Miss Deborah Samuel
The Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria, MMPN has condemned in strong terms the jungle justice meted out to a girl, Deborah Samuel in Sokoto state on the excuse of committing blasphemy against the Prophet of Islam, describing such action as anti-Islam, barbaric and sad.
A statement by the National President of MMPN, Abdur-Rahman Balogun in Abuja, described the case of mob killing of the girl in Sokoto as a criminal offence in Islamic law.
Quoting from Qur’an 5 verse 32 where Allah says “We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”
The statement explains that the punishment for any offence in Islamic law is decided by a judge and no other member of the public has that jurisdiction.
It says In essence, it is a criminal offence in the Shari’ah of Islam for anyone or any group to take the law into their own hands, even if it is a crime committed against the state, it is when the specific punishment is prescribed in the Qur’an or Hadith, only a competent judge of a Shari’ah court is allowed to approve of the witnesses and evidence, and to give the sentence for the execution of the appropriate punishment.
Alhaji Balogun says anyone who takes the law into their hands is a crime that should be punished for their crime.
MMPN also commends the immediate action of the Sultanate Council and His Eminence Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar for condemning the criminal act and call for calm pending the outcome of the investigation panel set up by the Sokoto state government.
It says the body of Muslim Media Practitioners joins all others to condemn the barbaric act and call for immediate justice for any individual or group of people found guilty of perpetrating the dastardly act.
The statement says what happened in Sokoto is a manifestation of ignorance of what the religion of Islam preaches, hence the need for Islamic scholars to renew their commitments to preaching peace, love, tolerance and understanding as taught by the Prophet Muhammad himself.
It says during his lifetime, he was maligned, insulted and attacked but he didn’t retaliate or order his people to prosecute any of them, hence, people accepted Islam during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad because of his exemplary and worthy character.
The National President of the MMPN, Alhaji Abdurahman Balogun prayed for peace and unity in the country.
Writing by Hamza Alkali; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino