Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cat kills at least nine in Nigeria

I read this online and wondered what was going on.
At least nine Christians were killed, churches set on fire and businesses and homes destroyed in the Tundun Wada area of Kano State, Nigeria, over the weekend. The violence was committed by Muslim youths and followed unspecified allegations that Christians had blasphemed the prophet Mohammed.
No mainstream reporting, no explanation of what constituted the blasphemy, no context.
Then I found this at Isaac Schrodinger:

Offensive Cat Leads to Death

News from last week:

Over nine people have been reported killed while churches and houses owned by Christians have allegedly been burnt down. Shops belonging to Igbo traders were reportedly set on fire while three pastors have been arrested and kept in custody.


He said an internet cartoon emanating from a 20-year-old Muslim boy from Bangladesh had apparently sparked off the crisis.

Salifu said, "Information available to me is that almost all the churches within that local government area have been razed down and shops belonging to Christians have been razed down and in houses where they dwelled in, we have been told that they have been ejected and their property brought out and burnt.

3rd World View via Gateway Pundit:

Still somewhat cryptic. What, after all, has a cat to do with it?

Next we have to go to Mahmud's Weblog and the light begins to dawn:
I can't reproduce the cartoon -- after all, it is banned. But here's the exchange it depicts. A tall man in a cap asks a young boy holding a cat, "What is your name?" The kid says, "Babu." The man says, "You're supposed to say Mohammed before a name." And he asks the boy again, "What is your father's name?" The boy says, "Mohammed Abbu." Then pointing at the cat, the man asks, "What's that in your hands?" You can guess the rest.
It is a cartoon drawn by a young (Muslim) cartoonist in Bangladesh. But what's the business with every name having to begin Mohammed?
Enlightenment is available in one of the comments:
we should recall how the most south Asian Muslim name bears Mohammad as first name. During British rule in Indian subcontinent, Muslim and Hindu cultured mixed together and Muslims were taking Hindu names. That’s why scholars at time suggested keeping “Mohammad” as first name. So, it was purely religious matter to distinguish from Hindu. You won’t find this trend in Middle East countries.

Now the why question. Why does this stir up the Muslims in Northern Nigeria?
Here's The 3rd World View's take on it:
Good question. Because quarters like Hizbut Tahrir tries to keep this issue alive with protests in London apparently to amplify their demands like estabishing Sharia rule and Khilafat.
The brief article goes on to give a link to this in Ummah News Links:
The question is: how could a cartoon, allegedly offensive to Muslims, drawn in a far-off land―that too, by a Muslim―anger Muslims of Nigeria to such an extent that they go on killing any non-Muslim come within their reach? A similar savagery by Muslims took place in India in 1921 CE. When the Ottoman caliphate was facing the prospect of collapse, the Muslims of India, then under British rule, started the Khilafat Andolon (Caliphate Movement). Its aim was not only to protect the integrity of the Ottoman caliphate, but also to integrate India into that caliphate, after ousting the British rulers. And unsurprisingly, our Mahatma Gandhi happily joined this movement.

However, as the Ottoman caliphate faced a definite collapse, it hurt and angered Indian Muslims so much that the Mopla Muslims of Malabar (Kerala) vented their anger upon their Hindu neighbors. They went on a barbaric spree of killing, rapes and pillage leading to thousands of deaths and rapes of the Hindus. This episode became known as the Mopla rebellion.

The 3rd World View describes this commentary as `a bit harsh against Muslims' but predicts more such `because of these opportunists who are destroying the image of Islam.'

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