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Glad I live in the good ole' US of A!!!


Nigerian Calls for Death of Writer

By GLENN McKENZIE, Associated Press Writer

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - The deputy governor of a largely Islamic state in northern Nigeria has called on Muslims to kill the Nigerian woman who wrote a newspaper article about the Miss World (news - web sites) beauty pageant that sparked deadly religious riots.

"Just like the blasphemous Indian writer Salman Rushdie, the blood of Isioma Daniel can be shed," Zamfara Deputy Governor Mahamoud Shinkafi told a gathering of Muslim groups in the state capital, Gusau, on Monday.

Rushdie, an Indian-born Briton, went into hiding after Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a 1989 fatwa — or religious edict — against him for allegedly insulting Islam in his best-selling novel, "The Satanic Verses." In 1998, the Iranian government declared it would not support the fatwa, but said it could not rescind the edict since, under Islamic law, that could be done only by the person who issued it. Khomeini died in 1989.

While state officials in Nigeria cannot issue fatwas, the deputy governor, "like all Muslims," considers the death sentence against Daniel as "a reality based on the teachings of the Quran," Zamfara state Information Commissioner Tukur Umar Dangaladima said Tuesday.

Islam's holy book "states that whoever accuses or insults any prophet of Allah ... should be killed," Dangaladima told The Associated Press. "If she (Daniel) is Muslim, she has no option except to die. But if she is a non-Muslim, the only way out for her is to convert to Islam."

Daniel, a Lagos-based fashion writer with ThisDay, reportedly went into hiding after being interrogated by police last week in connection with the article, which suggested Islam's founding prophet Muhammed would have approved of Miss World and might have wanted to marry one of the contestants. Her religion is unknown.

The newspaper has issued repeated apologies for the article, saying the offending portions were published by mistake after earlier being deleted by a supervising editor.

President Olusegun Obasanjo did not immediately respond to the deputy governor's call. But an Information Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Obasanjo's government would not permit any Islamic group or individual to carry out the death order.

Obasanjo's 3-year-old administration has repeatedly stated it will overrule inhumane punishments imposed by Islamic courts, such as recent death-by-stoning sentences against women convicted of having sex outside of wedlock. But the federal government has so far refused to intervene directly in the Shariah legal system, in effect in some of the country's predominantly Muslim northern states.

ThisDay officials were not immediately available for comment Tuesday. But one of the paper's columnists, Amanze Obi, suggested Daniel "may have been a victim of excitement."

"I imagine that she may have written that line without knowing it," Obi wrote in Tuesday's edition. "The line was innocuous."

Dangaladima said other ThisDay employees had been spared from the fatwa, which "applies only to the offending pen."

Zamfara was the first of 12 states to adopt Islamic law, or Shariah, after Nigerian military rule gave way to elected government in 1999. Religious clashes since then have killed thousands across the country.

The latest rioting began last Wednesday when Muslims burned down a ThisDay office in the northern city of Kaduna. More than 200 people were killed in the city and rioting also briefly spread to the capital, Abuja.

The violence caused Miss World organizers to abandon plans to hold the pageant in Nigeria and evacuate more than 80 participants to London, where the show will go ahead Dec. 7.

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Originally posted by sassa

so what...what's going on there with this article is normal for nigeria.

the US's media is extremely biased and only portrays and tells what they want you to know, not what is actually happening.

ok...i do not agree with that...we have the most free country in terms of journalistic reporting in the world....the are thousands of sources to obtain news from...not to mention the capability to obtain international news from any location in the world....and i would never expect you to say "SO WHAT" this is normal for nigeria....all the lady wrote was "the prophet abadulgierakuntakante might marry one of these girls", and now they want to find her and kill her....anyway, back to my point...i could be wrong, but i thought the US media was always portrayed as being super liberal - antiwar, anti-big business....all the things that you love....i mean i could go out and write that i think all monkeys should be killed and that would be my right that is protected under the freedom of speech...no one would try to sentence someone to death in the US b/c of something that they wrote in the paper...just out of curiosity...what is an example of the US media being biased?

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  • 3 weeks later...

the organization, Reporters Without Borders, recently published the first press freedom index for countries. RSF ranked the us at 17, beating countries like the uk and japan. finland was given the highest ranking, while north korea was given the worst. canada came in 5th, the highest ranking non-european country.

these rankings breaks a lot of the perception about the media world we have. for example israel, which self proclaims it is the "only democracy in the middle east", gets ranked at 92. following behind lebannon, the PA, bahrain, kuwait, and morrocco. however none of the arab states broke the top 50, lebannon came close at 56.

not all EU countries did good, italy is ranked at 40, that's not even the 75th percentile. prime minister silvio berlusconi has been seriously undermining the media diversity, by sending in his henchmen to run the state owned television stations.

african states are spread out through the rankings. this is suprising because the only attention the continent recieves from western media is unfairly negative. while there are countries like zimbabwe and the democratic republic of the congo that got poor rankings. however the tiny country of benin is tied with the uk for 21st, and south africa is at 26. while senegal, mali, and niger have all recieved relativley good marks, dismissing the myth that islam and free press cannot co-exsist.

now these rankings should not be thrown around as if they were weapons, especially by conservatives. after all it is a sad state affairs for americans to be content with having more freedoms than nigerians. as american we need to progress the media to be as diverse and free as the slovenians(14) or the costa ricans(15).

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Originally posted by sassa

so what...what's going on there with this article is normal for nigeria.

the US's media is extremely biased and only portrays and tells what they want you to know, not what is actually happening.

Yea. I work with a guy from Nigeria and he says its much worse than what is being reported. That the Muslam areas are INSANE!

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