By Michael Adeosun

A woman leading an oppressed people in protest against their oppressors has acted in a manner unacceptable to Islam and has no place in Al Jannah because the Prophet said the place of the woman is within the confines of her husband’s home. But a woman strapping explosives on herself on a jihad mission to destroy innocent people who have not accepted Islam has secured for herself a place in Al Jannah.

That is the twisted logic as portrayed by some Muslims especially from the northern part of Nigeria with regards to Aisha Yesufu. The outspoken and vibrant civil right activist, Aisha Yesufu has been nationwide and indeed globally applauded for her amazonic acts during the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria. She dared the boots and bullets of the brutish and murderous arm of the Nigeria Police Force. She stood up to fight for an end to the killing and systemic police brutality against Nigerian youths.

And of course, on the receiving end of this brutality has being young people of the southern part of Nigeria. From Lagos to Aba; from Ibadan to Port Harcourt; from Benin to Uyo; young people are constantly preyed upon by this arm of the police called SARS.

It is a southern Nigerian problem. The young people of the North have being exempted from this wickedness. The agitation and clamour to proscribe SARS has become perennial but futile. The maltreatment, brutality and killings goes on unabated with zero acknowledgement from the government.

Now. The people have been pushed to their limit and have finally come together to protest and call for the ban of SARS. A police squad created to fight armed robbery but has instead morphed into a killing machine targeting young people. Extorting and carrying out extrajudicial killings. The protest which has garnered support globally with hashtag #EndSARS has only gotten nothing but condemnation from people of Northern Nigeria. These are young Muslims who would have been expected to show empathy and support for their fellow Nigerian young people.

But no. They would rather deploy their regressive Islamic ideology to condemn the struggle. These Islamists would rather make attempts to shame a noble Muslim woman from the South who has become a reputable part of the struggle using absurd references from their scripture.

This only proves that there is no uniformity in how people are treated across the country. Those in the South are dealt a bad hand while the opposite is the case with those of the North. SARS does not operate in the north. Also, the Northerners care less about the challenges being faced by the Southerners.

Aside this issue of political inequality and inequity is the issue religion.
Religion is an easy tool to sustain oppression and continually suppress the freedom of the people. All that is needed is just some quotes from the faith’s scripture that was written some 2,000 or 1,600 years ago. Islam has been known to overly suppress the rights and freedom of women. With Islam, a woman is nothing but a possession of the man. She is not good enough to lead a cause. She must not have an opinion of her own. She can only be seen but no heard. Well, even her visibility is curtailed as her person is effectively curtained by the prescribed clothing.

Yet, the struggle continues.

A luta continua! Victoria acerta!


(c)  Michael Adeosun 2020