Freedom (or Lack of) of Religion in Nigeria

 As important as it is to me for this blog to feed your soul, I also am quite intentional about not talking about every darn social ill and injustice that occurs in the world. After all, where would one begin? In the past couple of weeks alone, American leaders have decided to hold all the power on women's body, some other moron perpetrated a racist attack on black people going about their lives this weekend, food for babies is scarce and some people think "illegal" babies should not get food, and oh gas prices won't stop skyrocketing, and oh wait a minute, Mr. Putin threatens us every other day with nuclear war. And that's just in America. 

That said, something happened in Nigeria last week. Deborah Samuels, a student at the Shagari College of Education Sokoto in Sokoto State, was brutally murdered. They stoned her to death and set her ablaze because she made "blasphemous statements" against Prophet Mohammed. They had asked her how she passed and she said "Jesus O". She had also apparently complained because they turned a What's App group for group study and class activities into a religious group, which bothered them. So they plotted to kill her. They actually recorded themselves doing this and posted it online. There are a lot of layers to this madness that I do not feel like writing about, except to share the below which I posted on Instagram this past weekend:

I have been thinking about what it means to not just kill another human being but to actually set them on fire.

It’s many things—barbaric, sadistic—but it’s actually not animalistic. That’s the thing: animals don’t do that to their kind.

It’s not just that Deborah died, it’s the gruesome way she died; all that agony and despair.

I can’t stop thinking about it and I didn’t even know her.

I am not a theologian but I know there is no way God or any god is so sensitive or weak as to need human beings to defend him like so.

In a free society—nay, in a sane society—blasphemy should not be “illegal”. Either we have freedom of religion or we have “blasphemy”. We can’t have both.

You can get offended, roll your eyes, get angry even,  if someone attacks your religion or your God. But to kill them. To kill them? To KILL THEM?

I have been thinking about it.

And I hope everybody else is thinking about it too.



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