Gov. Rabiu Kwakwanso
Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Thousands of Muslim faithful of Shiite order on Saturday marched through the streets of Kano to protest a controversial video posted on Google and YouTube perceived to be anti-Islam. The protesters carried placards bearing different anti-Western inscriptions, one of which read, “death to America, Israel and enemies of Islam.”
The protesting group gathered at Fagge Juma’at Mosque in the state capital under tight security provided by the joint military task force (JTF) and a combined team of policemen and plain cloth operatives. The security response was to ensure that the protest did not snowball into a violent disturbance.
The protests in Kano coincided with attacks in Yobe State by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, which led to the imposition of curfew on Damaturu, the state capital, and Potistum.
Leader of the Shiites in Kano, Malam Muhammad Turi, led the protest march from Fagge Mosque, through Ibrahim Taiwo Road to the Emir of Kano’s palace where speeches were delivered and the protesters burned American and Israeli flags.
Addressing the crowd of Shiite Muslims, Turi said they decided to protest and express their condemnation over the blasphemous film, adding that the protest aims to tell the American government and its allies to stop anything that could discredit Islam and Prophet Mohammed.
“Nigerian Muslims are not happy with the video because it is aimed to discredit Islam. We are calling on the US government and the United Nation to quickly deal with the person responsible for the film, and put end to this blasphemy across the world,” he said.
The protesters, which comprised men, women and children, also gathered at the Emir’s Palace with a caricature of the American President Barack Obama, calling for severe punishment against those behind the video.