KILLING FOR THE QUR’AN: WHO DO WE BLAME BETWEEN THE PROSTITUTE AND HER CUSTOMER?
By Abdulkadir Salaudeen
It seems we are in the era of blasphemy and killing in the name of religion. The shortcut to getting at one’s enemy is to accuse them of blaspheming either the Prophet (SAW), the Qur’an or anything that is generally held sacred. I hope I will not be accused of blasphemy by writing prostitute to appear in this article’s title together with the Qur’an.
The religion extremism of/in some of us is solidly built on crass ignorance. For our information, we find prostitution mentioned in the Qur’an, as holy as it is. Though mentioned for condemnation, The Almighty does not find it sacrilegious to call prostitution by its name.
If we get this right, then it is wrong for the ignorant to jealously protect the religion they don’t understand. You don’t protect religion with emotion which is devoid of knowledge. Also, you don’t practice Islam with ignorance; for Islam is a religion deeply grounded in scholarship.
The ‘Muslim’ thugs who set ablaze a prostitute should be treated as murderers who deserve similar treatment. Our religious rascality is making us to appear more devilish than Godly. The more I try to condition myself not to find anything shocking, the more I failed. The cold-blooded killing of the prostitute in question is not only alarming but also ridiculous.
How did it happen? The awfully ridiculous incident was reported to have happened in Alaba Rago in Ojo LGA of Lagos State. The deceased prostitute was said to have had a disagreement with a thug who patronized her. Don’t ask me what she was selling or what the thug bought from her. Anyway, the thug reportedly paid N1, 000 for the service she rendered which was agreed upon.
OMG! N 1, 000? Can you imagine a lady bringing herself to a level beneath that of a dog just for N1, 000? Could this be poverty, ignorance, or moral bankruptcy? The society also does not help. We live in society where prostitutes are dignified by being called ‘sex workers’ as if a noble profession. And if not for moral decadence and lawlessness, how would someone openly practice prostitution?
It is even more shameful that prostitutes are so bold to have an association which they named ‘Nigeria Sex Workers Association’ with e-mail address. Please don’t ask me the e-mail address. Lest we think prostitution is just a sin not a crime, it is actually a crime in Nigeria. But because we live in a country where laws are made to be violated, prostitution gradually becomes a norm.
There is hardly any major town in Nigeria where prostitutes do not operate in brothels which could be open or hidden. Did I just say major towns? Even in some villages, where villagers are ordinarily expected to be morally upright due to the cultural settings, prostitutes still find ways of operation. It is this bad.
Back to the ugly incident, the thug paid the prostitute for her service and left her room. She suddenly discovered her N5, 000 had gone missing as reported. She ran after her ignoble customer and accused him of theft. This degenerated into argument and her customer was said to have mobilized his friends (also thugs) to help search for the missing money in her room. While searching, they reportedly found a copy of Qur’an under the prostitute’s pillow. Hmm! Wonder shall never end.
Surprisingly, this irresponsible, immoral, hungry-for-dirty-sex, and for-sex-only customer—and his friends in thuggery—suddenly became blasphemy police. They reportedly pounced on her (the prostitute) for having the Qur’an in her possession being a prostitute. Not only that, they lynched her and set her aflame. This is one of the ugliest ways to end one’s life. May The Almighty protect us from ugly ending.
I have addressed the killers of this prostitute as thugs. Yes, there are murderous thugs. Anyone that takes law into their hands and kill in the name of religion, when not at war, are murderous thugs. Even when they do so claiming to be Muslims defending Islam, they remain murderous thugs who should be made to face the wrath of the law. However, the problem is that in Nigeria laws seem not to be associated with any wrath anymore. Hence, no one is afraid of the law.
Who told these vindictive fornicators that a prostitute, due to her ugly profession, cannot be in the possession of the Qur’an? Despite being a prostitute, she remains a Muslim if she prays. No doubt, a useless Muslim—just like her trigger-happy murderers—her sinful occupation is one thing and her Muslimness is another thing. Fornication or prostitution does not take one out of Islam. Going by the logic of these criminals, every sinful Muslim should not possess any Qur’an. That is to say no Muslim should have Qur’an in their homes because we are all sinners.
Though Qur’an is not to be kept under pillow, but the truth is many Muslims do so ignorantly thinking doing so works as protection against evils and calamities. Some also hold that writing some verses of the Qur’an on car or hanging same gives protection against accident. This is analogous to hanging a sachet of Panadol to one’s neck thinking it will relieve one’s pain. This is ridiculous.
The killing of this prostitute (Hannah Saliu) who was a Muslim from the north like her irascible murderers did not elicit much noise because the criminals and the victims are of the same faith. If it had been an interfaith killing caused by blasphemy, all hell would have let loose. Like I mention in a previous article, “Until we understand that killing is killing, irrespective of who was killed, we are not likely to get it right.”
All killings must be condemned and killers made to face the law. We hope that wrath—which is obviously missing—will be restored to our laws in Nigeria. For until then, people will continue to toy with the lives of their fellows. May God help Nigeria.