Nigeria: sharia court orders death for blasphemy

A sharia high court in Nigeria on Jan. 6 sentenced cleric Abdulaziz Dauda and nine others to death by hanging for committing blasphemy against the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. The prosecution claimed that Duada, a preacher also known as Abdul Inyass, stated that the Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse, the founder of a rival sect, enjoyed a larger following in the region than Muhammad. The prosecution further asserted that Dauda and his disciples incited people to religious violence. The trial took place behind closed doors to avoid public protest.

Several mainly Muslim northern states in Nigeria introduced sharia courts into law after the country returned to civilian rule in 1999, and a version of sharia is practiced alongside Western-style justice.

From Jurist, Jan. 6. Used with permission.

NoteSheikh al-Islam Ibrahim Niasse (1900-1975) was a leader of the Tijani sufi order.