According to circulating online reports, Mubarak Bala, a Nigerian activist and atheist, has been arrested by the Kaduna Police Command after insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Bala, who is the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, and advisory board member of the International Association of Atheists, was arrested due to his Facebook posts questioning the existence of God.
One of his posts reads: “Religion is not a person, long dead people are dead, Gods do not exist, so why fear analysis & critique on works attributed to them?”
However, this post angered Muslim lawyers as they quickly wrote a petition that as shared via Twitter against Mubarak Bala and accused him of “blasphemy” which according to the Sharia Law is punishable by death.
After the petition was written, Mubarak Bala was arrested. His arrest received mixed reactions from both local and internationa publicl figures on Twitter. Some called for his release with the hashtag #FreeMubarakBala while others defended his arrest and even threatened him with death.
A BBC article about Mubarak Bala, published in 2014, disclosed that Bala’s father drugged him and kept him in a psychiatric hospital when he stopped believing in religion and became an atheist.
Below are some tweets from Nigerians reacting to Bala’s arrest and what led to it.
Some group of lawyers finally write petition against that animal Mubarak Bala pic.twitter.com/OHyILGijyy
— Yusuf Jnr (@MrZage) April 27, 2020
There’s no punishment for blasphemy in the Quran (The word of Allah), all the punishments you see are laws made by different leaders to oppress their people..You don’t have to take Allah’s battles #FreeMubarakBala pic.twitter.com/gcjVEmnHSJ
— Y.O. (@yojora) April 29, 2020
Okay let’s break this down.
1. Blasphemy is a religious offence.
2. Religion is a matter of personal beliefs.
3. Our Constitution allows for freedom of speech, thought & expression.
4. Mubarak is not a Muslim & should not be subject to Sharia laws. #FreeMubarakBala
— Moe (@Mochievous) April 29, 2020
You can trend #FreeMubarakBala all you want, as the hypocrite you’re, your hate for Islam is stinking smelling, you’re nothing but a hypocrite hiding under the guise of tolerance to support blasphemy, will you react this way if a Muslim denigrated Jesus, peace be upon him???
— Engr Yasir Arafat Jubril🏗🏢🌉🛤🛣 (@oil_shaeikh) April 29, 2020
You claim your religion is not a religion of oppression but a religion of peace, but why are you quiet when dissenting voices are oppressed? The only reason you know “peace” is that you benefit from religious oppression. #FreeMubarakBala
— Doreen Uloma N. (@ulomareen) April 29, 2020
Hello, @PoliceNG you have endangered Mubarak's life and if you succeed in transferring him to Kano, you will be held responsible. These are the people that you should be arresting. There are several death threats online on his page everyday. #FreeMubarak #FreeMubarakBala pic.twitter.com/tZyL9Om0v5
— Ayobami (@dondekojo) April 29, 2020
Some are not serious at all. 🤦♂️ You think #FreeMubarakBala will work?
He insulted Prophet Muhammad S.A.W and expected him to work freely because is not against what you belief. You people are hypocrite
— Arewa T W I T T E R (@ArewaTwiter) April 29, 2020
The President of Humanists Association of Nigeria Mubarak Bala has been arrested on the charges of Blasphemy.
Now, Blasphemy is punishable by death under the Sharia law.
— Maryam⚛️ (@elharsh) April 29, 2020
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