Mubarak Bala blasphemy: The Kaduna State Police Command on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of Mubarak Bala an atheist for blasphemy on a Facebook post .
Spokesman to Kaduna State police Mohammed Jalige in a phone conversation with our correspondent said, “I can confirm to you that he has been arrested and he is in police custody.”
“I cannot tell you about where he is (whether Kaduna or Kano State custody) buthe has been arrested.”
Bala, the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested by the police on Wednesday afternoon at his residence in Kaduna State, Jalige disclosed.
Although Jalige did not speak about the reason of the arrest, it is not unconnected to Bala’s recent outburst against Islamic Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in a Facebook post.
On Monday, April 27, Mubarak compared popular Lagos pastor and president of Synagogue Church of Nations Prophet TB Joshua to Prophet Mohammed.
“There’s no difference between prophet TB Joshua (S.A.W) of Lagos and Muhammadu (A.S.) of Saudi Arabia, it is better for our Nigeria to be terrorism,” Bala said.
In another post, Bala said, “Whoever believes religion has been duped – If you cant take blasphemy against Islam, criticizism of its doctrines, this page is not for you. I have not even started ooo.”
His post was greeted with threats of arrest for blasphemy in the comment section. Unrepentant of his stance against Islam, Bala said the threat was from ‘morons’ who should know better.
Days later, a group of lawyers petitioned the Kano State Police command to prosecute Bala for insulting Prophet Muhammad.
Bala is not new to issues around blasphemy by government and private citizens. In June 2014, he was held at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital by government officials who claimed he was a psychiatric patient against his wish.
In a post on International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) website said he was detained at the hospital on the grounds of a “personality change” because he had become an atheist despite being raised in a Muslim family.
One of Bala’s friends, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Wednesday, said a popular Muslim cleric and a policeman both in Kano have both vowed to kill him if found.
He said, “We have spoken to the Police Public Relations Officers in Kaduna and he told us that Mubarak's case was not their case.
“He said the detectives that arrested him were sent from Kano. We pressed to know if they would transfer the case to Force Headquarters in Abuja but he said no, that Mubarak will be transferred to Kano where the complaint was lodged.
Reacting to the issue, rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said that Bala could not be subjected to Sharia law because he doesn’t subscribe to it.
He said, “It is only Moslems that are subject to Sharia law and that is the constitution because Sharia law is an Islamic law that governs lifestyle of Moslems who subscribe to Islam and followers of Prophet Muhammed.
“I, as a Christian, have no business with Sharia law, I don't believe in it, so there is no way I can be subjected to it.
“I have an ideological objection to blasphemy laws because more often than not, those laws mirror the civilisation of a society.
“As much as people are encouraged to be responsible in their speech, I do not believe that in this age and time that people should be thrown in jail for allegedly insulting a god or a supreme being.”
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