ne of the first questions that is always asked by opponents of Sharia criminal code is, "why now?" Why did Shagari, Buhari, Babangida or Abacha not introduce this? The answer is quite simple if one understands the eight tenets of the Jihad. The Sharia was unnecessary because the infidels of the South were paying taxes to the believers in the North. When cessation of this involuntary taxation appeared threatened, Sharia was the route to the other tenets of the Jihad.
A typical non-Moslem thinks that Jihad means 'holy war'. It does but it does not always have to be violent. If you refuse to convert to Islam, you die (unless you can defend yourself). If you cannot defend yourself physically but want to live, there are certain things you can do and be allowed to exist (because you really can't call it living under those conditions).
It is my understanding that in Islam, fighting in religious wars (Jihad) is second only to the belief in Allah. Mohammed commanded Muslims to fight against all pagans, Christians and Jews who refuse to embrace Islam until they pay Jizya (taxes levied on non-Moslems). So one could continue his pagan, Jewish or Christian ways as long as they pay taxes to Muslims. How this tax helps God or the soul of the payee has not been spelled out. What else does the Jihad encompass? Here is what I've found.
The 8 Facets of Jihad
- Jihad of the sword: People either convert to Islam or are subdued by military force. This is what Uthman Dan Fodio did to the Hausas.
- Jihad of Taxation: Those who refuse to embrace Islam must pay a special tax called Al-Jizya. You get to live another day but under severe financial burden. I understand that in Saudi Arabia, non-Muslims are taxed at a higher rate than Muslims. This taxation will, over time it is hoped, get one to see the error of one's ways and then convert to Islam for the taxation to cease.
- Jihad of financial reward: It is not uncommon for a financial reward to be offered to Christians and Jews to convert to Islam. Free university education in Iraq for Jews or Christians who convert has been cited as an example of this practice.
- Jihad of fear: Any Muslim who renounces Islam for another religion has an automatic death penalty imposed upon him. Fear is therefore a tool to keep people in Islamic religion. I postulate that many Hausas and other minority Tribes-people in the north have remained Muslims for this reason.
- Jihad of slavery: Slavery of non-believers is allowed as is witnessed in Sudan where Dinka tribe Christians and Animists are routinely kidnapped for slavery and ransom. I interpret this to mean that non-Muslims have no right to a decent life here on earth, let alone the hereafter.
- Jihad of the courts: The testimony of a non-Muslim does not carry equal weight as that of a Muslim in their court. No Muslim should be killed for killing an infidel. It takes the testimony of two women to equal that of one man. Think about a rape case against a Muslim man, regardless of whether the accuser is or is not a Muslim woman. Is it any wonder that 98% of riots in Nigeria are in the Muslim parts of the country?
- Jihad after death: A Muslim is to fight on the prophet's behalf in his lifetime and after death. There is no rest even in eternity.
- Jihad of paradise: Any Muslim killed in a Jihad goes directly to the sexual pleasures of Paradise. Surah 2 Al-Baqarah (verse 25) promises women in Paradise who do not menstruate, urinate or defecate. One eternal sexual orgy with nothing to interfere.
With the promise of unimaginable carnal pleasures in the spirit world, is it still any wonder why adherents of this religion are so fanatic in their pursuits? For our Moslem, Atheist and Animist readers, Jesus teaches clearly that "they neither marry nor are given in marriage" in the spirit world. In short, there is no copulation in the spirit world. The things of the flesh bear little resemblance to the things in the spirit world. In addition, His followers are forbidden to coerce anyone to believe in Him, let alone murder anyone in His name. Actually, He warned that there will be those who will think they are doing God's work by killing Christians. Hmmmm!
Back to our original discourse. The Jihad of the sword subdued the Hausas and other northern minorities. The British subdued the north (as they did the south), but expediency led them to mislead the Fulanis about their role in Nigerian society. Or did the Fulanis linearly extrapolate the fact that the British found it convenient (less expensive) to let them carry on mostly as usual to mean that they could extend this to the rest of the country? [As an aside, I wonder if the British still believe that the Fulanis are such good governors that they would be willing to airlift the Fulanis to England where they can govern and get the red carpet treatment they do not get as visitors from Nigeria]. By the time the British left, the Jihad of the sword was not feasible if the north were to take on a united southern Nigeria. However, London had set it up such that the Jihad of taxation would pacify the Fulanis.
Oil was discovered about three years before the British left to rule by proxy from London. The Nigerian military was in the hands of the northerners, whose strings were being pulled from London. Overnight, the groundnut pyramids that used to dot the northern landscape disappeared once the oil money from the south started to pour in. For a few months in 1966, it appeared that the north would no longer be in control. Gowon wanted the north to secede. But then, the British reminded him that there was no way for the north to survive on her own. With this revelation the Southerners would be allowed to continue their infidel ways as long as the oil money from the south found its way, unimpeded, to the pockets of the few rulers in the north. Consequently, the wrong lessons were learned from the civil war.
With the military in their control, they now turned to the Jihad of financial reward and the Jihad of fear to maintain the status quo. All the while, the world was changing very rapidly, but they were watching something else. The nuclear powered Soviet Union collapsed without a shot being fired. The Berlin wall fell, but they did not take note. The information age was dawning but they thought they could keep their people ignorant by the same old methods. The missionaries who spearheaded western education in the south were forbidden to establish schools in the north. Then all of a sudden, the colonial masters wanted to expend their efforts to make their countries competitive in a global economy. No more propping up of despot dictators. All of a sudden, they woke up to realize that democratic civilian governance was inevitable in Nigeria. They grudgingly returned governance to their handpicked "civilian" president.
The new civilian president, a former military dictator, realized that the world had changed and proceeded to try to govern as should have been done from the start. The owners of the oil whose patience had been exhausted waiting to share in the rewards of their natural resource started to be more vocal and belligerent. The rulers suddenly found themselves outside the corridors of power. Something had to be done. This time, the situation called for a combination of Jihads. The Jihad of the courts was marshaled in with the Sharia. The Jihad of fear was bandied about by boasting about the previous civil war. The Jihad of Paradise was brought in to summon the talakawas to volunteer to be canon fodder. Then we were reminded that they were in the majority.
The epitaph for Shagari, Buhari and Babangida reads "Never has a MAJORITY, accomplished so LITTLE, with so MUCH.
This time they miscalculated. We remember that Ghana got independence before Nigeria because 'the north was not ready'. The south knows that the gap between the haves and the have-nots in this information age will widen at a more rapid pace than that during the industrial revolution. Consequently, cognizant of the fact that too much time has been lost already, the south no longer is willing to wait for the north to catch up. The people of the Niger Delta are now from New Hampshire, the will live free or die. The latest mayhem in the north gave birth to retaliations in the East, even in erstwhile peaceful Akwa Ibom. Read this signal correctly. Insanity is not confined to the north. It appears that the Christians gave as good as they took this time. Why else would someone call on the president to disarm Igbos in the north other than to make their slaughter like chickens business as usual?
What every Moslem must know is that the God that Christians worship does not like wimps. From Moses to Joshua to us today, His admonition is always "be strong and of good courage". We have said our prayer to the Almighty. We are ready.