- American activists have condemned the violent massacre of the Nigerian Shia by the Nigerian army, launching a petition to ask the UN to break the silence.
The petition reads:
"A Nigerian soul should be equal to the life of a soul from Paris or San Bernardino or anywhere else for that matter.
Do not accept silence.
"...whoever kills a soul,1 without [its being guilty of] manslaughter or corruption on the earth, is as though he had killed all mankind, and whoever saves a life is as though he had saved all mankind..."
- Holy Qur'an Chapter 5, Verse 32
Nigerian military forces have killed several Shia Muslims who had gathered to attend a religious ceremony north of the country. The attack follows yesterday afternoon's violence in which soldiers opened fire at mourners attending a funeral in Zaria at Hussainiyyah Baqiyatullah. The funeral was for Muslims killed yesterday in violence attributed to Boko Haram, but which many in the area claim has connections with elements of the military. Local media said on Saturday that at least 30 people were killed and injured after clashes erupted between the Nigerian army and unarmed Shia Muslims trying to protect Sheikh Zakzaky with their bodies in the city of Zaria, Kaduna State. Reports said soldiers opened fire on the people in Hussainiyyah Baqeeyatullah, a religious center belonging to the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria. The Shias had reportedly stopped the convoy of the Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai as the leader of the Shia movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, was planning a speech in the religious center. According to the eyewitnesses, the area was cordoned off with security forces reported to have a heavy presence there. Soldiers besieging the home of the leader of a Shiite movement accused of trying to assassinate Nigeria's army chief have shot and killed at least 12 people, the Islamic group said early Sunday, AP reported. About 30 people have been wounded in the ongoing attack that began late Saturday in the city of Zaria in northern Nigeria and continued into early Sunday, Zeenah Ibrahim, the wife of the group's leader, told The Associated Press in a phone call interrupted by the sounds of gunfire. According to the eyewitnesses when some members of the movement met the soldiers to understand their mission of the soldiers was, they took position and opened fire indiscriminately, killed many and took away seven the casualty to an unknown location. Based on the foregoing, we believe that the military had pre-planned this and had acted according to their mischievous script. They came with their cameramen, videotaping the whole incidence while it lasted. We are however surprised that, spokesman of the military Colonel Kuka Sheka Shamelessly came out in the media and issued a press statement to say, that it was an assassination attempt on the Chief of Army Staff on the order of the Movement’s leader, said an Islamic movement member. Why was it that there were no casualty on the side of the military, if it were to be an assassination attempt by Kuka Sheka? What happened was never a clash, but a continuation of act of terrorism by the Nigerian military on the Movement, as was the case in the past. His movement two weeks ago suffered a suicide bombing, claimed by Boko Haram extremists, in the middle of a procession that killed 22 people. Boko Haram often attacks Muslims who preach against its radical vision of Islam. The group emerged as a violent Islamic uprising after Nigerian armed forces in 2009 attacked its headquarters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, killed about 700 people and arrested and then killed its leader. Six years later, the Boko Haram insurgency has killed some 20,000 people and forced 2.3 million from their homes. Ibrahim emphasized that her husband's Shiite movement is peaceful and opposed to Boko Haram's violence. Nigerian army had also targeted Shias in August last year as people were holding a demonstration to condemn Israeli attacks on the Palestinians. Shias in Zaria, one of the major Shia-dominated cities of Nigeria, have become angry over the past weeks at a surge in attacks on the members of their community, demanding the government in Abuja to do more to protect the religious gatherings of the Shias in the country. More than 20 people were killed on November 27 in a bomb attack targeting Nigerian Shia Muslims during an annual religious procession in the northern state of Kano. The Takfiri group Boko Haram, which has killed thousands of people in Nigeria and neighboring countries over the past six years, claimed the attacks. Rejoinder: Nigerian Army claims Muslim Shiites attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff in Zaria "Nigerian Army claims Muslim Shiites attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff in Zaria." The first question is why will Shia Muslims want to 'assassinate' the Chief of Army Staff? The second question is with what weapons will Shia Muslims use to assassinate the Army Chief? We all know that the convoy of the Army Chief are well armed & Shia Muslims have no arms. Is it possible that Shia Muslims will want to assassinate the Army Chief with bear hands? The third question is that why will the Nigerian Army jumped to this conclusion without making any investigation on the issue? My conclusion is that some bloodthirsty trigger-happy soldiers attacked the Zaria Hussayniya & mercilessly killed unspecified number of Shia Muslims who are in that Islamic center waiting for a flag changing ceremony that Herald the beginning of Rabi ul-Awwal, said Muhammad Musthapha. I also called on Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari to thoroughly investigate this incident as I believed that there is an anti-Shia canal within the Nigerian Military that takes order from Saudi Arabia and the Israeli regime. Shia Muslims are Nigerians & their lives should not be made cheap by a wicked & evil cabal in the Nigerian Military."