Usama Hasan Profile picture
Jul 4, 2018 15 tweets 9 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Some of the core drivers of the religio-political violence in #Nigeria are failures to harmonise religious, political & civic impulses. I will try to summarise and discuss some of them here. #NotAnotherNigerian @QuilliamOrg
1. #Nigeria is a civic state, with much devout religious practice, mainly Christian and Muslim. Religious loyalty should not undermine civic loyalty, but sometimes does. Eg should Muslims be concerned about the 'ummah' & Christians about fellow believers only? #NotAnotherNigerian
2. The #Nigerian state apparatus, including the legal system, is heavily influenced by Britain. The Muslim areas used to have traditional Sharia, and were part of the Sokoto Caliphate. Sharia always had many interpretations: many of these were civic in nature. #NotAnotherNigerian
3. Some islamist groups, with memories of Muslim caliphates & anti-colonial struggles, raise the banner of 'jihad' for a return to pre-modern age. But modern Islamic warfare ethics agree with conventional ones, as @salah7090 & I show in our "Tackling Terror." #NotAnotherNigerian
4. Hence, four main pillars of Sunni Islamist ideology, in an attempt to harmonise religion & politics are: ummah, khilafa (caliphate), sharia & jihad. All have many meanings & are hotly-contested within Islamic tradition: we need space to debate, not fight. #NotAnotherNigerian
5. Boko Haram & AQ reject even the basic notion of #Nigeria as a modern, civic state with equal rights, irrespective of religion. I have summarised 19th-21st century arguments for the latter from Islamic theory & practice in my "From Dhimmitude to Democracy." #NotAnotherNigerian
6. Boko Haram & AQ speak only about the medieval distinction between Dar al-Islam & Dar al-Kufr (Lands of Islam & Non-Islam). focusing on Dar al-Harb (War). They ignore Ibn Taymiyyah's innovative 14th century discussion of Dar Murakkab (Composite Land). #NotAnotherNigerian
7a. The West African Muslim theologian @Bin_Bayyah says, "The land of Islam (dar al-Islam) is every state having a Muslim majority or Muslim rulers, even if they do not implement some Sharia rulings ..." #NotAnotherNigerian 1/5
7b. @Bin_Bayyah continues, "... The land of non-Muslims is every state having a non-Muslim majority and non-Muslim rulers." #Nigeria is clearly neither Dar al-Islam nor Dar al-Kufr according to the medieval distinction. #NotAnotherNigerian 2/5
7c. @Bin_Bayyah continues further, drawing on Ibn Taymiyyah's contribution, "... Compound or composite lands (dar murakkab) are exemplified by federal states comprising Muslims and others where each province has the power to make laws, such as in Nigeria." #NotAnotherNigerian 3/5
7d. Actually, I agree with those jurists who would say that #Nigeria is beyond even "composite land" (dar murakkab): it is a civic, citizenship-based state (dar al-muwatana al-madaniyya), not classified by religion, unlike the preceding discussion. #NotAnotherNigerian 4/5
7e. Ref for @Bin_Bayyah quote: Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin Bayyah, Sina’at al-Fatwa [The Crafting of Jurisprudential Rulings], Dar al-Minhaj / Global Centre for Renewal and Guidance, 1428/2007, pp. 280-1. cf p. 78 of my "From Dhimmitude to Democracy" #NotAnotherNigerian 5/5
8a. For an easier discussion for activists & CSOs, some basic questions are: (1) Should #Nigeria be ruled by religious laws/norms, or civic laws/norms? Can they be harmonised somewhat, respecting religions whilst upholding justice & equality?
8b. (2) Many #Nigerian families are mixed Muslim-Christian. How do we promote inclusive interpretations & counter divisive interpretations of both religions? Are #Islam & #Christianity friends or enemies? Should the civic state be neutral or favour a religion? #NotAnotherNigerian
9. Our time is up: over and out. Until next time! #Peace #Love #Solidarity #ILoveNigeria #NotAnotherNigerian

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