While many Muslims want a society like that of the free West, others want a society free of the influence of the West. This is the principle that causes rancor and always splits Northern Nigeria atwo every time Rahma Sadau features centrally in these reoccurring controversies.
I especially remember the one in 2017 when she hugged the rapper, ClassiQ in a music video. The reason I remember this one is because she was invited to a panel at the maiden edition of the Kaduna Book and Arts Festival. There, feminists spoke rightly of the hypocrisy of men, then sought to excuse and even praised Sadau’s behavior.
I spoke that day. And your guess is correct; what I said wasn’t liked much. What did I say? I said that even as the condemnation and the vile hate Ms. Sadau received is unjustifiable, and should be rightly condemned, the fact of the matter, and which we mustn’t lose sight of, is that what she did was inconsistent with the dictates of her religion, and anybody who tells her otherwise is lying.
You see, many people might disagree but I am an open-minded person, and I like to say that things should not be seen as black or white. That is why I try to silence my bias so as to see the merit in the arguments of extreme positions.
Nigeria is a secular state, thus, constitutionally; Sadau has the right to dress as she sees fit, and this why those who condemn her behavior claim to be doing it in the name of Islam, and for the love they have for her. If this is true, it cannot be perceived in the many vile words we have seen against her. Why is it not enough to say that that kind of behavior is un-islamic and leave it alone? If you wish to do more because you love a Muslim sister why not then put her in your prayers seeing as guidance is from Allah alone?
Personally, I feel that if one is conscious enough of their own sins (and we are all sinners) they wont have the energy to so furiously condemn another to hell. But let us leave righteous Muslims to their righteousness.
Let us turn here to those who defend Sadau’s behaviour: the feminists, the non-Muslims and the detractors of northern Nigeria. You beautiful set of people who saw this as an opportunity to berate Islam by sharing the experiences you have had with Muslims, why is it that the only behaviour of Muslims you echo and hold up as example of what Muslims truly are is the exemption and not the norm? Why is it that you scarcely speak of the decency and honesty of the many Muslims you have encountered? And why is it so difficult to understand and divorce the bad behaviours of individual Muslims from the umbrella of Islam?
And tell me something else, since you say you support that women should dress as they see fit, why is this principle only applicable in cases where the dressing is opposed to the dictates of Islam? Because we pay attention to your rants and notice the loud silence every time Muslim women are forced to take off the hijab. Many of you even actively campaigned for this, yes. Your arguments are still out there justifying sending girl-children away from school because they won’t take off their hijabs. Nor have we forgotten your hypocrisy over the Call to Bar Hijab controversy.
Let us now turn finally to the clever-by-half compatriots who love us so much, so deeply so that they want us to have good roads and security and education —like them. These people of goodwill say that for us to be like them we must talk and breath about nothing else but the insecurity in the North, and speak of nothing else because it is impossible to discuss two issues simultaneously. Some even went as far as recording videos in Hausa to incite the youths of the north to further their political ambitions. Same good men and women with kind hearts who were silent when only recently in Oyingbo, Rivers state Muslims where attacked, slaughtered and burnt like goats.
But let us never mind this love from our compatriots that conveniently goes on and off. The incontestable fact of the matter is that nobody really cares about Rahma Sadau; neither the good Muslims barraging her, nor the good people encouraging her and chancing on this opportunity to disrespect the Prophet of God (PBUH). Ultimately, and I think Sadau is starting to understand that, she is only a piece in this game of chess of agendas of bigotry and hate.
Please plant a tree today.
The writer is on Twitter @ngugievuti