in your gift!”[Then Sulaiman (Solomon) said to the chief of her messengers who brought the present]: “Go back to them. We verily shall come to them with hosts that they cannot resist, and we shall drive them out from there in disgrace, and they will be abased.” [Surah An-Naml:34-37]

She was afraid of losing her might is Suleiman was to conquer her land.

Take the actions of the Pagans in Ahqaf into consideration. Allah the Most High said:

“They said: “Have you come to turn us away from our aliha (gods)? Then bring us that with which you threaten us, if you are one of the truthful!”[Surah Al-Ahqaf: 22]

Plainly put, the ideology of Islamophobics isn’t anything new and goes back to where it started with the Messenger Nuh (Noah) and up to the last Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions were patient in calling to Allah’s Religion with all of the abuse and torture they faced.

Imam Ibn Ishaq said:

“Every Arab tribe abused, imprisoned, and even cut off the Companion’s food and water supply.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Islamophobia during the time of the Prophet meant everyone who followed him were to be met with physical abuse until they left Islam or followed the status quo.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“Allah protected the Prophet through his uncle, Abu Talib. However, there were Companions who faced the consequences of Islamophobia during their lives and among them were; Uthman Ibn Affan, Az-Zubair Ibn Al-Awam, Zinnirah, Mus’ab Ibn Umair, Bilal Ibn Rabah, Sa’id Ibn Zaid, An-Nahdiya, Al-Yasir, Abu Fukhaiha, Suhaib Ar-Rumi, Kabbab Ibn Ar-Ratt, Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas, Khalid Ibn Sa’id (RA).”

– Uthman Ibn Affan (RA)

Uthman Ibn Affan’s uncle used to tie him in the hot sun and say to him, “Are you abandoning the religion of your father for a newly invented religion?” By Allah, I won’t set you free until you leave Islam, but Uthman replied, “I swear by Allah I will never leave and when uncle saw that he was firm in his convictions, he set him free.

– Zubair Ibn Al-Awwam (RA)

Zubair Ibn Al-Awwam’s uncle used to torture him by tying him to a mat then lighting a fire around it, saying, “ return to this disbelief.” Az-Zubair said: “Never.”

– Zinnirah (RA)

Zinnirah was a slave girl who Abu Bakr As-Sadiq (RA) freed. After she was freed she lost her sight and the Quraish used to say that Al-Lat and Al-Uzzah (their idols) caused her to go blind. She denied it and swore by Allah that this wasn’t the reason, and later on her sight was returned. Before being set free she used to be tormented severely.

– Mus’ab Ibn Umair (RA)

Mus’ab was a handosme young man in Makkah whom his parents both loved dearly. They use to spend money on him so that he could wear the finest clothes. Mus’ab was imprisoned until the 1st migration to Habasha (Ethiopia) happened and after returning to Makkah his appearance changed a bit and his mother distanced herself from him.

– Bilal Ibn Rabah (RA)

Bilal’s slave master, Umayyah Ibn Khalaf used to drag Bilal to the public square in the middle of the day and have lie flat on his back then order that a huge boulder be placed on his chest. Umayyah used to say to Bilal this is going to continue until you die or leave Islam and Bilal’s reply was, “There’s only one Allah, there’s only one Allah.

– Sa’id Ibn Zayd (RA)

Umar Ibn Al-Khattab before becoming a Muslim was responsible for the torture of Sa’id for the mere fact he was a Muslim.

– An-Nahdiya (RA)

An-Nahdiya and her daughter were both tortured and Abu Bakr As-Sadiq freed them both.

– Al-Yasir (RA)

Ammar Ibn Yasir, his mother and father were those who were weak, and oppressed, and tortured in Makkah, and ordered to apostate. Abu Jahl was responsible for bringing them to the town square in the middle of the day when it was the hottest for torture. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to pass by them saying, “Remain patient family of Yasir, as you are guaranteed Jannah.”

Ammar’s mother, Sumayyah (RA) is considered the first martyr in Islam at the hands of Abu Jahl. Ammar was burned, drowned and tortured until he couldn’t take it no more, so he cursed the Prophet, and praised the idols of the pagans. This wore heavy on his chest so he visited the Prophet (Peace be upon him) crying and informed him of what he did. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) wiped the tears from his eyes and the verse was revealed.

“Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith but such as open their breasts to disbelief, on them is wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a great torment.” [Surah An-Nahl,106]

– Abu Fukhaiha (RA)

Bani Abduddar used to punish Abu Fukhaiha in the middle of the day by placing a hot rock on his back while he was chained up.

– Khalid Ibn Sa’ad Ibn Al-As (RA)

Khalid used to stay close to the messenger of Allah and pray in the valleys where no one could see him. Once this news reached Abu Uhaiha, he ordered that Khalid be brought up so that he could apostate. Khalid remained firm and said, “I’ll die as a Muslim and never leave Islam.”

Abu Uhaiha interests a hit Khalid with a pole until it cracked on his head. After this Khalid was imprisoned. While incarcerated they didn’t serve him water or food and this lasted for about 3 days until he saw an exit and broke free and migrated to Ethiopia.

– Suhaib Ar-Rumi (RA)

Suhaib Ibn Ar-Rumi was among the Companions of the Prophet who were tortured and oppressed in Makkah.

– Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas (RA)

Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas wasn’t actually tortured physically, but rather he went through a mental torture. His mother vowed to boycott him and starve herself to death unless he apostate from Islam. Sa’ad’s mother said you claim Allah advises you to treat your parents with kindness, then what about me, am I not your mother?! and I order you to leave Islam. Sa’ad said remain firm and the people in the streets say to him, “here’s the one who killed his mother.” After three days of her of hunger strike, Sa’ad went to his mother and said if you were given a 100 souls and did this to each soul, I would never leave Islam. When she saw he was adamant about his religion she ate and Allah revealed the verse:

“And We have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents, but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not.” [Surah Al-Ankabut: 8]

And the verse:

“And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents.” [Surah Luqman:15]

– Khabbab Ibn Ar-Ratt (RA)

Khabbab Ibn Ar-Ratt faced the most severe of punishment. He used to be punished by everyone who found out he was a Muslim in Makkah. He used to be placed in the fire and it would burn until it was said the fat of his body is what caused the fire to stop burning.

These are some of the heartfelt stories of the Companions who faced Islamophobia in their lives and remained patient. The solution to combat Islamophobia is found in the following verses:

Allah the Most High said:

“O you who believe! When you meet (an enemy) force, take a firm stand against them and remember the Name of Allah much (both with tongue and mind), so that you may be successful.”

“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength depart, and be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).”

Allah ordered those striving in his path with five things and any group of people that carry these five things will be successful against their enemies; regardless of their size and might:

1. Take a firm stand.

2. Remember the Name of Allah much.

3. Obey Allah and His Messenger.

4. Do not dispute (with one another).

5. And be patient.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“These five things are what build the dome of help. Whenever some of these things are non-existent then the help of Allah is weakened equivalently to what’s lacking. On the other hand, when all of these things exist the strength of them, aides, each other. Therefore he becomes a force to reckon with by Allah’s help. When the Companions lived they had all of these five things mentioned and no nation could stand up against them. They conquered the world and established Islam. The nations that came after them differed and became weak until the point of what we are witnessing today.” [See Al-Furusiyyah, page 326-327]

My respected people! This is islamophobia in brief. The fear of Muslim’s development and progress which gave birth to the hatred they have about Islam and Muslims. We ask Allah for his protection.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! As I’m writing this piece, the Nigerian police and Adamawa State Government have confirmed the killing of 27 Muslim worshippers inside a Mosque in a twin-explosion, in Mubi, Adamawa State, North-east Nigeria yesterday (Tuesday).

Were President Donald Trump outside America and hears of twenty-four Americans dead, he would hold a press conference immediately and return to U.S. within 24 hours. But Mr Buhari would say no word and would remain in U.S. or outside the country for as long as he deems fit.

Please read the following Newspaper headlines in Nigeria today, Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 in order to understand the consequences of Mr Trump’s statement:

1. The PUNCH: “KILLING OF CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA MUST STOP” ~ Trump

2. Tribune: “PROTECT NIGERIANS AGAINST SPATE OF KILLINGS” ~ Trump

3. Vanguard: “KILLING OF CHRISTIANS UNACCEPTABLE” ~ Trump

4. The Guardian: “KILLING OF CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA IS UNACCEPTABLE” ~ Trump

I pray that May Allah continue to protect, guide and help our leaders and the lead. May Allah salvage our country from the evil of terrorists, bandits, and all kind of murderers, may Allah destroy their ranks and expose their sponsors. Ameen Ya Rabb!

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Your Brother,

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria.

News Reporter

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