By Usama Abdullahi
Two things are so sure in life. The first is we are all going to die someday. The second is a person is most likely to suffer for being honest at all times. However, in this recent case of Sheikh Nuru Khalid, we can attest to the second fact.
You don’t expect anything good from people who hate hearing and being told the truth. It doesn’t surprise me to see Sheikh Nuru Khalid being unfairly relieved of his role as the Chief Imam of the Apo Legislative Mosque by the Mosque Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Dan Sadau.
For that’s what you get when you decide to stick with the truth. My fear is not him being fired for speaking against the cruelty of this present government but how politicians manipulate our religious leaders. They use them as baits to help tame or silence the veracious clerics who speak truth to power. This has been the norm for many years now. What makes it look appalling is that those easily manipulated clerics reduce themselves to mere sycophants.
Aside from getting lured into misquoting the Holy Books and preaching only what best suits the hearing of their political godfathers, they try to persuade their followers to believe all the rubbishes they preach. So, to be sincere, I wasn’t surprised when I learnt of the dismissal of the “Digital Imam” over his true statement about the government. It’s not like what the media paints. His sermons weren’t anti-government.
Yes, his Friday sermon was just a simple reminder and awareness of how to call our hardened and irresponsible government to task. Sheikh Nuru Khalid doesn’t speak for himself alone. He represents the voice of the oppressed masses who brought this government to power through their votes. Only the patriotic and religious ones will fully understand what he preaches. They are the only ones who will realise that this government doesn’t care about the plight of the poor citizens who voted them to power.
It’s so disappointing that he got sacked because of his intestinal fortitude and truthfulness. I saw this coming, considering how fierce he’s lately been in criticising this government for their failure to secure the lives of the people they had sworn to defend. I see his calculated dismissal as more of a politically advised plan to compel him to complete silence so that they will continue to suppress us by being neglectful regarding safeguarding our vulnerable lives without him chastising them for their ugly sins.
What frustrates me more is knowing that his dismissal letter was full of grammatical inaccuracies and negotiated by people who are said to be genuine Muslims. Yet, their actions betray their faith and academic standings. Islam neither promotes nor tolerates such despicable acts. It’s the religion of peace. Hence, there’s no room for what they did in Islam.
We should be happy that he still breathes because we have seen how some of his likes were slain for saying the same thing. In case you forget, truth-telling cost Sheikh Jaafar and Albany Zaria their noble lives. So, it’s little wonder that the Digital Imam was just sacked. We’ll never get it better by hiding under the pretence of religion to promote and cover up the faults and interests of those usually self-seeking politicians. Accordingly, it’s unfair to deny our clerics the podium to speak truth to power simply because of political gains.
Usama Abdullahi wrote from Abuja, Nigeria. He can be reached via email@example.com
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