Sheikh Ibraheem ZaKzakY, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, alias Brothers or Shiites, says in this interview with Sunday Trust that the Boko Haram of today is not a group of Muslims but mischievous people perpetuating destructive agenda to give Islam a bad name, and that security details have the responsibility to track down the real Boko Haram if government is not itself masquerading as the sect to raise and squander security votes.
As an Islamic scholar, how do you expect the crisis of Boko Haram to be tackiled?
This issue of Boko Haram is a mockery on Islam. Some people are just killing innocent lives in the name of Boko Haram which does not exist. They want to ridicule Islam. It is disheartening especially how some top government officials who are Muslims are allowing some people to dent the name of their religion. Islam has a history. Emergence of groups or organisations within Islam fighting for a course has history. There is no way some people would be killing innocent lives because they want to justify their spending on security and push the blame on Islam. There is conspiracy in this issue, especially how the government fails to hold its security chiefs responsible, having failed to handle this perceived issue of Boko Haram.
When Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent by Allah (sw), he started with preaching. His objectives were known and his goals were clear. Despite the challenges which the Prophet faced, he did not hide his ideology nor hid what he wanted to achieve. Therefore, no movement in Islam would engage killing people and detonating bombs in places of worship. The most surprising aspect of the whole drama is the invisibility of these Boko Haram people. Nobody knows where they are. They don’t have organs nor have any traceable locations or structure. They don’t have a defined ideology which they propagate. It is claimed that they want to establish Islamic ideology in Nigeria yet they kill the people. Just ponder on these issues, may be you would have a rethink on the actual people committing these atrocities in the name of Boko Haram.
In this part of the world, for example, when Shehu Uthman Bn Fodio came to establish Islamic way of life, did he start by killing people? He started with preaching. He propagated his objectives and aims. He established the platform upon which he used in establishing Shari’a where he found himself. This is the tradition of Islam. No Muslim can go and set bombs and kill innocent people just like that without any course or objective. When you take Hamas and Huzbullah for example, we all know who they are. They have organs; they have leaders; they have objectives; they have structures; their leaders are known and people can talk or communicate with them. When you take the case of Imam Khomeine as another example, he did not just come to Iran and start detonating bombs and killing people without objectives. Islam has guidelines and principles. We have our way of doing things.
If Boko Haram is just a tag used by some people to commit crime, who are those behind the incessant bomb blasts for which Boko Haram claims responsibility?
In a nutshell, I would want to believe that it is government and security agents that are just killing people in Abuja and some parts of the Northeast as well as other parts of the country. They just want to justify their security vote. They are creating fear in the minds of the people so that they can use their security money without any question and they found the Boko Haram platform the best way of achieving that.
Since you believe that Boko Haram does not exist the way the public knows it, would the issue of dialogue with them arise?
You shouldn’t get me wrong. I know there are some people who claim that Boko is Haram but are they behind all these bombings? No, they are not. Some people are behind it. If you talk about dialogue, whom are you going to dialogue with? What we are seeing as signs of Boko Haram are only bombs. Are you going to dialogue with bombs? The only solution to this problem is for all of us to continue praying for Allah to expose those behind these bombings and killings in the name of Boko Haram; but honestly, it is disheartening how those Muslims in top government positions are allowing some people use certain tricks for certain goals and be ridiculing Islam. I always feel sad to hear all these things being linked with Islam while in the real sense they do not exist. They can steal their money without necessarily ridiculing our religion.