A leading member of the Coalition of Kano Ulama and an academic, Dr Muhammad Muslim Ibrahim, who also attended the dialogue between Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara and representatives of the Coalition, said in an interview with The Daily Reality that Kano Ulamas had done their parts. The rest was for the Kano State government to make the final decision.
Dr Muslim said, “The debate was well-organized and was just. Each contestant was allocated ten minutes to present their argument, followed by an additional five minutes for clarification, etc. Malam Abduljabbar was aware of the questions to be asked. They were nine questions formed from his blasphemous translations and utterances on Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), his companions and famous Hadith books – Sahihul Bukhari and Muslim. He said all this in his lessons, preachings and sermons.”
In the dialogue held on July 10, 2021, Sheikh Abduljabbar persistently complained about insufficient time to answer questions. He further protested that he was not aware of the debate’s guidelines. However, Dr Muslim countered these claims.
“This is nothing but denial and a look for a way out. The questions had been with him for months, and he was the one who urged that this debate should be held. Thus, he had to be more prepared than any of these scholars. Similarly, nobody was aware of the specifics of the arrangement of the debate as everything was in the hand of the government. Of course, we also wanted to have equal time for both parties, but he had more.”
Dr Muslim emphatically added that “Our representatives should have more time than Abduljabbar because his task was to defend those blasphemous remarks, but the judge of the sitting outrightly rejected our demand.”
On his expectation as the dialogue was over now, the cleric responded thus, “There are many views. Some say the government intended to have a reasonable point with which Abduljabbar can be legally convicted for making those blasphemous statements. However, now that it has been confirmed that Abduljabbar fabricated all those statements, it is the Kano State government that will decide his fate. So though some say the punishment of blasphemy in Islam is killing, I don’t think it will be possible here in Nigeria. So we should not talk about it because we will end up wasting our time.
But what I expect from the Kano State government is to continue banning him from leading prayers, giving lessons and or posting on social media. It is none of our intent for Abduljabbar to be jailed; we are afraid that he will use this opportunity to corrupt the inmates. But, If we are to follow what Allah says, the only option for Abduljabbar is to either repent or be killed if he refused. How I wish he will repent,” concluded Dr Muslim.