Ndigbo Muslims: The Neglected Minority in South-East Nigeria
By Rasheed Abubakar
The Muslims in Ibo (or Igbo) land might be in the minority, but we at Muslim News Nigeria use the occasion of this Ramadan to rejoice with them and thank Allah for guiding them to Islam, the pure monotheistic religion of their forefather, Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham).
Historically, the reversions of the Igbos to Islam began in the 1930s, and just like the statement of Allah in Suratul Nasr (Qur’an Chapter 110), many Southeasterners have willingly and convincingly entered into the religion of Allah in multitudes till date, despite persecution from their political and traditional leaders, who themselves abandoned their gods for foreign religions (Christianity and Judaism).
The Igbo Muslims, under the auspices of South Eastern Muslims Organisation of Nigeria (SEMON), have been crying and raising the alarm over the fact that the governments of Southeast states do not recognise their existence, and thus deny them their political and socio-economic rights.
They and their places of worship have also been attacked many times by different Igbo groups, including the IPOB terrorist organisation. Many of these assaults were downplayed by the Nigerian media.
It has now become a duty for the leadership of the Nigerian Muslims, headed by the Amir-ul-Mu’mineen, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and all notable Muslim organisations to stand with the Ndigbo Muslims and make a case for them – the same way they create awareness about the plights of suffering Muslims in Palestine, Myanmar, Yemen and Syria.
The Muslim minority in Igboland should not be neglected like the entire Muslim world failed to stop the incarceration of over 1 million Uighur Muslims in China by the Xi Jinping-led communist government. Shamefully, some Arab leaders denied the assault of their brothers in China solely for financial and political gains, whereas Allah says; “The believers are but brothers…” Qur’an 49: 10, and “Hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided…” Qur’an 3: 103
In an authentic hadith from Sahih Bukhari, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said that Muslims, irrespective of their colour, tribe, and language, are one community, stressing that, “If the eye is afflicted, then the whole body is afflicted. If the head is afflicted, then the whole body is afflicted.”
Ramadan Mubarak to all our Igbo brethren from all of us at Muslim News Nigeria.