Still on the Kano Beheading: Gods must defend themselves


See. Lemme tell you what happened. They said there was an Igbo market woman by the name of Mrs Bridget Patience who allegedly blasphemed against the Prophet (SAW). The people around her were incensed by her words and so they beheaded her. In front of her husband. Because that’s what civilised people do when they have an argument, I think. Matter of fact, some say that the lady was beaten to death, and the God-forsaken heathens later went to the morgue to ask for the body that they might behead it – although this is a version of the story that I doubt.

Not to be seen as completely apathetic in these matters, the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, has communicated through his media and communications person, Salhu Tanko Yakassai, that the victim’s husband has been commiserated with and the main suspect in the beheading apprehended.

I don’t even know what that means. I wasn’t aware that there was anything like legal killing on the streets of Nigeria, so the tautology in the second part of the tweet is unnecessary.

Hmmmm…the suspect has been apprehended by the police. Listen, in these times of great unrest, full transparency must be given. The governor is not Obama, the perpetrator is not Bin Laden, and this is not war-torn Afghanistan. BRING HIM OUT!!

When the people are disgruntled though, incidents like the Kano beheading will become more and more common. People will give outlets to their anger where they feel they can. An innocent market woman will lose her life in the most grisly way imaginable in a public place because people think they can and the government allows for it.

Can we fight for a God? Can we move where a prophet cannot? Can we take the laws into our own hands because we think something offends our religious sensibilities?

Chinua Achebe, the great author, thought that we might and had this to say on the issue:

“It is not our custom to fight for our gods,” said one of them. “Let us not presume to do so now. If a man kills the sacred python in the secrecy of his hut, the matter lies between him and the god. We did not see it. If we put ourselves between the god and his victim we may receive blows intended for the offender. When a man blasphemes, what do we do? Do we go and stop his mouth? No. We put our fingers into our ears to stop us hearing. That is a wise action.”

-Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

May the soul of the dearly departed rest in eternal peace and may her survivors have the fortitude to bear the loss.


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