By Adeyinka Aremu
A Magistrate Court in Iwo, South-West Nigeria has sentenced one Mr Mustapha Rasheed (Abu Ibeji), and his student, Yusuf to two months in imprisonment without an option of fine for conduct likely to cause breach of peace and criminal defamation.
Rasheed was sentenced on all the four count charge. While he was given an option of fine in three, he was slammed with two months sentence without an option of fine in one of the charges.
Rasheed had in series of lectures issued death warrants on prominent clerics for supporting freedom of association which he claimed is alien to Islam, according to his belief – Laa Jama’ah
Laa Jama’ah rejects and disbelieve in the Freedom of Association for the purpose of propagating religion.
Dr Sirojudeen Bilal Al-Asra, an Iwo-based cleric thus petitioned the police on threat to his life and defamation of character following a ‘verdict of death’ contained in widely circulated sermons of the extremist preacher.
Dr Asrau, amidst other clerics were declared as infidels and innovators by Rasheed for supporting Islamic organizations like Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, (MSSN), The Muslim Congress among others.
Rasheed, a pseudo-scholar with just secondary school education (thanawiyya) also reportedly passed similar verdicts on a veteran preacher, Sheikh Issa Akindele (Ibadan) Ustaz Iskeel Hamzah (Ibadan), Dr AbdulMojeed Alaro (Lagos) and Sheikh AbdulGaniy Olagunju (Ede) amidst others.
According Dr Asrau’s lawyer, Qasim Odedeji, the police had to be petitioned after Dr Asrau’s many attempts to invite Abu Ibeji to intellectual dialogue and reconciliation table failed, as he arrogantly declined, saying he does not discuss with an ‘infidel’.
“He said Dr Asrau should have been killed for writing a book on political participation by Muslims in a multi religious society like Nigeria. Rasheed alleged that Dr Asrau gets humongous funding from Saudi Arabia and has bought almost the whole of iwo,”
“He also condemned to Hell, the likes of late Sheik Adam Al-Ilory, late Sheikh Kamaldeen Al Adabiyy and even his own teacher, late Sheikh AbdulBaqi Muhammad for founding organisations while they lived,” Odedeji said
Rasheed has however been denounced and rejected for his extremism by his mentor, Sheikh Ibraheem AbdurRauf Abu Nasir,
The rejection was contained in a reaction to MSSN release by one of his spokespersons:
“I am not aware of any relationship between Abuu Naasir and Abu Ibeji and I challenge the MSSN to prove their assertion that Abu Ibeji is a student of Abu Naasir.
“Even if Abu Ibeji was a student of Abu Naasir and he decides to deviate, who is to blame?
“Abu Naasir is known for his steadfastness in the deen here in Nigeria and abroad. He has done many works including the translation of the kutub (books/works) of some scholars like Shaikh Ibn Baaz, Shaykh Fawzaan among others.
“Let me state categorically that Shaykh Abuu Naasir was never charged with Abu Ibeji nor was he tried by any court and his manhaj (syllabus or ideology) is very much distinct from that of Abu Ibeji and Jabata his boss,” he said.
It will be recalled that the same extremist sect, Laa Jama’ah – an ultra Salafi group – held the MSSN Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife by the jugular for about a decade, refusing to recognise the constituted authorities.
Similar group, led by Dr Ismail Musa of Unilag has also disrupted the activities of the vibrant MSSN of the institution for about two years now, leading to needless ban of the students’ organisation. Dr Musa has unduly ceased the advantage of being the MSSN Staff Adviser to perpetrate the heinous acts.
Meanwhile, the MSSN B-Zone has commended the judgment, describing it as timely.
“History will never forgive these agents of destruction of our da’wah machineries like the vibrant MSSNOAU. This landmark judgment marks the beginning of the end of the virulent Laaj Jama’ah insha Allah,” It said.